Trademarks are registered by the USPTO to prevent consumer confusion about the source of goods and services. Trademark registration does not grant you any exclusive right to use a word or phrase as a trademark on goods and/or services; it merely register your claim to the mark and gives you certain benefits under federal law.
To register trademark USA for your business, you will need to complete an application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The process can be confusing, but we can help you get started.
You should start by filling out form 10-1450 (Application for Federal Trademark) and paying the applicable fee ($225 or higher depending on your classification).
Once you have filled out the application and paid the fee, it’s time to provide your drawing of your mark! This can be done in any number of ways; while there isn’t one specific way that works best for everyone, we recommend using Adobe Illustrator or Inkscape if you have access to those programs because they allow for vector graphics which are easier for machines than bitmap images (like .jpgs). If not – no problem! As long as whatever format is readable by humans then it’s fine! The USPTO only needs something that looks like what they asked for 🙂
State the basis of your USPTO trademark filing.
The basis of your trademark filing is important because it will help you determine what type of registration you can expect to receive. The most common bases are:
- Use in Interstate Commerce – This means that you have used your trademark in interstate commerce, which occurs when a good or service crosses state lines. In other words, if you only sell goods within your home state (no customers outside the state), then this would not be a basis for filing a trademark.
- Foreign Registration – If you’ve already registered your mark with an authority in another country and want to protect it here as well, then this is the basis for filing. Note that foreign registration does not automatically give rise to protection here; rather, it’s simply one formality among many required before receiving protection under U.S law.
- List all goods and services associated with your mark.
- Do not list services that are not related to your mark. For example, if you’re an attorney and you want to register a trademark for “John Smith, Attorney at Law,” then you should also include “legal services” as one of the goods or services associated with that trademark.
- List all countries where you plan to use your mark. If this is the United States only, then simply list “United States of America.” If it’s worldwide, then list all countries in which you intend to use this word or phrase—for example: “the United States of America; Canada;” or “the United Kingdom and Europe.”
- List all languages in which you will use your mark (this may be just English).
Show how your mark looks.
The next step is to provide a visual representation of your trademark. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) will accept either an electronic file or a drawing on paper.
The electronic option can be submitted in any format but it’s best to use TIFF or JPEG files, which are easy for the USPTO to read and process quickly.
If you choose this method, you must submit hard copies as well—you cannot rely solely on an electronic version of your mark because those files are easily corrupted or erased from digital storage drives such as flash drives and SD cards that may not be compatible with older computers used by USPTO employees processing trademark applications (and even newer ones can have technical issues).
Sign and return any documents you receive from the USPTO.
Any documents you receive from the USPTO after you File A Trademark should be signed, returned, and filed. This includes:
- an Oath or Declaration under Section 1(b) of the Trademark Act (for individuals)
- a Statement of Use under Section 1(d) of the Trademark Act (after you have filed your registration application and then use in commerce a trademark in connection with your goods or services within a 6-month period after filing)
Remember, the process of USPTO Trademark Application can seem daunting. But don’t worry! We’ve got you covered with everything you need to know about filing for your own trademark and protecting your brand with USPTO Trademark Search.