What Do You Need to Know About The Trademark Registration Process for Your Business?

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Trademark registration is important for the protection of intellectual property. If your business relies on a logo for marketing and recognition, it’s good to consider trademarking.

But how do you go about it? Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about the trademark registration process in six steps.

Step 1: Search Trademark Archives

The Trademark Electronic Search System, commonly known as TESS, is accessible to anyone looking to complete international trademark registration.

It serves the purpose of allowing potential trademark applicants to first make sure no one else is using the intellectual property they are trying to trademark.

Step 2: Lawyer Up?

There are a few reasons you might consider lawyering up before going this process alone. Here’s why:

  • Attorneys can conduct better, more expansive searches, beyond the TESS system
  • Lawyers will ensure deadlines are met and papers are filed the right way
  • If an attorney from the Trademarks Office reaches out to you, it may be time to find an attorney to answer those questions.

The choice whether to hire an attorney or not is yours, alone. But it’s something to consider when working on a trademark application.

Step 3: Proceed to Filing

Once you’ve decided whether or not to hire an attorney, proceed to online filing. This is something that can be done without an attorney at the website, Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS), or under the guidance of legal counsel.

Either way, accurate filing is critical to the trademark registration process.

Step 4: Pay Fees

International trademark registration comes with certain fees that must be paid before filing status can be achieved. These fees are usually $300 or less, depending on the type of filing. Bear in mind, some product lines require multiple trademarks.

Step 5: Show and Tell

You will need to produce a sample or trademark specimen. This could be a copy of an advertisement with the logo you are seeking to trademark or the work you’ve completed on a series of books.

Whatever the intellectual property you are seeking to trademark, a specimen is required.

Step 6: Response

Once you’ve completed the five steps above, it’s time to wait for a response. The Trademark Registration Office will let you know, upon final review, if your application has been approved. If not, they will provide a reason for the denial and it’s back to square one.

Trademark Registration Process: Is it For You?

The trademark process can be costly, time-consuming and even stressful. There are a number of reasons a person could receive a denial of a trademark application, these include:

  • The trademark is already in use
  • It’s too scandalous for public viewing
  • It’s deceptive
  • It violates the privacy of another person
  • It’s too similar to a trademark in use
  • It needs more description; or
  • It can be easily confused with a surname

When you’re considering applying for a trademark it’s important to keep these things in mind and thoroughly complete your application including any supplementary descriptive items. Doing so will improve your chances for trademark success.

If you’re seeking a legal presumption that you are the owner of a product or piece of intellectual property a trademark is the only way to go.

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Jared Bauman

Jared Bauman is the Co-Founder of 201 Creative, and is a 20+ year entrepreneur who has started and sold several companies. He is the host of the popular Niche Pursuits podcast and a contributing author to Search Engine Land.