WHAT PROTECTION DOES A U.S. FEDERAL TRADEMARK REGISTRATION PROVIDE?
At its core, a Trademark is an Identifier of Source. It answers the basic questions of: 1) Who made this? 2) Who produced this product? 3) Who provided this service? 4) Who is RESPONSIBLE for a specific product or service?
The length of the process can vary. Once filed, an application is typically assigned to an Examining Attorney within approximately 3 months. If no conflicts are found and if no third-party protests or opposes the registration, then it is feasible for a registration to be issued 4-6 months after that. Therefore, at a minimum, the registration process will require 7-9 months, but it can require much more time (possibly years) if the Examining Attorney issues a refusal or if a third-party files an opposition to the application.
Yes. To obtain a Federal Trademark registration, you must show that you are ‘Using’ your mark. For Trademark purposes, the term ‘Use’ means ‘Use in Interstate Commerce’. Put simply, you must be offering your goods or services for sale in more than one U.S. state. If you are unsure about whether or not you are ‘Using’ your mark in Interstate Commerce, it is best to consult with a Trademark Attorney.
If you are not currently using your mark, it is possible to file an ‘Intent to Use’ application. The application would then be examined by an Examining Attorney for conflicts, but not for the mark’s use. After the Trademark is ‘allowed’, you must then file an ‘Allegation of Use’ within 6 months, demonstrating that you are using the mark. Once the Examining Attorney reviews and accepts the Allegation of Use, he or she will issue the final registration.