You’ve come up with a great name for your new product. Let’s say you’ve made a new toy for children and you want to protect your intellectual property.
For the actual product, you can file a patent. A patent states that you invented it and no one else can copy it (assuming you have a novel invention). In addition, to distinguish your toy from competitors, you can register a trademark for the name of your product. You can also trademark a logo, slogan, unique sound that the toy makes, and other features.
How long is the Trademark registration process?
Long. While, our firm can complete and file most trademark applications within one day, receiving your formal registration certificate with the fancy gold seal takes a minimum of seven months. And that’s only if you have all of your information ready and no one challenges your application.
Here’s how the trademark process works.
You file a trademark application
You do this online through the USPTO’s website. Don’t believe the DIY videos on You-Tube. It’s harder than it looks. You want the help of a lawyer experienced in trademark law, like Concerto Law.
Our firm ensures that your application properly identifies the owner and the classes of goods or services in which you use your trademark. We also ensure that you submit appropriate proof of use in commerce (called “specimens”).
USPTO acknowledges receipt
Once submitted, the USPTO confirms receipt of your application. Then you wait. At least three months. When your application finally makes its way to the top of the queue, the USPTO assigns it a reviewing attorney.
USPTO reviews your application
During the review process, the USPTO may ask for changes, approve your application without changes, or deny your application. Obviously when they ask for changes, it increases the time to obtain your registration.
Approval and Publication
If the USPTO ultimately approves your application, your trademark will be published in the USPTO Gazette.
This is an obscure publication that only nerds in the Trademark and Patent industries read. It lets us attorneys discover whether someone is trying to trademark a name that could be confused with your trademark or infringe on your trademark.
Challenges by competitors
Competitors have 30 days from the date of publication in the Gazette to challenge your application. Challenges can add several months (or years) to the processing of your application.
Once we resolve the challenges (or if none are made), one of two things occurs:
If you already use your trademark in commerce (you advertise and sell products or services with this trademark), then the USPTO registers your trademark and sends you the fancy certificate.
Perhaps you haven’t started using your trademark yet. In that case, you have six months to do so (or more, if you file an extension). You must submit a Statement of Use to the USPTO to earn your official registration certificate.
If you do not submit your Statement of Use within six months, the USPTO declares you your application ‘dead’. You must start the process over if you want to try again for a trademark.
As you can see, the trademark process is very involved. It can take anywhere from a couple of months to several years. You want to have the help of an experienced lawyer on your side throughout the entire process.
If you need help with your trademark, patent, or copyright, contact Concerto Law today! We’ll help solve your business problems that a Google search just can’t.