You can get a trademark registration for the logo, words, slogan, numerals, and more. It offers the owner with the legal right of using the mark exclusivity. Thus, it is used by companies to set their products apart from the rest of the manufacturers out there. When customers spot the trademark, they instantly identify the product and who made. However, registering for a trademark is a long process that includes several steps. Take a look at every step of the process.

  1. Pre-Registration

You need to decide on a registered trademark as soon as you set up your business. However, prior to doing that consider if you really need it. Generally, it is used by companies that sell or manufacture physical goods and register. At times, the business name is enough for the customers to identify the products or the company. Also, check the rules and statuses related to registration of names to find out if it is allowed. In case it is allowed, you need to move on to the next step of the process.

  1. Mark Selection

It is obvious that since you are applying for a trademark for your business, you need to choose the mark you are going to use. Believe it or not, this is the most frustrating part of the process. You have to put in a lot of thought while selecting the mark. As a matter of fact, you have to take several things into consideration. The mark you will be chosen should be registerable and for this, you have to ensure that e it isn’t used personally. Meaning, it has to be used in commerce. The second thing that you have to keep in mind is that it needs to be distinctive and should not have been used by someone else.

There are four different types of the mark:

  • Suggestive
  • Fanciful or arbitrary
  • Generic
  • Descriptive

Also, make sure that you have chosen the one which is strong on its own. Other considerations include:

  • The format of the mark which can be design, character, or sound. It can also be a combination.
  • Goods and services that this is going to be applied to.
  • Securing clearance for the mark that you are going to use for your product or business. This will dismiss the problem of redundancy. Thus, analyzing the trademarks that have already been registered.
  1. Fill the Application Form

Once you have chosen the mark, you need to identify the process of filing. There are mainly two bases that you will be able to choose from.

  • Usage in Commerce

This is for the ones which have been used already or are being used at present. You need to give proof for using the trademark.

  • The Intent of Using

These are for the ones which haven’t yet been used but there are plans for using them in future. You are set to prepare the application. The initial application form is available on the USPTO website. Through this website, you can apply for trademark over the internet. However, there is also an option to file on paper including a processing fee of $375. In order to get a filing date, you need to adhere to the requirements when you make the application. There are three application filing options, namely,

  • TEAS regular with processing fee $325.
  • TEAS plus with processing fee $225.
  • TEAS reduced fee with processing fee $275.

However, you need to keep in mind filing the application doesn’t imply that the trademark is going to be registered. In case it is unsuccessful, you are not going to get a refund. Apart from the processing fee, you might have to pay some other fee. You can make this payment through credit card, electronic fund transfer, checks, money orders, or USPTO deposit account.

  1. Evaluation Period

This step involves examining the application, publishing in the official gazette, and issuing the certificate of registration. Keep in mind that during the period of submission, vigilance is the most important. The application is forward to the attorney who examines it. He/she is going to be responsible for the completion of it and giving the final review. Make sure that you cooperate with the attorney who has been assigned to examine your application. In case the attorney finds out something and refuses to provide you with the registration of the trademark, he is going to issue Office Action. This explains as to why the registration has been rejected. If needed, he/she might get in touch with the applicant directly. This mainly happens when the deficiencies and corrections are minor in nature.

You need to accept the Office Action within 6 months from the date it had been mailed. When you do not take any action, they simply assume that you have given up on the registration. The examination might take several months to a year in order to be complete. However, in most of the cases, it takes 12 months. It takes more time when there are problems like some oppositions to the application or incomplete documents submitted. In case there are oppositions, it will be taken to the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board. If you are lucky and there are no problems with the application, the examining attorney gives his approval for the mark. This manifested through the publication of USPTO called the Official Gazette. The rightful owner of the mark is then given the certificate of registration. However, to maintain the registration, you will have to file some documents from time to time.

How much does it cost to trademark?

How much is the filing fee to register a Trademark or Service Mark with the California Secretary of State’s Office? The fee for filing a Trademark or Service Mark is $70.00 per classification code per mark.

Can I apply for a trademark myself?

You can do this yourself on the USPTO database, and/or you can hire a professional firm or attorney to engage in this process. Fill out the trademark application on the USPTO website. The forms are fairly self-explanatory. You will list your name, business information, and describe your mark.

What is the cheapest way to trademark?

The cheapest way to trademark a name is by filing with your state. The cost varies depending on where you live and what type of business you own. If you are a corporation or LLC, you can expect to pay less than $150 in most cases, while sole proprietors and contractors can pay anywhere between $50 to $150.

How do I trademark a name and logo for free?

You can not register a trademark for free. However, you can establish something known as a “common law trademark” for free, simply by opening for business. The benefit of relying on common law trademark rights is that it’s free, and you don’t need to do any specific work filling out forms, etc.

How long does trademark last?

How long does a trademark last in the US? In the United States, a federal trademark can potentially last forever, but it has to be renewed every ten years. If the mark is still being used between the 5th and the 6th year after it was registered, then the registration can be renewed.

Can I use TM on my logo?

The trademark symbol (TM) is a mark that companies often use on a logo, name, phrase, word, or design that represents the business. The (TM) symbol actually has no legal meaning. You can use the symbol on any mark that your company uses without registering it.

Should I copyright or trademark my logo?

Trademarks protect anything that is perceived as confusingly similar in its sight, sound or meaning to your consumer. So, if you are investing in a brand image, you should seek a trademark registration to protect it. But, your image may also qualify for copyright protection as well.

Should I use TM or R?

The TM symbol can generally be used by any person or business to indicate that a particular word, phrase or logo is intended to serve as an identifier for the source of that product or service. The R symbol indicates that this word, phrase or logo is a registered trademark for the product or service.

Is it better to trademark a name or logo?

For this reason, you should apply for both trademark registrations if you have a business name and a logo you wish to protect. If someone directly counterfeits your goods or services using both a similar name and logo, you want to have the advantage of the protection under both a word mark and a design mark.

What happens if someone trademarks your business name?

If someone uses your name, simply showing proof that you’ve trademarked the name could be enough to convince a business to choose something else. Most importantly, if you must go to court, you’ll have legal proof that you registered the name.

Should I get a trademark or LLC first?

In many cases, a business will want to start the trademark application as soon as their LLC or corporation paperwork is filed. By filing for a trademark prior to launch, you can be sure that your name is protected once you begin commercial sales. However, there may be an even stronger reason to apply early.

Can an LLC own a trademark?

There are many different types of legal entities that can own a trademark. The most common that we see, and also the simplest, are LLCs and corporations. Usually, a LLC or corporation develops a mark to identify itself as a source of goods or services.

Is it easy to get a trademark?

Registering a trademark for a company name is pretty straightforward. Many businesses can file an application online in less than 90 minutes, without a lawyer’s help. The simplest way to register is on the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s Web site,

Do I need a company to register a trademark?

Summary. Registering your business name for a trademark isn’t required in order for you to have trademark rights. However, a registered trademark can provide greater protection for your brand while helping you build your brand and drive business growth.

Can you register a trademark without a company?

There’s no legal requirement for you to register a trademark. Using a business name can give you ‘common law’ rights, even without formally registering it.