You can capture your brand’s identity with a symbol, word, number, or even a combination of colors. Trademark registration is protected by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Govt. of India. Symbolizing what your business stands for, along with a story, is what trademarks do. A brand tag, also known as an identity mark, protects the name of the brand.
A trademark is territorially protected, which means it can be used in the country in which it is registered. You need to protect the trademark in all countries where you want to use the brand name.
The USPTO (the United States Patent and Trademark Office)
Each country has its own rules and regulations regarding trademarks. The US, one of the most important countries in trade and economics, also has its own trademark registration procedures. The USPTO (the United States Patent and Trademark Office) regulates trademark laws and processes in the US.
Registering the Trademark
There is no requirement to register the trademark, and the trademark rights can be obtained without registration. Registering, however, offers several benefits and can be done by submitting an application to the USPTO.
As an example, registering your trademark gives you a statutory right against infringement. By registering, you can also prove in court that you are the real owner of the trademark. An R symbol next to your trademark signifies ownership and warns others against using it.
Documents Required for Registration
Here is a list of details and documents to be submitted for US trademark registration:
- The applicant’s name, address, signature, and the entity type
- The type of goods and services the brand covers
- The basis of filing
- The drawing or a digital image of the logo/trademark that has to be registered
- Description and details of the trademark
For an Indian company to file for a US trademark, the trademark must first be registered in India. Your application for the US trademark registration will be based on the Indian trademark registration.
Basis of Filing the Trademark
Under trademark laws, there are four types of “filing basis” according to the brand’s requirements and the services it provides.
- Already in use: If the trademark has been in use for trading the goods and services across various boundaries (states and countries)
- Future use: If the individuals are yet to but are going to use their trademark shortly, i.e., within 4-5 years, then the registration can be done on this basis
- Foreign application: On this basis, the foreign application must have been filed, and the registration has to be done within six months
- Foreign registration: Under this basis, foreign registration has been completed. The final procedure has to be completed by submitting a certificate along with the details required.
Using the USPTO to file a trademark application in the U.S.
You can file a trademark application online through the TEAS (Trademark Electronic Application System). The steps are as follows:
Step 1: Checking trademark availability
In order to register your trademark in the US, you need to check whether it is available. It is crucial to conduct thorough research in the US trademark registry database to see if any identical or similar trademarks have already been registered.
Step 2: Application filing
An application is filed with the USPTO after all the necessary details have been collected.
Step 3: Checking of the trademark
After a trademark is filed, the Trademark Examiner examines it on various bases.
Step 4: Action and approval of Trademark Office
If the application contains any incorrect or inappropriate information, a notice is issued. An additional six months are provided for correcting the information or reapplying for approval. In case, no objection is raised, the form is further sent for approval in the Official Trademark Gazette.
Step 5: Opposition time
Upon publishing your trademark, you have 30 days to receive opposition from other companies and people.
Step 6: Final registration
An application for trademark registration is finalized and approved if the opposition and trademark examiners do not raise any objections. The ‘notice of allowance’ follows.
In the event of an objection or opposition, you will have enough time to respond with reasons and evidence why you should be granted the right to use the mark. They also provide you with trademark registration if your reasons and evidence are convincing. In the event of rejection, you will not receive the trademark registration.
Validity of a Trademark
Trademarks are valid for ten years after registration. If you renew your trademark registration before the end of the ten-year period, you will receive another ten years of protection.
Benefits of US Trademark Registration
Among the benefits of US Trademark registration are:
- legal ownership of the brand throughout the United States
- The brand is provided with the highest level of protection after registering with the USPTO
- as well as exclusive rights for its use
- as well as legal actions against counterfeiters
- it is easier to register your trademark elsewhere.
In any case, trademark registration in the US can be time-consuming and overwhelming. That’s why we recommend using our US Trademark Registration service. Most of the tasks (such as trademark research, documentation, and filing) will be handled by our professionals.