The Trademark Process

13 May

The end result of applying for a Trademark is receipt of a Certificate of Registration. However, there are several steps in the process. Hopefully this post demystifies the procedure a bit. Typically, the process is relatively simple and straightforward if you are registering a photography business.

1. The individual conducts a search to ensure the mark is not in use — either as a registered trademark or a common law mark. Common law search is not required, but can be beneficial.

2. Apply for a trademark. The easiest way is through TEAS (Trademark Electronic Application System)

3. The application is processed in the order it is received and assigned to an examining attorney at the USTPO.

4. After three to six months the application is officially reviewed to confirm it meets the proper requirements. “This review includes procedural matters such as making sure the applicant’s goods or services are identified properly. It also includes more substantive matters such as making sure the applicant’s mark is not merely descriptive or likely to cause confusion with a pre-existing applied-for or registered mark. If the application runs afoul of any requirement, the examining attorney will issue an office action requiring the applicant to address certain issues or refusals prior to registration of the mark.” according to Wikipedia

5. Once the attorney determines an application is satisfactory, the application is published for opposition, giving other parties the opportunity to refute the registration of the mark and file an Opposition Proceeding.

6. If an opposition is filed, the application is sent to the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board where the opposition is evaluated and considered. If no opposition is filed, the mark is approved and a Certificate of Registration is issued.

You must file a renewal after five years, after which your Trademark is good for 10 years. Next, we’ll walk step-by-step through the application filing process for a photography portrait business.


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