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How do you register a trademark?

On Behalf of | Jun 23, 2022 | Intellectual Property

If you would like to register a trademark, there are some specific steps that you will need to take. One of them is to apply online through the United States Patent and Trademark Office, or USPTO.

Now, if you’ve decided to work with an attorney, then you expect that they will take care of registering your trademark. Doing this correctly is essential because you want to protect your brand and help your business grow. You want your customers to recognize your business, too. Failing to do this correctly when hired to do so could constitute legal malpractice.

What’s the process for registering your trademark?

To register a trademark, you should come up with a trademark that you’d like to use. It can be something like a sound, phrase, image or logo.

Then, give that to your attorney. They can start the process of searching through an electronic system named “TESS,” which stands for the “Trademark Electronic Search System.” This system has all the current trademarks for existing businesses that are registered in the government’s database.

If your mark clashes with others, you may not be able to use it. Your attorney will need to analyze the marks to see if yours is too similar. If they make a mistake, this, again, could lead to a legal malpractice claim later on.

There are 45 classes of goods and services that your trademark can be registered under. If you choose the wrong one, you could end up with less protection than you’d like. Your attorney needs to be very cautious when registering the trademark to avoid issues with the categorization of your mark.

What do you do if the application fails?

After the application is filed, you will wait up to several months to see if it’s approved. If it fails, you will not have a right to use your mark. An Office Action may be returned to you, and that will require you to make corrections or changes before the mark can be used.

These are a few things to think about with trademarks. The process is straightforward, but good legal analysis is needed to protect your right to your specific trademark.