If you want to protect a phrase, word or symbol of your business’s service or product, you will need a trademark. Having a trademark can make a big difference in a competitive market because it distinguishes your brand from others.
However, applying for a trademark can be a complicated process, and there are a variety of common errors that occur.
Process for trademark registration
According to the United States Patent and Trademark Office, the first part of registering a trademark is to file an application. The next one is the examination of the application. This examination occurs by an attorney who makes sure the trademark is registrable and that the application meets all legal requirements.
If the examining attorney approves the application, there is a publishing of the trademark for 30 days. During this period, any public member can oppose it on the grounds it would cause harm to him or her. If no one opposes the application, it moves on to the registration, which can take three to four months to become official.
Common errors during the application process
Since the application process starts the ball rolling, it is imperative to fill out the application correctly, and this is where the majority of errors occur. Some potentially fixable errors include:
- The trademark is only a surname
- The trademark is the name of someone else, and you do not have their written permission
- The trademark only describes the product
- The specimen does not show trademark use
Some errors, such as requesting a generic trademark, listing the wrong trademark owner or incorrectly identifying the services or goods, are unfixable. If so, you would need to start the application process over.