In order to use a trademark in the United States, it is mandatory to first have it registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The goal of doing this is to make sure that your trademark does not have similarities with other registered trademarks, in which case you may be sued by the other trademark owners. In addition to that, application for registration gives you full rights to the trademark, which means that no other party will be allowed to use it without your consent.
The first step in the process is to decide which type of application you need to file. This usually depends on the type of trademark, which can be described as a Word Mark, Color Mark, Design Mark, a Shape Mark, a Scent or Flavor Mark, a Sound Mark and more. The entire range of trademark types can be found on the USPTO website.
Several requirements are needed to file a trademark in the United States. These include:
- The name and address that will be used for correspondence with the USPTO
- The applicant’s name
- A sample of the mark
- The list of goods and services that will be sold under or associated with the mark
- For foreign applicants: a designation of a domestic representative
Other additional criteria might be specified depending on the specific circumstances.
After the application is filed, a serial number is usually assigned to the application. The details of the application are also published on the USPTO’s website within 14 days of filing, and this process can be tracked by the applicant. After around 3 to 4 months, the application is examined and registered if no problems are found.