How to get a trademark in 10 steps

Step-by-step process to apply for trademark registration in the U.S.

1. Decide what the trademark will be to consumers for your product or service

The first thing you have to do is to decide what is the trademark that you will use to identify a product or service. The trademark can be a name, slogan, design logo, or a combination of these. For example, some of the well-known trademark names today include Microsoft® for software, McDonalds® for restaurant, and Rolex® for watches.

+ government filing fee

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2. Make sure your trademark is clear for registration

It's important that your trademark is not similar to a trademark that already exists in your industry. Before filing a trademark application, it is important to conduct a good trademark search to make sure that the trademark you want to use is available. We can do a trademark search as part of your registration order. This way you will know if your trademark is already taken before you e-sign the application.

3. Know your description of goods and services

An important part of the trademark application is the description of your goods and services. The language you use here will define the scope of your legal protection for the trademark. In plain English, this means you should describe what product or service the trademark is used (or will be used) as a brand to consumers. For example, the name McDonald's® is used for restaurant service or Nike® for clothing. You should make a list of the products or services that you want to protect the trademark, so other people don't use a similar trademark doing the same thing to confuse consumers.

The U.S. Trademark Office (USPTO) has a Trademark Identification Manual which is a database of descriptions that you can check to see if they are accurate for you. For example, if you enter the word "music" if will give you all descriptions containing this word. You'll notice a column called "classes" next to each description. Classes 1-34 are for products and classes 35-45 are for services. If their descriptions are not accurate, you can always freely write your own description for what product or service your trademark is used in your industry.

4. File your trademark application

After your trademark search is clear, begin to file an application to register your trademark. You can use our easy Trademark Application. After receiving your online application, we'll transmit your submitted information electronically to the USPTO. Filing your application electronically is the fastest way to get your application filed with the USPTO.

5. Review your application before signing it

If we file your application, we'll email you a link so you can review and e-sign the trademark application. If you need to make any changes, let us know and we can revise it until you are completely satisfied. If your order has a search, we’ll email you the search report in PDF file.

6. Pay the government filing fee

After you review and e-sign the application, the required government application fee of $250 or $350 per class is due to the USPTO.

7. Receive serial number for the application

The USPTO will email you a receipt and assign the application a serial number. The serial number will show in the database that your application is pending. (You'll get a registration number only after your trademark registers. Both numbers will be printed on your registration certificate.)

8. Wait for a response

Usually in about three months after the filing date, an examining trademark attorney at USPTO will review your application and decide whether to grant you the mark, or request additional information from the applicant. If they find any issues with your application, they will send you an Office Action letter. For example, the examining attorney may request more information to clarify certain parts of the application. They may have questions, objections or recommended some changes in your application. The applicant must respond to any objections within six months of the mailing date of the letter or the application will be abandoned.

9. Approval and publication

If your trademark application is approved, it will be published in the Official Gazette, a weekly publication of the USPTO. This allows other parties to object to your trademark if they believe it may infringe on their rights. If no opposition if filed within the time specified by Section 13(a) of the Statue or by rules 2.101 or 1.102 of the Trademark Rules, the Commissioner of the Patents and Trademarks will issue a Certificate of Registration.

10. Registration

Once your trademark is registered, the USPTO will mail you a beautiful paper certificate showing the registration of your new trademark. It's important to use it properly. Use the trademark symbol (®) next to your trademark and update the USPTO if there are any changes in the ownership or use of your trademark.

Take the next step. Register your trademark