The Process of Getting a Trademark Registration Certificate
Protecting your brand is an essential step for your small business. The trademark application is a complicated process, but the protection it affords is worth the spent resources. This guide will help you learn more about the trademark registration certificate and show you how to get one without any trouble.
When the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) approves your mark, you are awarded a trademark registration certificate. The document proves exclusive ownership of the mark and includes:
- Owner’s name and address
- Title of the registered mark
- Trademark classes of the listed goods and services
- Registration status
You can find out if you have been awarded the certificate by checking your application status in the Trademark Status and Document Retrieval (TSDR) system. The USPTO will also mail you a paper certificate that you should receive within three months of successful registration.
- Proving that the mark is registered for certain goods or services
- Demonstrating your ownership of the mark
- Filing a trademark infringement lawsuit
- Obtaining an extension of protection in foreign countries
- Preventing the importation of products with an infringing mark
To get a trademark registration certificate, you must apply with the USPTO. Here are the steps that you need to follow:
- Establish whether you need a trademark
- Choose a mark
- Search the USPTO database to avoid infringement
- Complete the trademark application form and submit
To decide whether you need a trademark, you should learn the differences between the three types of intellectual property—copyrights, patents, and trademarks. This will help you apply for the right type of protection.
Sometimes you may apply for more than one if necessary. Here are the differences:
|Intellectual Property Type||Description|
|Trademark||Protects the brand elements—such as a logo, name, or slogan—that help identify your goods or services on the market|
|Copyright||Protects your artistic expressions and original creations—paintings, music, or books—by giving you exclusive rights to reproduce and distribute your work|
|Patent||Protects technical inventions and manufacturing processes by giving you the right to exclude others from utilizing your inventions, normally for 20 years|
If you determine that you need trademark protection, the next step is to select your mark. Not every mark is accepted by the USPTO. Some of the elements that are not legally protectable under the trademark protection law include:
- Last names
- An individual’s name
- Name of a geographic location
- A general word or phrase
You can register different brand elements as your trademark, for instance:
- Business names
- Phrases and slogans
- Domain names and usernames
- Pictures and other artwork
- Book series titles
- Clothing brands
- Podcast names
- Artist names
Once you pick the mark you want to register, you must determine if there are similar registered marks. Do this by searching the USPTO database. If there are similar marks claimed under goods or services similar to yours, the application will be rejected.
The trademark protection law only allows similar trademarks if the goods or services fall under different trademark classes.
To apply for federal trademark registration, you must create an account on USPTO’s official website. After you log in, you will be able to start your application using one of these two trademark application forms:
- TEAS Plus—This application is more detailed and costs $250 per class of goods or services
- TEAS Standard—This method requires fewer initial details and costs $350 for every class of goods or services
When completing the form, you must state the goods or services to which the trademark will apply. You will pay for every class of goods or services that you list. For instance, if you apply using the TEAS Standard form and list your products or services under six trademark classes, it will cost you $2,100.
You should monitor the status of your application in the Trademark Status and Document Retrieval (TSDR) system. It can take a few months or up to a year to get the first response.
If you don’t have time to deal with the process and decide to hire a trademark attorney, you can anticipate additional costs of up to $2,000. Looking for cost-effective and efficient help? Turn to DoNotPay!
Although the registration process is lengthy and complicated, protecting your trademark is worth every effort, but you don’t need to hire an expensive trademark attorney or struggle by yourself. DoNotPay can do all the hard work for you. Tell us about your trademark, and we will:
- Research to find any conflicting marks
- Brief you on the requirements
- Complete the lengthy trademark application form on your behalf
- Forward you the form for double-checking and e-signing
- Submit your application to the USPTO
Are you ready to stop potential copycats? All you need to do is:
- Sign up for DoNotPay
- Find the Trademark Registration product
- Provide more information about your trademark
- Pay the required USPTO application fees
Trademark registration can last a lifetime, but there are steps you must take to maintain it, such as:
- Using the trademark in commerce continuously
- Filing the required maintenance documents
- Monitoring the status of your application
If you miss anything, you risk the cancellation of your registration. If your trademark registration gets canceled, your only option is to repeat the entire process, and there is no guarantee you will be successful.
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!
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