The Trademark Process

Searching & Planning
The first step is to form a good idea of what your mark will be that you want to register. Keep in mind that a valid trademark must either be in use or intended for use in commerce. Call us or fill out our online form with your mark in mind and we will perform a basic search for you at no cost. This will allow us to look for any possible conflicts or likelihood of confusion. If your mark already exists and cannot be trademarked, our basic search will have saved you the nonrefundable filing fees. Additionally, we will provide feedback based on our search as to how you may adjust or modify your mark.

Identifying Goods and/or Services
In registering a trademark, it is necessary to include a list of goods and/or services that will be used with the mark. These are the goods/services that your trademark will be used for, or displayed upon, or associated with. This list will be used to identify which class or classes your trademark will be registered with (read more about Trademark Classes).

Depicting your Mark
If your mark is more than simple text or has a unique design, you must provide a clear representation of your mark. Every trademark must be submitted in one of two formats:

  • Standard character format:
    • This format is for marks that are text-only and lacking any specification of font style, size, color, or design element
    • Provides broader rights, allowing you to use your mark in any manner of presentation
  • Stylized/Design format:
    • This format is for marks with a design element, particular style/appearance, or color that you would like to protect.

Submitting a Specimen
A specimen of use must be submitted as evidence that your mark is in use in commerce. The specimen should show your mark in use with the goods and/or services associated. Read the article about Specimen of Use for more details.

Legal Review and Publication
Once your application has been submitted and the USPTO examining attorney does not find any reasons to refuse the mark, your mark will be approved for publication. Once published, there will be 30 days for any entity or individual to file opposition. If there is no opposition filed, or opposition is overcome, the USPTO will either file a Certificate of Registration or Notice of Allowance.

Certificate of Registration or Notice of Allowance
If your application was filed on a basis of “use,” then your trademark will be registered and a certificate issued usually 12 weeks after publication date.

If your application was filed on a basis of “intent to use,” a Notice of Allowance will be filed usually 12 weeks after publication date. You then have 6 months from the date of Notice of Allowance to submit an Allegation of Use and specimen (read about Intent to Use vs In Use for more details).

After Registration
Your trademark will be given a 10-year term with the proper use of an Affidavit of Use. You may continually renew your trademark at the end of each term for an additional 10 years.