Trademark registration in the USA

In today’s business world, intellectual property is becoming a need for registration. According to the USA trademark system, it’s represented as a word, phrase or logo that signifies the supply of goods and services. The Lanham Act governs trademark law in the United States.

Common law trademark rights are automatically accrued and upheld in state courts when a company uses a name or emblem in commerce. Patents, copyrights, and trademarks may legally protect material ownership and allow the owner to profit financially or gain recognition from the goods they create or make. The information processing system aims to promote a setting where creativity and innovation may flourish by striking the right balance between innovators’ interests and the collective good.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office oversees trademark registration in the United States and its management at the federal level (USPTO). Additionally, every state administers its local trademark registration for businesses operating within a certain geographic area and does not want any additional protection provided by the federal registration.

The Trademark Act of 1946, sometimes known as the Lanham Act, establishes a trademark’s legal standing in the USA.

Federal registration follows many registration choices to provide the most straightforward protection for various needs and situations. The Principle Register must meet the highest standard of success to be registered, along with the finest degree of trademark protection in the USA. The Supplemental Register gives some protection to brands that do not restrain the federal registration on Principal Register. There is occasionally a chance that marks that were initially appropriate for the Supplemental Register will subsequently become eligible for Principal Register.

In the USA, state and federal registration is based on:

  • First-to-Use System: This defines the rights of the initial use of a mark for commercial gain. This method of protection doesn’t provide a very strong defence.
  • Intent-to-Use System: Within five years following the application, usage of the mark under this application must be demonstrated. A few privileges will be attached to this, though.

In the United States, rights and priority over others are created by the exact use of a designation as a mark rather than its registration. As a result, the “first-to-use” rule—rather than the “first-to-file” rule—determines who owns a trademark.

The USPTO manages Trademark registration in the United States. The process has the following steps:

  1. Application
  2. Evidence of use
  3. Publication for Opposition
  4. Issuance of Certificate

During this process, applicants may receive an Office Action. Applicants may also face opposition from a third party. Applicants must respond to an office action within 6 months. Applicants, not U.S. residents, must appoint a U.S. attorney to represent them.

Brealant provides all the services necessary for U.S.-based and foreign applicants and manages the entire process.

Process for trademark registration in the USA

The application is filed at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Before filing the trademark, the applicant must show the fact of use or intent to use or that the mark is registered or applied in another country. Multiple-class applications are possible. An application based on use or intent to use requires a signed declaration, under oath, by the applicant or its representative.

The application process involves three stages; a formal examination, an examination of distinctiveness and a search for prior trademarks.

The processing time from first filing to registration is approximately 9 to 16 months if no refusals occur. The first examination usually takes place approximately three months after filing. During this stage, the USPTO may issue an Office Action. Once the office action is resolved or if no office action is issued, the application shall be approved for publication in the Official Gazette.

If the application was filed based on use in United States commerce or on foreign registration and no opposition has been filed during the 30-day opposition period, the application shall then be registered, and a certificate of registration will be issued. Applications based on foreign registration require a specimen of an affidavit attesting to use during the sixth anniversary of the registration date. Applications filed based on intent to use in the United States or international commerce with the United States must provide an affidavit attesting to use and specimen of use six months after allowance. This period can be extended to another six months. After the statement of use is submitted and accepted, the application is accepted, and a certificate of registration is issued.

Trademark Validity

Trademark registration is valid for 10 years from the date of registration. However, an Affidavit of Use and specimen of use should be filed between the 5th and 6th year after the registration date to avoid cancellation. After 5 years of continuous use of the mark in the U.S., the registrant can elect to claim an “incontestability” status, making the registration subject to fewer legal theories that could result in cancellation.

Evidence of Use

An Affidavit of Use and specimen of use should be filed between the 5th and 6th year after the date of U.S. registration to avoid cancellation.

Trademark renewal must be filed between the 9th and 10th year after registration. The registrant must also provide an Affidavit of Use and proof of use in filing the renewal. The declaration of use must be accompanied by current evidence of use to maintain the registration.

If the mark has not been used for three years, then the law presumes that it has been abandoned, and any third party can file cancellation due to non-use or abandonment. The registrant will be given the burden of proving the contrary.

Trademark Opposition

An opposition is a proceeding in which one party seeks to prevent the registration of another party’s trademark. Under the law, if a party believes that the registration of a mark will damage it, it can file an opposition. The opposition may be filed against the application within 30 days from the publication date of the application. This period can be extended with its appropriate payment.

Registration costs

The registration costs, besides the application filing cost, also include the prior trademark research, the documentation preparation, the appointment of Brealant to act as your registered agent, and the process monitoring and following up.

Please get in touch with us if you wish to know the costs for other services.

Total: USD$ 250 per class of goods/services.

The total includes the governmental fee for the filing as well as our service fee.

Also, contact Brealant for Patent registration in the USA.