Obtaining A Federal Trademark Registration By Timothy B. McCormack Attorney at Law
Obtaining A Federal Trademark Registration
Filing for a federal trademark registration can be an involved and lengthy process. A complicated trademark might take up to five years or more to register. With the right planning the process can be cut down to a little as six months in some cases. Obviously, quicker turn around time results in lowered costs and increased business certainty.
Once one’s trademark application is filed, the Patent and Trademark Office will assign a Trademark Examining Attorney to review the application. If the mark passes first muster it will be published for opposition in a government publication called the “Official Trademark Gazette." Once the mark is published anyone wishing to oppose the mark will have thirty days to do so (unless they ask for an extension).
If the Trademark Examining Attorney, on the other hand, identifies issues that need to be addressed then an “Office Action" will be issued. Some Office Actions are pro forma and others are quite substantive. The timeline for responding to an Office Action is six months. Once all outstanding Office Actions are properly addressed then the application will be published for opposition, as described above. Complicated cases can take years to resolve. Simple cases can be taken care of in as little as six months. In both simple and complicated cases, one’s federal trademark rights will be backdated to when the application was filed.
Benefits of Federal Trademark Registration
The benefits of federal trademark registration are immense. Some of the advantages are:
A trademark can be almost anything, including words, logos, colors, and sounds. The benefits of properly protecting one’s trademark rights are huge. All businesses should protect their trademarks (advise your clients: “don’t get caught with your pants down"). In the United States federal trademark protection is the best. It is recommended that a trademark search and written opinion interpreting the same be prepared for all businesses with important trademarks.