The trademark registration application is a process by which you register your company mark at the United States Patent and Trademark Office to provide it with the blanket of protection guaranteed by the law. The process of registering a trademark can be a little bit tasking for some, particularly for those who possess little or no experience with all the legal elements involved in registering a company mark. Nevertheless, once your company mark registration application has been approved, you will feel a sense of fulfillment and peace at the knowledge that your trademark is fully protected by the law.
The agency that is responsible for approving or denying a trademark registration application is the United States Patent and Trademark Office. They follow a strict procedure in approving or denying an application, which makes them very intimidating indeed for those have no experience in this kind of thing. While those approved can definitely rejoiced at having obtained the authority to use the symbol “®” after their company mark, those who are denied can end up spending huge amounts of money for nothing. This is why it is very important to first conduct a thorough research before attempting to register a company mark.
Things to Remember Before Registering A Company Mark
If you plan on using a phrase or a combination of symbols to be your official company mark, try to extensively research if they are already being used by other companies. You can easily do this by looking up approved and pending applications in the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Remember that to increase your chances of being approved, the company mark or phrase you submitted must not have substantial similarity to other people’s trademarks.
There are two main points for substantial similarity, which can easily disqualify your company mark registration application. These are:
- A trademark that is likely to sow confusion among consumers as to the products or services being offered by two different companies
- A trademark that could potentially diminish the respect for the older one
Conducting an extensive research both online and offline can prevent you from falling into either one of these two pitfalls. The United States Patent and Trademark Office has a searchable database where you can check other people’s registered marks.
Try also to search the Internet to see if your planned company mark can potentially diminish respect of other trademarks or sow confusion among consumers. You can also try to check the Yellow Pages or state business directories to see if there is already another entity or person using the same or similar trademark. If you have lots of free time, you may also want to conduct a complete trademark search at your local Patent and Trademark Depository Library. Although the search process may be time consuming, it will increase the chances of a successful outcome for your trademark registration application.
Filing the Application
Once you are one hundred percent sure that your company mark does not fall within the context of the two main points for substantial similarity, then you can go ahead and file your trademark registration application.
There are two easy ways to do this:
- You can file an online application using the Trademark Electronic Application System or the TEAS. It allows you to fill out an application form and submit it directly to the United States Patent and Trademark Office over the Internet. Registration fee can either be paid through a credit card, the deposit account of the Patent and Trademark Office, or through an electronic funds transfer.
- You can also get in touch with the Trademark Assistance Center and ask for a hard copy or paper form of the Basic Facts brochure. Bear in mind, though, that this manner of trademark registration application is considerably slower compared to the online registration application process.
The entire process of trademark registration can be quite lengthy and time-consuming. For first timers, it can be a little bit daunting. This is why it is sometimes better to seek out the assistance of experienced professionals to help you through the process. While this may not have an effect on whether your application will be approved or not, it will allow you to submit all the necessary requirements needed in a trademark registration application with greater speed and efficiency. This way, you will be able to focus more on your business operations.