Legal Blog

Everything you need to know about registering a trademark

Many companies overlook the trademark portion of registering their business, eager to sell their products and services and start earning money. But registering your trademark is a crucial step in the process.

What is a Trademark?

A trademark is a name, word, phrase, logo, design or symbol that companies use to give an identity to their products and distinguish their business from other manufacturers or sellers. The trademark is an essential part of offering recognition to customers.

As soon as your customers see your trademark, you want them to be able to identify not only what your product is but also who made it. The trademark is essentially the brand name of your business.

Trademarks are typically only for physical products or goods, and service marks are for service providers. Patents, on the other hand, are created to protect inventions, while copyrights are meant to protect original works of art or literature.

What is the Trademark Registration Process?

The trademark that your company lands on must be protected, so that no one else can claim or use it. That’s why the trademark registration process exists. You must register your trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, also known as USPTO. Once you’ve registered your trademark, you have the following privileges and benefits:

  • Public notice of your claim of ownership of the trademark
  • Legal presumption of ownership of the trademark
  • Exclusive right to use the trademark in the United States and any other country where your product is sold
  • Right to bring legal action in federal court on any matter involving the trademark
  • Right to use the federal registration symbol in product labels
  • Inclusion in the USPTO listings or databases

Five Steps of the Trademark Registration Process

trademark application process

Now that you know what the trademark registration process is and why it’s important, you might want to learn how to actually go through the process. We’ve broken down the process into five steps, including pre-registration, mark selection, the application form, evaluation and approval.


Once you have set up your business, you might decide you want to immediately register your trademark. However, there are several things to consider before moving forward with the trademark registration process.

For example, is a trademark really what you need? Trademarks are for protecting physical goods and products, so only companies that manufacture or sell physical goods are eligible to register for trademarks. Trademarks are not appropriate for protecting inventions, literary works and other works of original art.

Also, do you actually need to register a trademark, or is your business name enough for customer recognition? There are some cases where having a registered business name is sufficient to identify the company or products you’re selling. If your answer to both of these questions is yes, you can then move forward to the next phase: mark selection.

Mark Selection

Before actually applying for a trademark, you need to select the trademark you want to use. Selecting a trademark is a very difficult part of the process and you need to take several things into consideration when making your decision.

For example, you need to figure out if the trademark you’re considering is registerable or, in other words, eligible for registration. There are two basic requirements for eligibility. The trademark must be used for commerce rather than personal use, and the trademark must be distinctive from other trademarks.

You should also consider whether the trademark is strong enough on its own. Think about the format of the mark, the goods or services the trademark will be applied to and the availability of the trademark.

Application Form

Once you have selected your trademark, you need to identify your filing basis. You can choose from two bases: use in commerce and intent to use. Initial application forms are available on the USPTO’s official website. Their website offers the Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS), allowing applications to be filed directly online.

Applicants can access the system and fill in the forms through their own internet connection or visit any Patent and Trademark Resource Center (PTRC) to do so. Applicants can also filed on paper, but there is a processing fee of $375 per class of goods or services. In order to get a filing date, make sure that you are complying with all requirements when filling out your application. USPTO has three application filing options available, each with their own processing fees.

TEAS Regular is the first option, and a filing date will be given to the applicant if the form contains their name, address, a clear drawing of the trademark, a complete listing of products and a filing fee of $325 for each class of goods. TEAS Plus is the second option and has the most stringent requirements. TEAS Reduced Fee is meant to promote electronic processing and communication and costs $275 per class of goods. Payments for trademark fees can be made through USPTO deposit accounts, credit cards, electronic funds transfers, money orders or checks.


The evaluation period of the trademark registration process includes examination of the application. After submitting your application, you can check the Trademark Status and Document Retrieval (TSDR) System to monitor your progress. Your application is forwarded to an examining attorney, who is responsible for the complete and final review.

You need to cooperate with the examining attorney assigned by the USPTO. If the attorney finds grounds to refuse your trademark registration, they will issue an Office Action explaining why. They will also contact you directly if there are minor corrections that need to be made. 


If the examining attorney finds no issues with the application, they will approve the trademark at the end of the evaluation process. After informing you as the applicant, approval of the trademark is first recorded in the weekly publication of USPTO, the “Official Gazette.” After a period of 30 days following the date of publication, the USPTO will register the mark as long as there are no concerns or opposition.
If you need help with the trademark registration process, visit our website or call the firm at (954) 507-4500.

Leave a Reply