A trademark is intended to protect a word, symbol, or name that is used to identify a specific business. Many startups are under the impression that a trademark is unnecessary due to the Common Law Trademark Rights which a company has as soon as they begin using the mark in commerce. However, there are two points to keep in mind:
- The mark does not belong to your company unless it has a registered trademark.
- You will have a difficult time in litigation if you sue another business for using the same mark, but your company does not have proof of registration either.
It’s best to hire a trademark attorney to help you through the registration process.
Trademark Registration Timeline
Complete the Application
The very first step in a trademark registration process is to fill out the proper application. Before doing this, you should have conducted a thorough trademark search to make sure that no other companies have already filed a trademark for the same sign or symbol. This process can be accomplished on your own, but keep in mind that a trademark attorney is highly experienced in this type of research and could save you considerable time in the process.
The USPTO begins the initial review process after the application is filed. Usually, this process takes between 4-6 months and is determined by the number of applicants being reviewed.
If there is an issue with the application, the applicant will need to respond to any request for additional information. This can take up to an additional six months to complete.
Publication in an official newspaper is required to complete the trademark application. This step can take up to three months.
Certificate of Registration
Finally, the USPTO issues the certificate of registration to complete the trademark process. Usually, this step takes 2-3 months to complete.
Simplifying Trademark Registration
Overall, registering a trademark can take over a year to complete, even if each step goes smoothly. To ensure your trademark registration timeline is as short as possible, be sure to respond quickly to any requests for additional information, and remember that an experienced trademark attorney to can make sure the application is filled out properly before submitting, and the trademark search is completed thoroughly, keeping these requests – and potential delays – to a minimum.
The good news is that the registration date you receive will be for the filing date and not the time that the process was finalized. For example, if you submit the application on April 1, 2018, and it is not completed until June 1, 2019, the registration date would be April 1, 2018, because that is when you first filed for the trademark. This offers peace of mind to people who may be concerned with the longevity of the registration process.
Consult a Trademark Attorney
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