To have your business name and signs solely to yourself, you need to register it as a trademark. Registering will give you the exclusive rights to use the name, symbols, and logos for your business within the area of your business operation. If you register your trademark in Orlando, no one else can use it without facing the consequences.
Registering your trademark is easy. You can do it on your own or ask a trademark lawyer in Orlando FL to help make it even easier. Learning the registration process before starting will help make it easier for you.
Read on to learn things to expect from the process of trademark registration.
It’s important to research before registering your trademark, to avoid infringing another person’s mark or whether that’s what you need. Before that, you must determine whether you need a trademark, domain name, business name registration, patent, or copyright.
While all these different ways to protect your intellectual property, they differ and work for different things. If you intend to protect the names, logos, and symbols used on goods and services, you need a trademark. Once that’s confirmed, you can proceed.
After choosing a mark, identify the mark format, whether it’s a character, sound, design, or style. Furthermore, you should identify the goods and services the mark will apply to.
The next thing to do is to research whether your trademark is still available to only you. Check through the USPTO database to check if your chosen mark isn’t trademarked yet. Then, ensure you know the basis for your filing.
You can also ask a trademark attorney to help you with confirming whether your mark is available or help you with the registration process. If you’re foreign-domiciled, you need a US-licensed trademark attorney to represent you. And if you’re domiciled in the US, you may hire an attorney.
Then, you move on to start the application by setting up a USPTO account. You can access the Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS) with your account using two-step authentication.
Fill out the online application through TEAS. This will require paying a non-refundable application fee even if you face some issues. Therefore, ensure you meet all requirements and that the mark is truly unique to you to avoid wasting application fees and time.
To register, you need your trademark name, your name and address, a picture of your trademark logo, and a list or descriptions of the goods and services the trademarks cover. After registration, you must monitor your application. Monitor the application progress via the Trademark Status and Document Retrieval (TSDR).
Check the status every three to four months after your application to monitor progress. This will help you avoid missing a filing deadline. During this period, ensure you maintain the address and email so you don’t miss anything.
During the process, the USPTO will review your application. The USPTO will determine whether you met all requirements, assign a serial number to your application, and forward your application to an examining attorney. The examination process may take months, and during this period, the attorney will determine whether your application meets applicable rules, statutes, and fees.
The attorney will review your mark to determine whether it’s not conflicting with another written application, drawing, or specimen. Suppose the attorney decides that your trademark shouldn’t be registered after the examination. In that case, you’ll receive a letter (office action) detailing the reason for the refusal and highlighting technical or procedural deficiencies in your application.
You must promptly respond to the letter when you receive it. The letter goes to your attorney if you have one or you. Hence, why having an attorney is important. Your attorney will submit a response to the office action within three months.
Furthermore, you may request an extension of three months with a fee, and you can revive an abandoned application.
You’ll receive approval if the examining officer has no issues with your applications. Your mark will be published in the “Official Gazette” through the weekly USPTO publication. In addition, the USPTO will send you a publication notice containing the publication date.
Within the publication date and 30 days, someone can raise and file for opposition or an extension to request time to oppose. If it’s unsuccessful and you have no opposition, you can proceed to the next registration level. It may take four months before you receive a notice for the next stage of the registration process. Ensure you keep monitoring your status.
Eventually, the USPTO will send a certificate of registration after a successful registration. After, you must keep the registration alive by filing for maintenance documents.
After two months of your application approval, the USPTO issues a registration which you must keep alive. You must keep the file maintenance documents to avoid registration cancellation or expiration. Otherwise, you must file for a new application and start the process again.
It doesn’t matter whether you have registered before; you have to submit it again, which doesn’t guarantee your new application registration. Furthermore, you should monitor your trademark status on the Trademark Status and Document Retrieval (TSDR) annually.
You should also make the fillings needed between the fifth and sixth year and the ninth and tenth year of registration to keep your trademark alive. Furthermore, you should maintain your address and email and update them when needed.
In addition, you’re responsible for protecting your rights. You should police your marks to prevent anyone from using them without permission. While the USPTO ensures no two individuals can register the same mark, some may profit off your trademark without your knowledge.
Therefore, ensure you monitor your mark and speak with your trademark attorney if you notice anyone infringing on it or using it without your permission.
Your trademark is your business identity, and you must register it if you want to solely enjoy the benefits of your work. However, registering your trademark isn’t that simple, as there are requirements you must meet.
Confirm that you meet all requirements before registering. It’s recommended that you work with a trademark attorney throughout the process for ease. The attorney will handle the procedure while you focus on growing your business.