If you have a company, website or product, a trademark may be the best way to protect it. It offers protection that can protect your brand for much longer than most intellectual property protection and directly protects you against direct competition. It is vital that every entity considers trademark protection for its company, website or product. While applying for a trademark may seem rather simple, the fact is that around 20% of all trademark application with the USPTO are denied during first action. A knowledgeable attorney is an invaluable tool in procuring a registered trademark.
What is a Trademark?
A trademark is a form of intellectual property which consists of a sign, design, symbol or words that are associated with or identify a specific item, service or brand.
Trademarks are most often used for the names of products or businesses (McDonald’s, Apple, Lexus, etc.). However, trademarks can also include stuff like domain names and, in certain cases, the specific way a store or storefront is designed.
What does a Trademark Protect and How Long Does it Last?
A trademark protects a company or product name or a logo. In a phrase, trademarks protect the identity of an item or entity in commerce. For example, the name of a product a company is selling or the name of a company that sells a number of products can both be trademarks. Examples include McDonalds, Apple and Amazon. These registered trademarks have the ability to put a little ® next to their name or logo. Only marks that are officially registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) are able to use the ® making the public aware of its registration.
Trademarks are the potentially longest lasting form of intellectual property protection in the United States. Trademarks, once registered, are generally protected for as long as the mark is in use in commerce as long as the owner continues to renew the application
How Much Does A Trademark Cost?
The cost of the application itself varies greatly depending type of mark, the type of application and the number of classes the mark is being registered under. You can expect a trademark application to cost between $225 and $275 per class of goods being registered for marks that are already in use at the time of the application. While you can apply for a trademark for marks that are not currently in use but that you instead intend to use at a future date, the cost is slightly inflated as there are additional filing that must be made later to verify the use of the mark. The cost also depends on the number of classes the mark will be registered on, as each class costs between $225 and $275. The number of identification of these classes is a careful process as they must accurately reflect how the mark is being used in commerce.
In terms of time, the trademark application process is usually about a 9 to 15 month process, but could be longer if the process requires more in-depth or frequently communication with the examining attorney. Generally speaking, trademark applications completed by an attorney are not only more likely to be successful but are also more likely to be resolved sooner as the required information is more likely to be provided up front and therefore reduce the need for back and forth communication between the applicant and the examining attorney.
Is a Trademark Application What I Need?
Each of our clients is different. People and companies are at different stages and have different costs associated with their product or business. Point is, there is no single answer for everyone. What you and your company need is unique and based on a number of factors. We highly recommend you speak with an attorney to discuss the next steps for your company and whether a trademark may be what you need. We proudly offer a free consultation to our clients to help them determine what steps to take. If you are interested in setting up a free consultation with us, please contact us at 917-781-4186 or contact us by clicking the link below:
Can I Apply for a Trademark Myself?
While a trademark application can be completed and be successful without an attorney, the process can be difficult and time consuming. We always recommend speaking with an attorney prior to applying for a trademark or any form of intellectual property protection or governmental application. We encourage you to use our free consultation service prior to making the decision to apply for a trademark yourself.