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How Long Does It Take To Register A Trade Mark in the United States?

You can register intellectual property rights in the United States for patents, designs, trade marks and copyright. The United States Patent and Trade Marks Office (USPTO) is a federal agency of the United States government responsible for the grant of intellectual property rights.

In fulfilling this function, the USPTO fulfills the mandate of Article 1, Section 8, Clause 8, of the United States constitution to “promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries”.

The USPTO reviews trade mark applications and determine whether these meet the requirements for federal registration. All trade mark applications are assigned a filing date. Products and services are classified into categories called “International Classes” and each class requires a separate filing fee.

In the United States, the overall trade mark registration may take up to a year or longer depending on several factors including on what basis the trade mark was filed and how complete your application was at the time of filing.

Your trade mark may be either filed on the basis of use if you are using the trade mark in the United States or on the basis of intent-to-use if you have a genuine intention to use the mark in the United States. An application may also be filed through the Madrid Protocol.

After you have filed your trade mark, the USPTO will issue an official filing receipt and a serial number assigned. The details of the application should appear on the USPTO’s website within fourteen days of filing.

After you file, you should check the status of your trade mark application regularly. Your trade mark application can be checked here.

1. The USPTO reviews your application

The USPTO will review your application approximately 3 to 4 months after the filing date.

The examining attorney will in this instance examine your application as to whether it fulfils the legal requirements for registration under the Trademark Act of 1946, 15 U.S.C. §1051 et seq., and the Trademark Rules of Practice, 37 C.F.R. Part 2.

If there are any issues with your application, the Office will issue you an action explaining the reasons for refusing your registration or any other requirements.

2. Responding to discrepancies (in case there are any)

You should respond to any action issued by the USPTO typically within 6 months of the issue date.

3. Official gazette publication

If there are no issues with your application, or all the issues have been resolved, the examining attorney will approve your trade mark for publication in the Official Gazette. You will receive three weeks prior notice from the Office of publication in the Official Gazette. After publication, there is a thirty-day period in which any member of the public may object to you registration of the trade mark by filing opposition proceedings.

4. Certification by USPTO

If no opposition proceedings are filed, the USPTO will generally issue a registration certificate about eight to eleven weeks after publication.

Therefore, it generally takes between 9 months and 12 months for a registration to issue if there are no substantial problems with your trade mark and if no opposition proceedings are filed.

Svethlana Milanes, ABComm

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Disclaimer. The material in this post represents general information only and should not be taken to be legal advice.

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