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The Trademark Registration Process

Cartoon of trademark registration process

Registration Process Overview

For easy access along with the other introductory blog posts, below is a general overview of the trademark registration process for anyone who is unfamiliar or could use a refresher. To help digest these steps, a flowchart is included below or can be opened in a new window using the following hyperlink: Trademark Registration Process

1. Selecting a Mark

The first step is to choose a mark that you want to register. This could be a word, phrase, symbol, or design that identifies and distinguishes the source of your goods or services from others. Trademarks are typically categorized as fanciful, arbitrary, suggestive, descriptive, or generic. Fanciful marks are invented words with no dictionary or other known meaning. Arbitrary marks are existing words that have no connection or relevance to the goods or services being sold. Suggestive marks suggest a characteristic of the goods or services but require some imagination to connect the mark with the goods or services. Descriptive marks describe a characteristic or quality of the goods or services. Generic terms are common words or terms that are the accepted and recognized description of a class of goods or services. It's best to select fanciful or arbitrary marks because they are inherently distinctive and easier to protect.

2. Initial Consultation with a Law Firm

3. Trademark Search (Clearance Search)

4. Opinion Letter

5. Trademark Application Preparation

6. Filing the Application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”)

7. Review by the USPTO

8. Non-Final Office Actions

9. Response to Non-Final Office Actions

10. Final Office Actions

11. Response to Final Office Actions

12. Appeal of Refusal

13. Notice of Allowance

14. Publication for Opposition

15. Opposition Period

16. Registration

17. Maintaining the Trademark

Trademark Registration Flowchart

Trademark Registration Process Flowchart


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