5 Tips to Speed up the Trademark Process
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Let's face it: trademark registration is tedious and expensive. But it's necessary to protect your company from issues such as trademark infringement, whether actual or threatened. So let's help you speed up the trademark process.
The following tips will put you in good stead when preparing your trademark application.
1. Apply for an expedited trademark
Let me start by saying that not everyone will qualify for an expedited examination and "special circumstances" in the US.
You have to meet specific criteria to qualify.
You must submit a "Petition to Make Special" after filing your application. Your petition to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) should include:
- A factual statement making it clear why your application should be considered for this. Be sure to include facts showing the risk of infringement or other litigation issues.
- Evidence that you may suffer loss should it not be granted.
- Any other relevant information.
However, remember that an expedited examination will cost more than a standard application. But if you have a good reason, do apply, as the normal trademark registration process can take anywhere from 12-18 months.
2. Make the right choices for your trademark
So, to ensure that you don't hit any roadblocks along the process, regardless of whether you've applied for an expedited trademark, it's best to consider two key variables.
(a) The strength of your trademark
Around three months after your trademark filing, a trademark attorney from the USPTO will review your trademark registration.
Should there be issues, you'll receive what is known as an office action. This will explain the issues and allow you to rectify them.
And as you can guess, this process can significantly slow down your application process at the trademark office. Choosing a solid trademark can keep this from happening.
As a rule of thumb, a strong trademark is either:
- Fanciful: This includes phrases or words that have been made up and aren't related to the product or service. An excellent example of this is Kodak for cameras.
- Arbitrary: Unlike fanciful trademarks, these are actual words. However, they still have nothing to do with the product or service. A good example of this is Apple for computers.
Of course, this doesn't mean you must select a fanciful or arbitrary trademark, but they'll boost your chances significantly.
(b) The likelihood of confusion
Another reason that office actions occur is due to the likelihood of confusion; this happens when:
Two marks are similar, and the goods or services that they're used for are related. This leads to a risk that customers may confuse the trademarks with each other.
An excellent way to determine whether there's risk is to do a trademark search.
3. Avoid "intent to use" applications if possible
So, the USPTO does allow for intent to use trademark applications.
As the name suggests, these are appropriate where you can provide proof that you intend to use the trademark for specific goods or services in the near future.
However, these aren't ideal if you want a faster trademark application process.
Try to use your trademark commercially sooner rather than later.
While after applying for your trademark as intent to use, you will receive a Notice of Allowance, your mark won't officially be registered until you file your Statement of Use.
4. Want to speed up the trademark process? Respond quickly to office actions
Although you have six months to respond, it's best to do so as soon as possible.
The reason is that until you respond, your application process won’t proceed.
But don’t rush too much, either. You want to ensure you don't end up with your final office action. This is why consulting a trademark attorney may be a good idea.
5. Assess your trademark application carefully
Make sure that you "dot your i's and cross your t's" when preparing your trademark application. If there's a technical issue with your application, you'll receive an office action.
Ensure you've carefully followed the instructions and made the proper selections.
Good things take time
Unfortunately, the expression "good things take time" is very relevant when you apply for trademarks. While you can take steps to improve your chances and speed things along, it will ultimately require some patience: best of luck!
How much is a trademark?
The cost of getting a trademark can vary. However, it's typically a few hundred dollars.
How hard is it to get trademarked?
If the process is done correctly, it may be easy to get trademarked. But it does take a long time, nevertheless. However, it can be difficult if you're unsure of what you’re doing when filing your trademark. This is because you risk office actions and ultimately getting rejected.
Why does it take so long to register a trademark?
The USPTO reviews every trademark application, and they receive many applications daily. This causes delays.
How many logos can I trademark at once?
According to trademark law, you can only file one trademark per application. So if you want to trademark three logos, you must file three applications.
What is an example of a strong trademark?
A great example of a strong trademark is Microsoft. It would be considered a fanciful trademark as it's a made-up word that has nothing to do with the product or services.
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Joshua J. Brouard brings a rich and varied background to his writing endeavors. With a bachelor of commerce degree and a major in law, he possesses an affinity for tackling business-related challenges. His first writing position at a startup proved instrumental in cultivating his robust business acumen, given his integral role in steering the company's expansion. Complementing this is his extensive track record of producing content across diverse domains for various digital marketing agencies.
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