The trademark process in the United States takes anywhere from eight to ten months. The first step to filing for a trademark is to file the application. This part of the process takes anywhere from three to four months for the USPTO to review your application.
It is in this step you will need a trademark lawyer, such as the ones that work at Kaplan Law Practice LLC. You will want a lawyer by your side because the USPTO is going to have a lawyer, who is professionally known as an examining lawyer, review your application. This lawyer is going to be looking to see if there are any conflicts between your trademark and other trademarks, and if the application meets the technical requirements that the USPTO sets forth.
Having a trademark lawyer at your side when you first put your application through this process can help you to ensure that the technical requirements are met, and that there are no other conflicts between your trademark and other ones that currently exist.
Once the lawyer is done reviewing your trademark, they forward a thirty-day period of “publication”. During this period, any member of the public, including other companies, can oppose your trademark. Even if your trademark has been reviewed and approved by the USPTO, a third party can find your trademark to be too similar and damaging to their company or brand, and they can oppose it.
After this thirty-day period closes, the application returns to the examining lawyer, who gives it a once over. At this point, as long as you filed the trademark “in use” which means it is currently in use for products and services that were currently being sold, the examining lawyer will usually mail you the paperwork back—this consists of a registration certificate.
But you might be wondering why a federal trademark registration is so important. This is an important step to do when using a trademark because it provides a public notice of that trademark, and puts others on notice. It tells the public that your brand exists, and is protected across the United States.
Once the trademark in question is registered and approved, it appears in the United States Trademark Office’s database, and this database is available for public access. This is an important process because you do not want trademarks that are too similar to your trademark out there, lest you find your service or product confused with another.
And, it lets people Google your trademark if they see it or come across it but may not know a lot about the business or the products and services provided by said business. It’s almost like having a nationwide coverage of your brand.
Say you own a restaurant and someone opens a restaurant with a similar name—because you have your trademark registered, you can dispute that restaurant due to the fact it has a similar name to yours. This ensures your brand and service is the only one associated with your trademark, and others are not riding on your coattails.