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How To File A Trademark Application Online With The USPTO

Posted by Barry Choobin | Mar 17, 2021 | 0 Comments

There are several important steps to successfully file a trademark application online with the USPTO. Trademarks are typically used to protect logos or brand names that are used on popular goods and services. They differ from a patent, which generally protects an invention. Of course, these secure forms of intellectual property (IP) hold a plethora of advantages to novel inventors, such as yourself. Say that you invent a new, innovative electronic device for example. You will need a patent to protect the invention itself, but a trademark to protect your branded product name. By registering your trademark online, you will receive exclusive rights to operate and market your product. Similarly, this will provide you exclusive rights to use the “®” symbol after your trademark. To help you get started, read on to learn about how to file a trademark application online with the USPTO.

Determine If You Need A Trademark

Firstly, you will need to determine if you actually need to file a trademark. Forms of intellectual property like copyrights, patents, trademarks, and business name registrations are all incredibly different. Therefore, it is important to guarantee that a trademark is the appropriate form of IP for your invention. As mentioned previously, trademarks are commonly used to protect branded names or logos. Simultaneously, a trademark indicates that goods are services are derived from a single, specific source. Therefore, it is impossible to trademark anything that is already being protected with intellectual property protection. Similarly, keep in mind that simply using a business name does not always qualify as trademark use. Instead, you may have to demonstrate that your business name is related to the source of your operations. This way, you can qualify for both a business name registration, as well as a secure trademark.

Hire An Intellectual Property Professional

Next, hire a trustworthy intellectual property professional. There are several trusted resources that can help you draft, file, and prosecute a USPTO trademark. For example, many inventors choose to work with USPTO registered patent agents. This way, you can navigate the trademark filing process quickly, securely, and confidently. Even more, these agents can help you obtain patents, which will be needed to secure your invention as well. Working with these IP experts, you can achieve process expertise, knowledge, and efficient execution. Certainly, hiring an IP practitioner is key to file your trademark application with the USPTO.

Determine Your Type Of Mark

Now, you will need to choose the most suitable type of mark format to accompany your trademark. There are three major types of marks that trademark applicants can choose from. First, you can pick a standard character format to register letters, words, numbers, or any combination of these. A special character format, on the other hand, is used to protect specific stylized words, letters, or numbers. Common examples of these include symbols or logos. At the same time, you may want to register a sound mark, which recognizes noise indicators that create an association with a particular brand in a hearer's mind. Indeed, it is essential to select the most suitable type of mark to accompany your USPTO trademark application.

Search Existing Trademarks

With the help of your IP professional, it is time to search for existing trademarks that are similar to yours. One of the most reliable ways to do is by developing an effective search strategy. Of course, your methodology needs to be broad enough to identify trademark that may be construed as similar to yours. However, it also must be narrow enough, so that you can easily evaluate a feasible number of prior arts. Similarly, your trademark or patent filing company may prepare design search codes to quickly find IP works that may cause issues during filing. To obtain rapid results, they may additionally use the Trademark Electronic Search System, also known as TESS. Certainly, this advanced system will provide instant basic word mark, design, and clearance search on your prospective trademark.

Choose Your Trademark Filing Basis

At this point, you are ready to choose the filing basis for registering your trademark. Commonly, applicants can pick a basis from four possible selections. First, you can obtain your trademark for use in commerce, which essentially means that you plan on carrying your IP across state lines, or even internationally. Similarly, you can obtain a patent for intent to use if you intend to use your mark within commerce in the next few years. Other popular filing basis include foreign application or registration for goods or services that exist. Indubitably, choosing your trademark filing basis is essential to successfully file a trademark application.

There are plenty of important steps to successfully file a trademark application online with the USPTO. First, determine if a trademark is the most suitable type of IP protection for your goods, services, or branded works. Next, hire an intellectual property professional, such as a registered patent attorney to help you navigate the process. Then, it is time to search for trademarks that are similar to yours. At this point, you are ready to choose your trademark filing basis, and obtain your application. Follow the steps highlighted above to learn about how to file a trademark application online with the USPTO.

About the Author

Barry Choobin

Barry Choobin with Jonathan W. Dudas. Jonathan W. Dudas served as Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office until January 18, 2009. Barry Choobin is Chief Executive Officer at Patent 360 LLC. Applying his business and tech...


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