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How To Apply For A US Trademark
If you're interested in applying to get a U.S. Trademark, you'll be happy to know that the process really isn't all that difficult at all. The best method of applying for the trademark is to go online and make use of the Trademark Electronic Application System (known as TEAS) which is offered by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). This application system makes it easy to input your information and apply for your trademark over the Internet.
Here's all that you need to do:
- Go to the TEAS page of the USPTO website which you will find located online at http://www.uspto.gov/teas/.
- Click on the button available at the top of the screen to double-check the planned outages for the site (also available at http://www.uspto.gov/helpdesk/status/status.htm) because the application does take a short while and you don't want to be halfway through it when the site is turned off for maintenance.
- Check the database of the TEAS site to make sure that your trademark has not already been taken by someone else. The simple instructions on the site will tell you how to do this, including information on how to look up symbols in the TEAS Design Search Code Manual. Make sure that you enter all information, including such symbols, accurately to get exact results. If it appears that there is a conflict between your trademark and an existing trademark, there are steps on the site to follow to confirm this.
- If you're good to go with your desired trademark, you can proceed to the next step of the application which is to write up an "identification of goods and services" describing the nature of what you will be doing under this trademark. Be as specific as possible to avoid problems with lack of specificity down the line.
- Choose your mark format. The site will explain this to you, but basically there are two different types of mark formats: standard and stylized.
- Follow the link on the TEAS site to apply for your mark. This will bring up a series of "yes or no" questions which you can answer about your mark.
- Electronically sign your trademark application form given the directions on the site.
- Validate your form and then print out a copy for your records. You will receive a serial number for your new trademark which you are going to need to keep on file, so you should make sure that you have this.
- Note that you will be required to make payment for filing your trademark at the time of the application.
The process for applying for a U.S. Trademark is really simple, particularly given the option to file for it online. If you choose not to file online, you do have the option of filing the same forms via "snail mail"; however the USPTO strongly prefers electronic applications. If filing the form proves any sort of difficulty for you, you may consider consulting an intellectual property attorney for assistance in completing and filing the forms. It may cost a bit out of pocket to begin with but will save you money later in terms of the fees you would pay to re-do work that you'd done incorrectly.