Trademark registration in the USA.
IN 150 COUNTRIES
Trademark registration is an optional procedure in the United States of America. At the same time, obtaining protection of your own trademark will bring you many advantages. The main one is exclusive rights for your trademark. It means that in case of violation of your rights - production of counterfeit products, e.g. you can easily defend yourself. Besides, by registering a trademark, you receive the right to protest the registration of similar trademarks for the same goods and services. You can file such a protest to the US Patent and Trademark Office.
How can you register a trademark in the USA?
If you are a foreign-domiciled applicant, you must have a U.S.-licensed attorney who will represent you at the USPTO (United States Patent and Trademark Office).
You are not required to have a U.S.-licensed attorney if you are an applicant domiciled in the United States, but we strongly recommend you to hire the attorney who specializes in trademark law to guide you through the application process.
Limitations and features of trademark registration in the USA.
One of the differences in the trademark registration procedure in the United States is that you must have reason to file an application. So, you can`t just register the trademark “for the future”. The grounds may be the following:
- International registration.
- Foreign application for a trademark.
- Foreign registration.
- Intention to use.
- Commercial application.
So, you can only apply if you have the reasons described above. If the trademark is registered in another country (or under the Madrid Agreement), the owner has the right to receive protection in the States. If the trademark does not yet have registration, but the process has begun, (the application has been filed in other countries) you can also contact the US Office. If you still do not provide services or do not sell goods under the trademark, you can apply for registration, but at the same time, you must submit a declaration within 6 months to start using the trademark. The deadline for filing the declaration can be extended up to 12 months. If the trademark is already actively used, you can easily apply for its registration.
If we talk about restrictions, the list is quite standard. No registration allowed for:
- Descriptive designations.
- Symbols with emblems of the USA: coats of arms, flags.
- Symbols that may mislead consumers.
- Designations, that include portraits, signatures and names of famous people without their consent.
The USA trademark registration required documents
Your application should include the following:
- The applicant's name.
- A name and address for correspondence
- A clear drawing of the mark to be registered
- A list of the goods or services
- An application filing fee for at least one class of goods or services.
Your application must include a clear “drawing” or depiction of the trademark you want to register. “Drawing” is a depiction of the trademark an applicant wants to register. Also called “mark drawing” and “representation of a mark.” Every application must include a drawing of the mark, either in standard characters (all-text mark with no particular font style, size, or color) or in special form (mark includes stylization, design, graphics, logos, and/or color).
A filing date: the date the USPTO receives an application in English. Another feature is the start date of the trademark. In many countries of the world, a trademark can be used from the moment of filing an application with the patent office. The trademark is considered to be protected in the USA only after the registration procedure was completed and after information about it was entered into the register.
Your application must meet many legal requirements before your trademark can be registered.
The trademark registration process is a legal proceeding that requires you to act within strict deadlines.
Information you submit will become public record and will permanently remain searchable in USPTO online databases, Internet search engines, and other databases. This includes your name, phone number, address and email address.
You should determine what trademark you want to register and it`s form (i.e., words only, stylized wording and/or design, sound mark; and the goods or services with which the trademark is (or will be) used. USPTO's Acceptable Identification of Goods and Services Manual (ID Manual) can help you with identifying your goods and/or services.
Once you have selected your trademark, you can use the Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS) to search the USPTO database to determine whether a confusingly similar mark is already registered or whether a pending application for a confusingly similar mark has been filed, for related goods and/or services.
Based on your search results from TESS, check the status of any potentially conflicting application or registration through the Trademark Status and Document Retrieval (TSDR) system.
How long does it take to register a trademark in the USA?
The process of registering trademark in the United States takes about 8-12 months from the date of application. And do not forget that you can use the trademark only after successfully completing the procedure. During this period, the US Patent and Trademark Office conducts a number of important inspections and examinations. First of all, experts check the trademark for originality, and also check it for compliance with all requirements of local legislation. Throughout the registration period, individuals or companies may file an objection concerning your trademark with the Office. If there were no such objections and the registration standards were met, a Certificate of Registration shall be issued. And another interesting point. As we have said, it is imperative to use the trademark for its intended purpose in the United States. To prove this, you`ll have to provide a document that confirms that you are using the trademark in the fifth year of registration.
Cost of trademark registration in the USA
Trademark registration fee in the USA is $350 per class for a TEAS Standard option. For TEAS Standard, only the fee for one class is required, although any additional fees must be submitted before the application may be approved. The TEAS Standard filing option is used to file an initial application for a trademark or service mark on the principal register. TEAS Standard has a higher filing fee but fewer requirements than TEAS Plus.
The cheapest trademark registration USA is possible, when you use the TEAS Plus filing option.The filing fee for the initial trademark/service mark application is $250 per class of goods or services. But for TEAS Plus, payment for each class is required at the time of filing. TEAS Plus has the lowest filing fee but more requirements than TEAS Standard, e.g., you should select entries of goods/services only from the Trademark ID Manual.
Besides, after mark registers you should pay:
- Filing Declaration of Use after 5 Years: $225 per class (if filed before the grace period);
- Filing Declaration of Use after 5 years combined with Declaration of Incontestability: $425 per class (if filed before the grace period);
- Filing Declaration of Use and Application for Renewal every 10 years: $525 per class (if filed before the grace period).
- Filing Declaration of Incontestability: $200 per class.
Renewal trademark registration in the USA
Your trademark has a ten-year validity period. An extension is also available for ten years in unlimited quantities.
Profitmark International Patent Office experts are competent in the field of trademark registration and will help to register a trademark in the USA. We will help you to choose the type of trademark, to find the grounds for its registration and to file the correct documents. Just fill out the online form to start the procedure.