The US trademark application is not a straightforward application. If you have never filed one you can easily make mistakes causing your application to be rejected by the United States Patent Trademark Office (USPTO). This article will highlight some of the pitfalls to be aware of when filing.
One section of the trademark application will ask for the applicants information. This section is asking for your, the person applying for the trademark. It is important to consider whether you are applying for your trademark as an individual or as a company. For example, if I have a business which is registered as a company and it is to protect the name of my business, I would apply as a company. You would have to specify your entity type. Some of the entity types mentioned on the application are LLC, sole proprietorship, LLP, trust etc. In the event your business entity is a company you must select ‘other’ on the application. Making these mistakes can cause the USPTO to send you an office action which is a rejection of your trademark application.
The second important part of the United States trademark application is the mark information. You will have to decide whether you are trademarking your mark as standard characters or special form If you are registering a standard character mark this is like a word mark which means you are only protecting the words without any color or design or logo. If your trademark has a word with a logo or is stylized in terms of design and colors you would select special form. To register a stylized trademark you will have to attach it to the application as a jpg file. This is not required for standard characters. A standard character trademark would simply require you to key in the words of your trademark.
The third important part of the United States trademark application is the filing basis. Your application cannot be filed without selecting your filing basis. There are four types of filing basis. If you have never used your trademark before then your basis would be intent to use. Alternatively, if you are using your trademark but have just never registered it this means your filing basis is use in commerce. Foreign registration allows you to file an application based on your home country/nationality if you own the registration of that mark and are the same owner for the trademark and goods or services. Foreign application can be used as a basis if you have already filed for a foreign application and you are the same owner for the trademark and goods or services. With this basis you can prioritize your filing date with the same date as your foreign filed date allowing you to have quicker registration than the standard time of 6-12 months.
The above are just some of the tips to remember when filing your trademark application. Knowledge of trademarks and experience with filing trademarks can be a huge plus. It can avoid problems later on such as rejections by the USPTO. Therefore, trademark agents can be of great assistance. The fewer mistakes you make will save you time and money and more importantly being granted your trademark in as quick as 6 months.