How to Apply for Trademark Registration in USA?
In the current business world, Intellectual Property becomes an essential asset that should be registered. As per the trademark system in the USA (United States of America), a trademark is described as a logo, word, name, or phrase that indicates the sources of goods and services. The American Trademark Law is ruled by the “Lanham Act”. Intellectual Property is being protected by law through trademarks, copyrights, and patents, which allow their owner to get financial benefits or appreciation from what they create. Trademark Registration in USA and its management at the federal level is governed by USPTO (the United States Patent and Trademark Office). Apart from this, all states have a “Local Trademark Registration Procedure” for the business operating within a limited location and don’t want any extra security given by Federal Registration. The legal Trademark Registration in USA is given by the Trademark Act of 1946, also known as the “Lanham Act”.
The Federal Registration System in the USA provides different types of registration options for various situations and needs. Trademark Registration on the “Principle Register” is the most crucial bar of achievement, as it offers the highest level of protection to the brands in the United States of America. The Supplemental Register provides some safety to the brands which fail to attain Federal Registration on Principal Register. In some situations, there is a chance that the marks which are primarily good for Supplemental Register can also qualify for Principal Register later.
The State Registration and Federal Registration in the USA is based on:
- First-to-Use System: This classifies the rights of the first individual to use a mark for commercial purposes, but the protection under this system is not very strong.
- Intent-to-Use System: In this system, the use of the mark must be shown within five years of the application.
In the USA or the United States of America, it is not registration but the use of a designation as a mark that generates priority and rights over others. Thus, the rule is that the trademark ownership goes to the “First-to Use” not the “First-to-File”.
Who are Eligible to Apply for a Trademark?
Any business or individual claiming to be an owner can apply for a trademark including:
- Limited Liability Company.
- Limited Partnership.
- Joint Venture.
- Sole Proprietorship.
Note: You can apply for the Trademark Registration as an individual; in the case of a company, if you change or close the business name, your trademark will become invalid. But in the case of an individual, this problem won’t arise.
What are the Essential Documents Required for Trademark Registration in the USA?
Following are some vital documents required at the time of Trademark Registration in the USA:
- Submit a duly filled application form.
- Submit a copy of any identity proof and address proof of the applicant.
- Submit a copy of the COI (Certificate of Incorporation) of the company or business.
- Submit a letter of Power of Attorney.
- Submit a copy of the applicant’s passport.
- Submit the latest passport size photos of the applicant.
- Submit a hard copy and soft copy of the proposed trademark.
What is the Detailed Procedure for Trademark Registration in USA?
To complete the registration process of a trademark in the USA, you need to follow the steps mentioned below:
- Step 1: Trademark Search: The first and most important step of Trademark Registration in the USA is to do a trademark search. You have to ensure that the application of the trademark you are giving is unique and correct. Searching a Trademark can be in the form of numbers, words, images, designs, etc. A report will be provided to the applicant that involves an assessment from a lawyer trained in Trademark Laws about a Trademark register’s ability and the risk of a fight with already registered trademarks.
- Step 2: Trademark Application: Once you completed the trademark search, you have to prepare the application for trademark registration in the mainland USA. The all-inclusive cost involves the government fees and attorney fees, thinking no opposition or refusal.
- Step 3: Approval of Trademark Application: Once the application is completed and the documents are submitted, you have to send your application to the trademark authority. After that, the authority will check the application of the trademark and looks toward its exclusivity or uniqueness. The approval or rejection procedure takes few months.
- Step 4: Advertising in the Trademark Journal:Once your trademark application is approved, then the mark is published in the Trademark Journal. A Notice of Publication will be furnished to the applicant listing the details of publication.
- Step 5: Issuance of Trademark Registration Certificate: Once all the problems and oppositions are resolved, the USPTO (the United States Patent and Trademark Office) will issue a Registration Certificate for a Notice of Allowance for intent-to-use applications.
Validity Period and Renewal of Registered Trademark in the USA
The validity of a Trademark Registration in the USA is ten years from the date its certified registration. After ten years, the applicant needs to renew the trademark registration; further official charges are to be paid to the Ministry of Economy in the USA. In case the renewal of Trademark Registration in the USA is not done before the expiry date, there will be an assurance period of six months. There are also several cases where any third party can cancel a registered trademark if the proposed trademark isn’t used for five successive years in the USA from the date of trademark filing.
The fees of the renewal of Trademark Registration can be given in the last year of the registered trademark period. A grace period of three months is also acceptable for the late trademark renewal along with a fine. The trademark renewal is also published in the Trademark Journal and also in two regional newspapers.Once your trademark renewal is finished, your trademark registration is continued. You can securely use your registered trademark for advertising your brand and company within the global market.
Requirement for Renewal Process
- An agent from the UN agency will give you updates on all the renewal processes and the paperwork. You should check that your mark is protected. If you are looking for an Associate in Nursing agent, you have to give them the associate degree signature of the owner on the registration certificate.
- Deposit the fees so that you didn’t face any delays.
- You also require an inspiration of lawyer associate and identity proof or address proof.
- The original certificate of registration is also important, and you should give the right along with the photocopy or original no matter what appears.
Trademark protection is the most vital part of the process. Once you have registered under USPTO, you should safeguard your trademark form misuse and infringement by other companies or businesses in the USA. You can avail of all the benefits after completing the Trademark Registration in USA. So, for the registration, you need to follow all the instructions as we mentioned above.