Obtaining / Getting Your Trademark

Obtaining a trademark is an essential part of protecting your personal or organizational intellectual property. A trademark not only deters potential competitors from using a similar trademark and causing confusion in the marketplace --- it also gives you legal right to sue anyone who infringes on your trademark.

Here is a brief overview of the process to obtain / get a trademark. First, you should hire a trademark attorney to conduct a trademark search of the name, slogan, or logo you desire to protect. A trademark search, when done properly by a trademark attorney, scours the United States federal database, as well as state and common law records. This search will alert you to any pre-existing trademarks which could be a barrier to you getting a trademark registration. The primary purpose of trademark law is to protect consumers—it helps to ensure that no business offering similar goods and/or services can have a similar name to a competitor, which could then lead to potential clients patronizing the wrong business by accident. This is why obtaining a trademark similar to a trademark already registered or applied-for with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is difficult.

The next step in obtaining a trademark is to submit your trademark application to the USPTO. After your application is submitted it is reviewed by an examining attorney to ensure that your trademark will not create confusion in the marketplace. Next, there will be a thirty day window called the “publication” period where the public can challenge the registration of your trademark. This provides the public the right and opportunity to prevent a person or business from getting a trademark which is too similar to a trademark that is already registered with the USPTO.

Once the thirty day window is up (assuming no one has challenged your mark) you will be mailed a certification of registration. Assuming all of the paperwork regarding your corporate/individual identification is valid, that’s the entire process of a getting a trademark. From start to finish, getting a trademark takes about 9 months. Learn More at www.gerbenlaw.com