Once you start on your journey towards becoming an inventor, you need to understand the steps that go along with it. One of the steps that should be taken involves getting a trademark. Understanding what a trademark is will be the first step towards deciding if you need one.
Below are some further explanations to help you fully understand what a trademark actually is:
What is a trademark? The term “trademark” is often used to refer to any of the four types of marks that can be registered with the USPTO. The two primary types of marks that can be registered with the USPTO are:
- Trademarks – used by their owners to identify goods, that is, physical commodities, which may be natural, manufactured, or produced, and which are sold or otherwise transported or distributed via interstate commerce.
- Service marks – used by their owners to identify services, that is, intangible activities, which are performed by one person for the benefit of a person or persons other than himself, either for pay or otherwise.
Why should I obtain a trademark? Here are some specific benefits of having a federally registered trademark:
- Constructive notice nationwide of the trademark owner’s claim.
- Evidence of ownership of the trademark.
- Jurisdiction of federal courts may be invoked.
- Registration can be used as a basis for obtaining registration in foreign countries.
- Registration may be filed with U.S. Customs Service to prevent importation of infringing foreign goods.
How do I register my trademark? You can fill out an application online, check it for completeness, and file it over the Internet using the Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS) . You can also respond to Office actions and file notices of change of address, allegations of use and requests for extension of time to file a statement of use through TEAS. You can check the status of your application through the Trademark Applications and Registrations Retrieval (TARR) database.What do I need to include in my trademark application?
- A completed application form submitted in hard copy or electronically as noted above.
- The appropriate fee.
- A drawing of the mark to be registered – this is true even if the mark is just an unstylized word.
- Specimens of use of the mark if the application is based on actual use in commerce.
How much does it cost to apply for a trademark application? The filing fees for a trademark application are as follows:
- $275 per class for a TEAS Plus application that meets the requirements of 37 C.F.R. §§2.22 and 2.23 ;
- $325 per class for an application filed electronically using the Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS) ; or
- $375 per class for an application filed on paper.
If your application is filed based on a bona fide intent to use the mark in commerce, additional documents and fees will be required at a later time. We recommend that you file your application through TEAS , and pay the fee using a credit card, existing USPTO deposit account, or electronic funds transfer (EFT). If you file on paper, checks or money orders should be made payable to the Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office and mailed to Commissioner for Trademarks, P.O. Box 1451, Alexandria, Virginia 22313-1451.
PLEASE NOTE: Fees are subject to change and should therefore be verified before submission to the USPTO. You may obtain the current schedule of fees . To receive a hard copy of the fee schedule you may contact the USPTO Contact Center (UCC) at 1-800-786-9199
On the USPTO website you can also conduct a free federal trademark search using their Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS) as well as the status of your application. They will also take care of cross checking for trademark infringement while reviewing your application.
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