A Complete Guide to Trademark Forms
Registering a small business trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) requires you to complete an electronic application form. Besides the initial application, you will be required to file other trademark forms at different stages.
This guide will help you understand the necessary forms for filing the initial application and maintaining the registration and show you how to simplify the registration process with DoNotPay.
You should submit your application using the USPTO’s Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS). For the initial application, you will have two filing options. The table below illustrates the notable differences between them:
|Requirements||TEAS Plus||TEAS Standard|
|Filing fees||$250 per trademark class||$350 per class|
|Fee payment period||The full amount is required during the initial application||You can pay one filing fee with the initial application and the remaining amount later|
|Goods and services identification||You have to use the Trademark Identification (ID) Manual||You can create your own
description of your goods and services
|Designation of an attorney (foreign-domiciled candidates only)||The application must be filed by a
|An attorney can be assigned after you submit the initial application yourself|
|Initial requirements||All requirements must be submitted upfront||There are fewer initial requirements|
|Submission of additional statements||At the moment of application||After submitting the initial application|
Besides using the trademark in commerce, you must occasionally file maintenance documents to keep your registration. You also have to file the trademark renewal forms every ten years or risk the cancellation of your registration. If your registration gets canceled, you have to start the filing process from scratch, and there is no guarantee of success.
- Declaration of Use and/or Excusable Nonuse under Section 8
- Combined Declaration of Use and/or Excusable Nonuse/Application for Renewal under Sections 8 and 9
- Declaration of Incontestability under Section 15
You are required to file this form if you have continually used the mark—registered in the Principal Register only—in business for five consecutive years. The filing date should be between the fifth and sixth year from the registration date. If you are late by six months, you may file on the condition that you pay an additional $100 per trademark class.
You have to file a declaration of use between the ninth and tenth years from the registration date and every ten years afterward. During the same time, you should file a renewal application.
The application for renewal must be submitted every ten years, or you risk the expiration of the registration.
If your mark has been in use in commerce for five years after the registration, you can file to claim incontestability status. It is optional to file this form, but it ensures that no one can challenge your mark afterward.
Trademark registration is not a legal requirement. Unregistered trademarks are protected under common law ownership rights. These rights apply to your local area of operation only. The choice is up to you, but it’s worth noting that registered marks have a broader level of protection.
Prior to filing your application, it’s necessary to confirm if your mark is indeed unique by searching the USPTO database. With millions of registered trademarks, it’s not impossible that some already registered marks are similar to yours. A comprehensive search can help you avoid trademark infringement and needless application rejection. If you need help, DoNotPay can perform a comprehensive search for you and even complete the application on your behalf.
If your mark is available, create a USPTO account to access the TEAS forms and complete the application.
Just like any other legal process, trademark filing is complicated. That is why DoNotPay—the world’s first robot lawyer—is here to simplify the process for you. With our help, you can avoid most of the needless amendments that result in delays and, at times, refusals. DoNotPay will handle the process from searching for conflicting marks to the final submission of your application.
Just follow these steps and get the guesswork out of the process:
- Sign up for DoNotPay
- Select the Trademark Registration product
- Complete the brief questionnaire
- Pay the USPTO filing fees
It’s easy to confuse the three types of intellectual property, so you should first establish whether your idea qualifies for trademark protection. Check out the differences to help you determine the right kind of protection you need for your business assets:
|Intellectual Property Protection||What Can Be Protected?|
|Trademarks||Unique brand elements used in commerce, such as logos, business names, slogans, etc.|
|Copyrights||Original creative and literary works, like songs, paintings, etc.|
|Patents||Unique inventions and processes|
Being a small business owner is not an easy task, and all the details that you need to pay attention to might seem overwhelming. From handling trademark registration and protection to dealing with crucial paperwork, such as the Employer Identification Number (EIN) SS-4 form and 83(b) election forms, you need to invest a lot of time and energy into each business-related aspect. That is why you should rely on DoNotPay and have us take care of everything in your stead!
If you need help handling copyright issues, you should consider registering a DMCA agent with the U.S. Copyright Office. Not sure how to do it? Use DoNotPay, and we will take care of it for you!
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