The Trademark Registration Process with the USPTO
The process for registering a trademark is much different than applying for a patent. An application to register a trademark must identify the trademark and the goods and services with which the trademark is or will be used. If the trademark is already in use, then the application can also include a sample or specimen showing how the trademark is used, as well as an indication to when the trademark was first used. Before filing a trademark application, it may be helpful to perform an extensive search to find what other entities are doing that might be similar to the intended trademark. Searching can be done in any of numerous different databases and other sources to determine whether someone else owns that trademark or something similar. A search before getting too far into the trademark process can help to identify potential issues early in the process while it is still relatively less burdensome to make changes if needed.
The USPTO will assign a trademark examiner to review your application. They will reach a determination of whether it meets legal requirements. They could deny your application if:
- You are trying to register a phrase that is generic or commonly used with respect to the goods or services
- Someone else already owns the trademark or a trademark that is confusingly similar
- The goods and/or services are not clearly identified