How do I Register a Trademark?

Florence J. Tipton
Florence J. Tipton
An application to register a trademark.
An application to register a trademark.

You can register a trademark through the regional trademark office in your country. The process to register a trademark is similar in every country. This might include a search to confirm no conflict exists with an existing trademark and submitting an application for trademark protection. United States procedures are used as a general example for what you might expect in the country where your registration trademark is filed.

In most cases, the minimum requirements to register a trademark includes your name and mailing address, a drawing of the mark intended for use, a list of goods and services bearing the mark, and the filing fee. You should include as much detail as possible to prevent a delay in processing the application. An examiner or trademark registration attorney will review your application once it is received.

When registration certificates are issued is one exception that exists between countries. In the U.S., trademark protection is granted after a period of time passes with no opposition from existing trademark owners. These owners are in the same business class as your service or goods. You will receive a response from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) within one year if there are no objections. A hearing is scheduled if another trademark owner objects.

Your trademark is published in the U.S. as a candidate for registration by the USPTO. You will receive a filing receipt with a serial number to periodically check the status of your application. Outside the U.S., many countries grant trademark protection before the opposition process begins.

Generally, you are not required to register a trademark for use in commerce transactions. Common law trademark protection applies absent infringement on another trademark. Obtaining a registered trademark has several advantages including the right to use the regional trademark symbol.

Registration of a trademark provides broad protection even if your trademark is only used locally. You can file for incontestable status if no one opposes your right to use the mark after a number of years. The trademark also serves as a constructive notice of ownership to any person or entity that uses the mark. This gives you the legal right to collect damages for trademark infringement.

International requirements to register a trademark are governed by the Madrid Protocol, which began in 1996. An international application for trademark registration initiates in your home country. The same information that is needed for regional trademark protection is required. You must also note the foreign country where international protection is sought.

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    • An application to register a trademark.
      By: fuzzbones
      An application to register a trademark.