15 Tips: How Long Does It Take for a Trademark to be Registered?
15 Tips: How Long Does It Take for a Trademark to be Registered?
If you are considering registering a trademark, then as revealed over at runrex.com, you will be disappointed to discover that trademark registration doesn’t happen instantly. But, how long does it take for a trademark to be registered? This is one of the most common questions asked by people who are considering protecting their brand. Through the following 15 tips, this article will look to answer this question and then some.
- It is difficult to predict the time
As is outlined over at guttulus.com, applications for federal trademarks must be submitted to the United States Patent and Trademark Office, USPTO. The USPTO website highlights how the complexity of the process makes it difficult to predict time-scales, which means that while some registrations are completed within a year, some may take years to finalize.
- Average times
Given that it may be difficult to predict time-scales according to the point above, we should highlight the average times. As revealed over at runrex.com, according to the USPTO’s own records, the average time from filing to completion is 9.5 months. This is why the general rule of thumb is to plan for 1 year at the very least.
- Initiate the process as soon as possible
Regardless of when your trademark is approved, you are entitled to protection retroactive to the initial filing date as explained over at guttulus.com. This means that the length of the process doesn’t affect the effective registration date, which will remain the original filing date. This is why it is important to initiate the process as soon as possible to establish the priority of usage in case any dispute arises.
- Factors that will affect the speed of the process
It is important to highlight some of the factors that will affect the speed with which an application is processed. These factors, discussed in detail over at runrex.com, include:
- The quality of the application itself
- The level of experience of the examiner overseeing the process
- The use of relevant software allowing applicants to receive updates from the USPTO
- The likelihood of issues that need addressing with descriptive research like demonstrating the use of the mark commercially
- The impact of office actions
An Office Action is a query from the USPTO that may be a request for clarification, a required correction, or a potential conflict or overlap with an existing mark. If you receive an Office Action, you will have 6 months to respond to it after which your application will either move forward or be denied. Receiving one will impact how long it takes for you to register your trademark.
- The impact of disputes
Also, as is revealed in discussions on the same over at guttulus.com, it is important to note that disputes arising during publication may also hold up your trademark’s approval. This will depend on the legitimacy and veracity of any claim.
- The impact of “intend to use” applications
Another thing that will impact the duration it takes for your trademark to be registered is if you filed your mark as “intend to use”. If you did so, as outlined over at runrex.com, you won’t be approved until you have filed a follow up to your initial application, proving the use of your mark in commerce.
- How long does it take an application to reach the top of the examination queue?
To understand how long it takes for a trademark to be registered, it is important to note how long it takes for an application to reach the top of the examination queue. As discussed over at guttulus.com, once a trademark application is submitted to the USPTO, it goes into a queue for an examining attorney to review. It usually takes 3-4 months for a trademark application to reach the top of the queue and for examination to commence.
- What is the publication stage?
If after examining your application, the examining attorney finds no conflicts with existing marks, your trademark will move to a 30-day publication stage as outlined over at runrex.com. This is a way of publicly announcing your pending mark and to open the floor to any objections that any person may have.
- A typical timeline
It is also important to highlight the typical timeline as far as registering a trademark is concerned to give you an idea of what the process entails. Broadly, the timeline entails:
- Searching for similar marks
- Preparing and submitting your application
- Paying the required fees
- Monitoring the status
- Responding to requests by the USPTO examiner punctually
- Waiting for approval or rejection of your application
Tips to speed up the trademark process
- Choose a strong mark
As the gurus over at guttulus.com point out, not every name, sound or symbol is eligible for trademark protection. Choosing a weak mark will likely lead to you receiving an Office Action, which could lead to your registration either being delayed or denied.
- Choose a mark that isn’t confusingly similar to another mark
If there is a likelihood of confusion between your mark and another mark that has already been registered, then an Office Action is also likely to follow as explained over at runrex.com. If two marks are similar and are used to identify similar goods or services, then a likelihood of confusion exists.
- Begin using your mark in commerce as soon as possible
From discussions over at guttulus.com, when you file your application, you will have to choose a filing basis, which can either be “use in commerce” or “intent to use”. If you are currently using your mark, you can file under the “use in commerce” basis, which means you will have one less step to complete before your mark is registered. If not, you will have to file under “intent to use”, which will delay the process as already discussed.
- Submit a complete and accurate trademark application
If there is a technical or procedural problem with your application, then you may also receive an Office Action. This is why the gurus over at runrex.com recommend that you take time to make sure that you have fully completed your application, have chosen the correct type of goods or services, and have followed all instructions for submitting a picture and specimen of your mark to avoid delays.
- Respond promptly to Office Actions
Also, if the USPTO sends you an Office Action, it is important to note that your application won’t proceed any further until you respond. While you will have 6 months to submit your response, if you want your application to move quickly, then you should respond as soon as possible.
The above discussion only just begins to scratch the surface as far as this topic is concerned, and you can uncover more insights by checking out the excellent runrex.com and guttulus.com.