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How do you register for a trademark?

Los Angeles, CA |

Hello, I am an architecture student studying full time at a professional university in Los Angeles. I have been using a logo in association with my name and I am interested in securing the logo as a trademark for possible future use. I am not certain how to go about registering. Is there anywhere I could go for help, or could someone here give me help to get through the process? Any help would be much appreciated! Thank you!

Attorney Answers 6


You should contact a trademark attorney who can help you.

If you are using the logo in connection with providing services or goods, you can potentially get a trademark -- merely using it with your name is not a trademark usage; trademarks serve as an identifier connecting goods or services with a particular source for them.

If you want to read up and educate yourself a bit, the Patent & Trademark Office ( has lots of basic information.

Good luck!

This information is intended to be general and educational in nature. It is not intended to be specific legal advice or establish an attorney-client relationship. I require a signed retainer agreement from a potential client to establish an attorney-client relationship and before I will provide specific legal representation.

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I agree with my colleague. If you want it done right, with as few glitches as possible, hire a professional. Many of us charge flat fees. Your local law school may have an Intellectual Property clinic that could help as well.

If we do not have a signed fee agreement I am not your attorney and this is not legal advice.

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Creating an enforceable trademark that you own, does not infringe someone else's already existing trademark rights, and satisfies your branding and marketing needs is step one. Once that's done, then apply to federally register the trademark [if the mark is being used in interstate commerce] or apply to register the trademark with your state's trademark office [if the mark is only being used in that state]. You should read the book linked to below and read the information provided by the California Secretary of State's Office and the federal Trademark Office. And, of course, speak with your trademark attorney. Good luck.

The above is general information ONLY and is not legal advice, does not form an attorney-client relationship, and should NOT be relied upon to take or refrain from taking any action. I am not your attorney. You should seek the advice of competent counsel before taking any action related to your inquiry.

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If you think of McDonalds, the name itself is a trademark (standard character text mark) and the golden arches is their logo, this too is its own trademark (image mark or stylized mark).

What will need to be done, is to first conduct proper trademark due diligence on the name (see link below for explanation of this) and then a filing with the USPTO is made once the mark is vetted by a professional.

It would probably be helpful to discuss your plans with a lawyer in private. I will link you to some general helpful info below and most of us here, including myself, offer a free phone consult.

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Natoli-Lapin, LLC
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The law firm of Natoli-Lapin, LLC (Home of Lantern Legal Services) offers our flat-rate legal services in the areas of business law and intellectual property to entrepreneurs, small-to-medium size businesses, independent inventors and artists across the nation and abroad. Feel free to call for a free phone consultation; your inquiries are always welcome: CONTACT: 866-871-8655 DISCLAIMER: this is not intended to be specific legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. No attorney-client relationship is formed on the basis of this posting.

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If the only thing you have done is use a logo in association with your name as a student, you are not yet entitled to seek trademark protection. Trademark rights arise from use in commerce (although in limited circumstances you can file an "intent to use" trademark application---but you need to actually use within a short time after you file this application). The purpose of trademarks is to identify the source of goods or services---and until you are actually providing architectural services you are not ready to obtain a trademark.

When the time comes, you should retain professional trademark counsel to advise you how to best obtain a trademark. The first step is a trademark clearance analysis---you need a professional to advise as to whether your proposed logos might violate trademark rights of others, If you pass this test, then you should ask your counsel to prepare a trademark application. Once the application is filed, it will be examined by a trademark examiner, and in many cases the examiner will initially reject the application on various grounds. Often you will need a lawyer to respond to the rejection with a formal legal submission. Once the application is accepted, the proposed trademark is published and members of the public have the right to oppose the grant of the trademark. Even after the trademark issues, members of the public can seek cancellation. Thus, the trademarking process is complex and should be handled by professionals.

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You can visit the US Patent and Trademark office website and obtain information about how to file your trademark. You can also contact an attorney who can provide you get it registered. It is not very costly to use an attorney for this purpose.

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