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Trademark Process

1. Trademark Search & Assessment

The search is an important first step in any trademark registration or brand launch strategy.

The search enables companies to avoid adopting brands that infringe third-party trademark rights.

If you attempt to trademark a name that infringes on anyone else’s rights, it will be costly and time-consuming.

2. File Application with the USPTO

An attorney will personally prepare and file your application with the USPTO.

The date your application is filed is important, as it can give you priority over later filed applications.

Once filed, your application sits in line to be looked at by a government attorney.

The current wait time is 10-14 months.

3. USPTO Examination

Once your application finally gets in front of a government attorney (Examining Attorney), they either allow or deny your application.

If denied, you will receive an Office Action that details the reasons for refusal.

Alternatively, if your application is approved, it will proceed to the next step.

4. Published for Opposition

Once your application is approved, the next step is publication for opposition.

In the USA, the opposition period is 30 days.

During this time, any third party who does not want your brand registered can come forward and file a Notice of Opposition.

If that happens, your application will have to go through the opposition proceeding, which is like a mini-court case within the USPTO system.

If no third party opposes your mark during the 30-day opposition period, a Notice of Allowance will be issued for your application.

5. Trademark Registration

After your trademark is allowed, there may be some paperwork back and forth to submit Specimens (evidence of use), which your attorney will handle for you.

But overall, after the Examining Attorney approves your trademark and you are past the opposition period, the major hurdles are over.

You will receive your official trademark registration in the coming months.

The entire 5-step process takes 1-2 years (if no hurdles are faced).

 

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