US Trademark registration- Introduction
Entrepreneurial culture is growing massively across the globe. As per the statistics provided by WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization), over 4 million US trademark registrations are made every year globally. For the protection and establishment of the business, trademark registration comes in as a valuable asset. The process of US trademark registration is important and relatively easy, one of the reasons being that it makes it easy for other international registrations as well.
Benefits Offered by the US Trademark Registration
The list of benefits for US trademark registration includes:
- Legal recognition: One of the significant benefits is the legal security and representation that the business gets through the trademark.
- Penalties and losses: If your company has a registered trademark, no one can copy it. If they do copy it and infringe on your rights, you can sue them and get compensation in addition to getting all the profits they made using your trademark. The whole process of suing an infringement becomes very difficult if your trademark is not registered.
- State law and federal protection: You can either get your trademark protected in a specific state of the US or get federal registration to protect your trademark across the US.
- Expansion of business: If the trademark is registered, it becomes easier to expand the business globally. For example, brands like Nike, Aeropostale, McDonald’s, and many others have obtained recognition at the global level and registered globally as well. This can be done using the Madrid system.
- Exclusive rights: Once registered, the individual or the company gets the exclusive rights for the mark, and can use it anytime they want, without any claims or objections.
Points to be Considered
To set up strong grounds for the business, every entrepreneur must take into consideration the following points while registering the trademark.
Register in the US
Through the USPTO (The United States Patent and Trademark Office), the process of registration can be completed online.
Get proper knowledge of registration
Before expanding the ventures at the international levels, one need to understand how the registration process works and the rules you will have to follow, and the availability of your mark in the USA.
The Madrid Protocol
The registration of the trademark in multiple countries can be done through the Madrid Protocol, maintained and monitored by WIPO.
- Under this agreement, a single application has to be submitted for getting the trademark registered in the coalition of member countries. A total of 113 countries are a part of the Madrid Agreement, including significant economies like China, the European Union, France, the USA, and others.
- The application of the MM2 Form has to be submitted on the WIPO website. After this, the hard copy of the form has to be submitted to the US office.
Hiring an attorney
In the case of countries that are not a part of the Madrid Protocol, an attorney must be hired to get the trademark registration done. These countries include Canada, Saudi Arabia, and others.
While choosing the trademark and slogans, keep in mind its translation into various languages, it should not be offensive for other countries, legally or personally.
Quick Tip: In October 2020, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issued Examination Guidelines for examining “generic.com” terms. These guidelines provide guidance to trademark examiners on how to apply the recent recommendations by the U.S. Supreme Court in this regard. It also provides guidance to trademark applicants on how domain names can be registered as trademarks.
Documents Required for Filing Trademark in the USA
The documents to be submitted while applying for registration are as follows:
- Applicant’s details
- In the case of a company, details of the legal entity
- Country for the incorporation
- In case the trademark is already in use, then proof of usage
- Specimen of the trademark
- In the case of a country where English is not used, the foreign translation has to be submitted
- Fees for registration
The total duration of the process is 9-12 months, in case there are no objections raised. If there are objections, it might take longer.
Trademark registration is valid for ten years.
Cost of Trademark Registration in the US
- For state trademark registration, the price range is between $100-$200
- For federal registration providing nationwide accessibility, the price range is between $275-$375