A trademark is a type of intellectual property, typically a word, phrase, symbol or design, or a combination of them, that distinctively identifies the source of the goods of one company and distinguishes them from those of others. The main function of a trademark is to exclusively identify the origin of products or services. For one to obtain a trademark right, they have to be selling goods or services. Selling the products around your home state cannot be sufficient to obtain federal trademarks. Therefore, one has to sell across several states.
Below are the other important FAQs about trademark registrations:
Q: Is it necessary for me to register my trademark?
When starting a business, it is important to first register your trademark and protect your business against infringement by third parties. A third party can use your trademark and register it in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office USPTO (USPTO) before you get an opportunity to do so!
Trademarks are used to preserve the identity and goodwill linked to a company’s name by both commercial and nongovernmental organizations, even religions. Since a trademark is a property, trademarks must be registered. If this intellectual property accomplishes the basic trademark function and has a distinctive character, it may be eligible for registration.
Q: How do I find out whether a mark is already registered?
Trademark registration provides the public with notice of the registrant’s claim of ownership of the mark as well as a legal presumption of ownership across the United States, and the exclusive right to use the mark on or in connection with the goods or services that are to be registered.
A database of registered trademarks is maintained by the USPTO. You can use the Trademark Electronic Search System on the USPTO website to conduct a free search prior to registering (TESS). You can contact a trademark attorney or a private trademark search firm to help you with the process.
Q: Who can file for trademark registration?
A trademark can be registered if it distinguishes a party’s goods or services, does not confuse consumers about the relationship between one party and another, and does not deceive consumers about the attributes in any other way. Only the trademark owner may file a trademark registration application; otherwise, the application would be void.
The owner of the mark is often the person who uses or controls the use of the mark as well as the nature and quality of the items to which it is affixed or the services for which it is utilized.
Q: Is it possible to file a trademark application on TEAS at any time of day?
The Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS) permits trademark applications to be done 24 hours a day, seven days a week (although credit card payments are not accepted on Sundays from 2 AM to 6 AM).
Since dates are so crucial in the trademark procedure (along with priority dates), it’s important to understand that forms filed through TEAS are date- and time-stamped at the time of receipt on the USPTO server.
Q: What is the USPTO Filing Fee for Trademark Applications Submitted on TEAS?
When it comes to trademark registration, USPTO’s offers for applications include three different types: TEAS Plus, which averages $225 for every class of goods/services, TEAS Reduced Fee costing $275 for every class of goods/services, and TEAS Regular Filing, which is about $400 for every class of goods/services.
If an applicant manages to forward a TEAS Plus/TEAS RF application but does not manage to complete all of the application’s associated requirements, the applicant will be charged an extra $12 processing fee per class of Goods/Services, thus converting the application to TEAS Regular.
Q: When can I use my Trademark Symbol?
The trademark symbol ® can only be used once the applicant has secured a federal registration, not after the trademark application has been submitted. If the applicant makes use of the circle R before getting the registration, the USPTO may opt to cancel the trademark application entirely. Use capital letters of TM or SM before registering a trademark.