Trademark Application

Jump to Section

Need help with a Trademark Application?

Post Project Now

Post Your Project (It's Free)

Get Bids to Compare

 Hire Your Lawyer

What Is A Trademark Application?

A trademark application is the form and process used to apply for a trademark, which is a type of intellectual property that covers a recognizable sign, design, or expression. Trademark applications are used by brands to protect their designs and creative so they cannot be copied or used without their permission.

For example, the Nike Swoosh is one of the most recognizable logos in the world. Nike will have a trademark to protect its competitors from using it.

To register your trademark, you will have to fill out a trademark application with the United State Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Once this application is approved, your trademark will be registered and protected for your use only.

Trademark Application Requirements Summary

A trademark application has several requirements and just because you apply to register your trademark, does not mean you will get it registered. It is very important to make sure your application meets all the requirements for federal registration to avoid denial.

Before starting the application process, you need to search a trademark database to make sure your trademark is original and doesn’t look too similar to any other registered trademark. You can utilize USPTO’s Trademark Electronic Search System for this task.

Next, you should determine what type of trademark you want to register, a standard character trademark or a special form trademark. These trademarks require different submission requirements and have different protections. Once your application is submitted, you cannot change to a different trademark.

You should familiarize yourself with the different types of trademark applications available and determine which application is right for you. This process can be complicated so if you are having trouble understanding the trademark application process, you should consult with an intellectual property lawyer to assist you.

Read here for more information about the USPTO and trademarks.

Trademark Application Process – Step by Step

The trademark application process is lengthy and very involved. There are a lot of options to take into consideration and steps to follow.

How To Apply For A Trademark

Step 1: Select a mark: Selecting a mark is the first step to your application process. You must ensure that your mark will be registerable with the USPTO and that it can be protected. In addition to selecting a mark, you will also have to identify the mark format. This can be a standard character mark, a stylized mark, or a sound mark. Finally, you must clearly identify what goods and services your mark is meant to apply to.

Step 2: Set up an account with USPTO: You will need to go to USPTO.gov to create an account to access the Trademark Electronic Application System. This is where you will apply for your trademark.

Here is a link to the Trademark Electronic Application System.

Step 3: Determine what form you need: There are two initial application forms, TEAS Plus and TEAS Standard. You will need to choose which application. The cost for the TEAS Plus application is $250 while the TEAS Standard is $350. These applications offer different protections and have different requirements. It is important that you select the right one.

Step 4: Fill out the initial application: Once you have selected your application type, you are ready to fill out the initial application. Processing times for a new application is generally between 60 and 80 days.

Step 5: Monitor your application: You are responsible for monitoring your application. It is important to check the status of your application because there will be more documents and requirements that must be met, and you don’t want to miss an important deadline. You can check the status of your application through the Trademark Status and Document Retrieval System.

Step 6: Application Review: Your application will be reviewed by USPTO and if it has met all the filing requirements, it will be forwarded to an examining attorney. The attorney will examine the application and your trademark to be sure that it complies with all rules and requirements. This step in the process can take several months. In some instances, the attorney will find an issue with the application and send an “office action” letter detailing the reason for refusal. If you receive this letter, you have six months to respond, or your application will be declared abandoned.

Step 7: Approval and Publication: After the examining attorney approves your trademark application, your trademark must be published in the USPTO “Official Gazette”. This is a weekly publication that publishes trademarks so that any party who thinks they may be harmed by a trademark can oppose the registration of that trademark. An opposing party has 30 days from publication to file an opposition to registration.

Step 8: Registration: If the application you submitted was for a trademark based on use, as long as there are no objections to the registration of your trademark, the USPTO will register the trademark and send you a certificate of registration. If the application you submitted was for a trademark based on an intent to use, once the trademark is registered you have six months to either use the mark or request an extension to use the mark.

Step 9: Maintenance Documents: You are responsible for filing all specific maintenance documents required to keep your trademark registration valid. Even after your trademark is registered, you should still check your registration status annually to ensure all documents are up to date.

If you would like information on how to file an international trademark application, click here.

Meet some lawyers on our platform

Blake L.

2 projects on CC
View Profile

Michael K.

7 projects on CC
View Profile

Ashley H.

19 projects on CC
View Profile

Namrita N.

2 projects on CC
View Profile

Types of Trademark Applications

There are two types of initial trademark applications. The TEAS Plus Application and the TEAS Standard Application. Although these applications may seem similar, choosing the wrong one could lead to the denial of your application. Each application has specific requirements, uses, and limitations.

TEAS Plus

  • Filing fee of $250
  • More initial requirements than the TEAS Standard
  • Description of goods and services must be selected from preset list

TEAS Plus Positives: The TEAS plus is the less expensive of the two applications and can be very helpful for an inexperienced applicant. Applicants do not have to struggle with coming up with a description of goods and services because they are required to select from a preset list that is provided by Trademark ID Manual.

TEAS Plus Negatives: One of the most common reasons that a trademark application is denied is because it is too similar to another mark and would likely cause confusion. In the application process, being able to use specific language in your description of goods and services could help you distinguish your mark from one that is already registered. Because the TEAS Plus application limits your ability to use custom language, your mark could be denied if it is too similar to an existing mark.

TEAS Standard

  • Filing fee of $350
  • Option to use custom language on application

TEAS Standard Positives: The ability to use custom language on your application could help distinguish your mark from an already registered mark and avoid refusal of your application.

TEAS Standard Negative: Using custom language and creating your own description can be difficult because there are very strict guidelines for describing goods and services. You may want to consult a trademark lawyer to help draft your description and help you through the application process.

You can find out more about the types of trademark applications by clicking here.

ContractsCounsel Trademark Application Image

Image via Pexels by fauxels

Benefits of a Trademark

Registering your trademark is a way to protect your intellectual property. There are several benefits that come along with trademark registration.

  • Benefit 1: You are provided legal protection from having someone else copy or use your design
  • Benefit 2: Registering your trademark will ensure that your mark is unique and therefore you are not copying or using someone else’s design without permission subjecting yourself to a lawsuit.
  • Benefit 3: If you register your trademark, your company is the only company allowed to use that trademark or one similar to it.
  • Benefit 4: You can use the registered trademark symbol next your trademark indicating that your trademark is federally registered. This makes your company look well established and professional.
  • Benefit 5: Your federally registered trademark can be used for foreign trademark filing should you ever want to expand your business overseas.

Who Can Get A Trademark?

Anyone can apply for a trademark, even those who are not US citizens. However, there are four basic requirements that must be met to file a trademark application with the USPTO. Please review them below:

  1. Name: The owner of the trademark must apply for the trademark under their own name. The owner can be an individual, a partnership, a corporation, or an association.
  2. Type of Entity: The type of entity applying for the trademark must be specified and the national citizenship of the individual or entity must be disclosed on the application.
  3. Actual Use or Intent to Use: The application for a trademark must be based on the actual use of the trademark or the intention to use the trademark. Depending on the type of use, the applicant will have to follow different requirements.
  4. Example of the Trademark: If the application is based on actual use, an example (drawing, label, tag, etc.) of the trademark must be submitted with the application.

Get Help with a Trademark Application

Do you have questions about a trademark application and want to speak to an expert? Post a project today on ContractsCounsel and receive bids from trademark lawyers to prepare and file a trademark application on your behalf.

How ContractsCounsel Works
Hiring a lawyer on ContractsCounsel is easy, transparent and affordable.
1. Post a Free Project
Complete our 4-step process to provide info on what you need done.
2. Get Bids to Review
Receive flat-fee bids from lawyers in our marketplace to compare.
3. Start Your Project
Securely pay to start working with the lawyer you select.

Meet some of our Trademark Application Lawyers

ContractsCounsel verified
Managing Partner
23 years practicing
Free Consultation

Seasoned technology lawyer with 22+ years of experience working with the hottest start-ups through IPO and Fortune 50. My focus is primarily technology transactions with an emphasis on SaaS and Privacy, but I also provide GC services for more active clients.

ContractsCounsel verified
Founder
6 years practicing
Free Consultation

I am a California-barred attorney specializing in business contracting needs. My areas of expertise include contract law, corporate formation, employment law, including independent contractor compliance, regulatory compliance and licensing, and general corporate law. I truly enjoy getting to know my clients, whether they are big businesses, small start-ups looking to launch, or individuals needing legal guidance. Some of my recent projects include: -drafting business purchase and sale agreements -drafting independent contractor agreements -creating influencer agreements -creating compliance policies and procedures for businesses in highly regulated industries -drafting service contracts -advising on CA legality of hiring gig workers including effects of Prop 22 and AB5 -forming LLCs -drafting terms of service and privacy policies -reviewing employment contracts I received my JD from UCLA School of Law and have been practicing for over five years in this area. I’m an avid reader and writer and believe those skills have served me well in my practice. I also complete continuing education courses regularly to ensure I am up-to-date on best practices for my clients. I pride myself on providing useful and accurate legal advice without complex and confusing jargon. I look forward to learning about your specific needs and helping you to accomplish your goals. Please reach out to learn more about my process and see if we are a good fit!

ContractsCounsel verified
Contract and IP Attorney
3 years practicing
Free Consultation

I am a NY licensed attorney experienced in business contracts, agreements, waivers and more, corporate law, and trademark registration. My office is a sole member Law firm therefore, I Take pride in giving every client my direct attention and focus. I focus on getting the job done fast while maintaining high standards.

ContractsCounsel verified
Attorney
25 years practicing
Free Consultation

A twenty-five year attorney and certified mediator native to the Birmingham, Alabama area.

ContractsCounsel verified
Attorney/Owner
10 years practicing
Free Consultation

I absolutely love helping my clients buy their first home, sell their starters, upgrade to their next big adventure, or transition to their next phase of life. The confidence my clients have going into a transaction and through the whole process is one of the most rewarding aspects of practicing this type of law. My very first class in law school was property law, and let me tell you, this was like nothing I’d ever experienced. I remember vividly cracking open that big red book and staring at the pages not having the faintest idea what I was actually reading. Despite those initial scary moments, I grew to love property law. My obsession with real estate law was solidified when I was working in Virginia at a law firm outside DC. I ran the settlement (escrow) department and learned the ins and outs of transactions and the unique needs of the parties. My husband and I bought our first home in Virginia in 2012 and despite being an attorney, there was so much we didn’t know, especially when it came to our HOA and our mortgage. Our real estate agent was a wonderful resource for finding our home and negotiating some of the key terms, but there was something missing in the process. I’ve spent the last 10 years helping those who were in the same situation we were in better understand the process.

ContractsCounsel verified
Principal and Founder
7 years practicing
Free Consultation

Samantha has focused her career on developing and implementing customized compliance programs for SEC, CFTC, and FINRA regulated organizations. She has worked with over 100 investment advisers, alternative asset managers (private equity funds, hedge funds, real estate funds, venture capital funds, etc.), and broker-dealers, with assets under management ranging from several hundred million to several billion dollars. Samantha has held roles such as Chief Compliance Officer and Interim Chief Compliance Officer for SEC-registered investment advisory firms, “Of Counsel” for law firms, and has worked for various securities compliance consulting firms. Samantha founded Coast to Coast Compliance to make a meaningful impact on clients’ businesses overall, by enhancing or otherwise creating an exceptional and customized compliance program and cultivating a strong culture of compliance. Coast to Coast Compliance provides proactive, comprehensive, and independent compliance solutions, focusing primarily on project-based deliverables and various ongoing compliance pain points for investment advisers, broker-dealers, and other financial services firms.

ContractsCounsel verified
Chief Legal Officer
13 years practicing
Free Consultation

Experienced General Counsel/Chief Legal Officer

Find the best lawyer for your project

Browse Lawyers Now

Want to speak to someone?

Get in touch below and we will schedule a time to connect!

Request a call