You’ve finally made the decision to take your New York business to the next level by obtaining a trademark. Obtaining a trademark can seem confusing at first, but knowing the right steps can make it very simple. Here’s what this process entails.
Selecting a mark
Trademarks are typically words, phrases or designs that act as identifiers for a company’s products and services. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office provides a searchable database of trademarks that are already registered or pending, and other useful information about the process of obtaining a trademark. You can use this database to see if the mark you’ve chosen is available for your business, and whether there are any trademarks similar to yours.
Filling out the necessary forms
You’ll find the form to file on the Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS), which is on the USPTO website. The TEAS will prompt you to provide details about your mark. You’ll then need to monitor the status of your trademark until you get a notice from the USPTO that it’s approved. To do this, you have to keep tabs on the Trademark Status and Document Retrieval (TSDR) system, which is also on the USPTO website.
Working with the assigned examining attorney
Before your trademark gets approved, you’ll work with a USPTO examining attorney who will review your application. The examining attorney may request additional information or raise concerns about the mark’s potential for confusion with trademarks already registered by other companies. If the examining attorney raises concerns and determines that your application shouldn’t get approved, they will issue a letter of refusal.
If this happens, you have six months to respond with a written statement of why the examining attorney’s concerns should get reversed and your application approved. The USPTO will then review your response before making a decision about whether or not to approve it.
Receiving approval or denial
If your trademark gets approved, you’ll receive a certificate of registration in the mail. Your trademark will get published for opposition purposes within 30 days after approval in the USPTO’s Official Gazette. After this time period has passed without any objections to your trademark, it will become registered and official.
With the right guidance and preparation, this process can be easy to navigate.