Do you have a brand that means a lot to you? One of the ways to declare full ownership of your brand is by filing a trademark application. With a trademark application, you can protect your brand, logo, name, and even company slogan. To be able to file a trademark application, the owner of the brand would need to go through the United States Patent and Trademark office.
In the course of this article, we would be going through a practical guide on how to file a trademark application. We would also discuss the much-needed application requirements.
Trademark Application Requirements
Before you go on to file a trademark application for your brand, you need to ensure that your brand’s trademark can be registered. This implies performing a search for other brands that might have registered a trademark that is similar. You also need to research whether your brands’ mark meets the requirements of the United States Patent and Trademark office.
Here are some things that you need to do before you File a Trademark application:
- Determine if the trademark is available
It is important to note that trademark rights come from using the mark. When you use your mark in business, you have the right to stop other brands from using it or registering it. Is there a need to register your trademark if you already have rights to it?
When you go on to register your trademark, it gives you an opportunity to enforce your right over the trademark. It also signals to other individuals or businesses that it is not available for use. This goes on to imply that if you want to register your mark, you need to do some digging to know if someone has already registered it.
You can start with paid or free databases to do your digging. You can make use of the Google search engine, the Bing search engine, the Secretary of State Database, or the USPTP’s searchable online database.
With this digging, you can be able to identify marks that might be in confusion with your trademark.
- Establish the Bases for Filing Your Trademark application
It is important to note that your mark application has to be based on either on use in commerce or intent to use mark in the future. If your reason for filing for a trademark registration is for commercial purpose, then you must have been using the mark in your business.
It is important to note that you can’t just want to register your mark for the purpose of its preservation alone. It has to be related to your business.
- Ready The contents of your Trademark Application
In your trademark application, the following contents must be readied.
- The name of the applicant with the address
The applicant of the trademark should be the person that owns the trademark. For instance, if a company owns a trademark, the applicant of the trademark should be the company.
- The type of legal entity or citizenship should be stated
Other documentation that would be needed is the type of corporation that wants to file for trademark registration, the type of partnership, etc.
- The Name and address for correspondence sake
These details should include the name of an individual or legal representative that would communicative with the USPTO in the course of the application
- A pictorial drawing of the trademark
If the trademark that you want to file an application for, is just a word or phrase without a design element, no problem. If that is the case, it would then be seen as a standard character, and the applicant would need to type in the letters of the word or phrase.
- The dates of first use of the trademark and the sample of use of the trademark
It is important to note that this requirement is for use-based applications. In this requirement, the individual or the company would need to state the date that the trademark was first used. The next step would be to provide a specimen that shows connection with the mark and the goods and services your business offer.
- A signed statement or declaration
Here, an authorized person or the applicant of the trademark would need to sign a declaration that would attest to the truth of the trademark application submitted.
- The required fee
The fee you pay for your mark depends largely on the type of application that you want to file. The fee for filing a trademark application at the very least is $225.
List of Documents That are required for the application
The following is the list of the documentation that is needed when trying to file for a trademark application:
- Address, name and signature of the applicant together with the entity type
- The type of service your brand that wants to apply for the trademark offers
- The basis for filing for the mark
- The digital image or drawing of the trademark that you want to register
- A valid description of the trademark
Practical Process to Fill a Trademark Application
To file for your trademark online, you have to make use of the Trademark electronic application system. This online system of filing for a trademark has two options for filing. You can choose from either the TEAS Plus or the TEAS standard.
Applying through TEAS plus: the cost for filing for a trademark with this system for a single class is $250. To be able to use the TEAS Plus filing system, the applicant must submit all the needed details as pointed out earlier in this article.
Applying Through TEAS standard: At the cost of $350, an applicant can file for a single class. With this application route, you can get a custom description of the service or goods that your brand offers.
If you think your brand is important, then you should take practical steps to protect it. The first step that you should make to protect your brand is to file for a trademark application. This way, you make your brand really yours.