Trademarks are often an important investment in protecting the intellectual property of your business. Obtaining a trademark involves five steps:
1. Search For Conflicting Trademarks
Your first step is to make sure there are no conflicting trademarks.
You should search on the United States Patent & Trademark Office’s website to see if there are any conflicting trademarks that have already been registered.
You should then work with an attorney to run a more comprehensive search. Even if a trademark has not been registered, it could still have superior intellectual property rights over your trademark if it was in use first.
Note: if the USPTO rejects your application due to a conflict with an existing mark, it will not refund filing fees.
2. Date Of First Use
Once you have confirmed there are no conflicting trademarks, you will need to complete a trademark application.
You will need the following two dates to complete the application:
(i) Date of First Use of Trademark In Commerce Anywhere.
You will need to include the date you first used the trademark “in commerce anywhere.”
(ii) Date of First Use in Interstate or Foreign Commerce.
You will also need to include the date you first used the trademark in interstate commerce or commerce with a foreign country.
3. Trademark “Specimen”
The trademark application also requires a trademark “specimen” – an image showing the trademark being used in commerce in the class of goods or services for which you are applying for the trademark.
4. Class Of Goods & Services
You will need to select the class of goods or services you would like to register the trademark.
You should be strategic in selecting the class of goods or services to register the trademark, as there is an additional filing fee for each class of goods or services in which you register the trademark.
5. Contact Address
Finally, you will need to include a contact address for the trademark registration.
It is important to remember that anyone can view this address if they search for the trademark on the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s website once the trademark application has been filed.
Disclaimer: This article discusses general legal issues and developments. Such materials are for informational purposes only and may not reflect the most current law in your jurisdiction. These informational materials are not intended, and should not be taken, as legal advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances. No reader should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any information presented herein without seeking the advice of counsel in the relevant jurisdiction. Bend Law Group, PC expressly disclaims all liability in respect of any actions taken or not taken based on any contents of this article.