There are different types of trademarks for different types of intellectual property, with each type offering more specific protection. Determine which of the three mark formats applies to your trademark:
Standard character mark: This trademark protects any combination of words, letters, or numbers, without consideration of the font or style (for example, the name of a business). It provides broad rights for use in any form of presentation.
Stylized/design mark: This applies to a mark with a design you’d like to protect (i.e., a logo). The design may have letters or not.
Sound mark: This is for a tune or jingle that’s representative of a brand. For example, the MGM roaring lion sound falls under a sound mark.
No matter what kind of business you’re starting, you’ll almost always need a standard character mark and design mark, as your business should have a name and some kind of logo.
Do you need an attorney to help you in the process of researching, filing, and protecting your trademarks? Most likely, it might be a good idea for various reasons:
A trademark attorney can conduct a more expansive search. Your attorney can identify potential problems with your mark and inform you whether you should apply at all.
Filing for a trademark is a legal process. It has legal requirements and deadlines, and if they’re not met, your money will not be refunded. It may be worth the flat fee many attorneys charge to file correctly the first time.
If an Examining Attorney (representing the U.S. Patent and Trademarks Office) sends you communication, you may need the assistance of an attorney to respond properly.
eTMspace can help you manage all the steps and offer any additional legal advice you may need.
Your logo, name, or jingle will represent a particular good or service, and you must select a legally acceptable identification for your goods and services. This means choosing a name that’s not infringing on another trademark and is not similar enough to cause brand confusion.
Doing this improperly may prevent the registration of your mark. Here are some tips for properly identifying your mark:
Goods vs. Services: Do you sell goods (actual products, whether physical or digital) or provide services (some form of assistance or consulting)?
Properly define your goods or services: What are the goods or services you provide? Watch here for an in-depth video from the USPTO explaining the identification process.
It’s time to check whether there are other companies, people, or brands out there whose mark has a high “likelihood of confusion” with yours. This is where the trademark database comes in.
It’s important to remember that it’s not just about searching for people with the same mark or name, but also uncovering those who are similar.
If someone has already registered or applied for a mark that is the same or similar, and it’s used for related
products or services, it may be grounds for the USPTO to turn down your application.
Before applying you should know your basis for filing the mark. There are two options:
Use in commerce or Intent to use?
Essentially you’re confirming whether you’ve used the mark in sales and products already or intend to use it (this means your product or service is essentially market-ready).
You can finally begin filing your application through the help of eTMspace legal team. You will begin by filing your applications and leave the rest to us. You will also receive all communications via email.
The review process will take several months. If they do not have any objections to your registration, you will receive a notice of publication with the date of publication. After it’s published, any party who feels they may be damaged by your mark will have 30 days to take action.
If no opposition is filed (or if it fails), you enter the next step of registration and a certificate of registration will be issued. Within about 11 weeks the USPTO should register the mark and issue you a registration certificate.
If you filed with an intent to use, you will receive a notice of allowance, and will have six months to begin using the mark in commerce, or you’ll need to request a six-month extension.
What to List?
Be sure to include all of the different types of products or services that you will be selling. For example, someone selling clothing might enter Shoes, hats, and jackets.
Please note that the government will not let you broaden the description later without refiling your application. However, if your description is too broad or is outside the scope of your product or service, 3rd party may attempt to have your mark cancelled even after your mark is registered.
Thank you for selecting TransWorld Intellectual Property (Beijing) Co., Ltd.
(the “Agent” hereinafter) to
assist you with the trade mark applications in USA.
This letter confirms the terms of our engagement with you and extent of services
we will provide.
Services to be Provided
1. The Client hereby agrees to engage the Agent to provide the following services:
Searching and filing trade mark registration application in USA.
2. The members of the Agent who will be working on your matters are:
Name: XIAO JUN FAN
REN MENG MENG
Very truly yours,
Transworld Intellectual Property (Beijing) Co., Ltd.
I , Name: have read and consent to this letter, and duly affixed my signature under hand and seal on this date of Date of: .