OVERVIEW OF THE TRADEMARK REGISTRATION PROCESS
The U.S. Trademark Review Process from filing to registration is a 5-step process, and clean trademarks can receive a Notice of Allowance within 12-14 months from the date of filing.
Note: A clean trademark application is a trademark that faces no obstacles during examination and the application is properly prepared. A good trademark search at the onset can help determine if a trademark is ‘clean’ or not.
Trademark applications are filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
Most trademark applications begin examination 3-4 months from the date of filing. During examination, an examining attorney for the USPTO reviews the trademark for possible issues, such as likelihood of confusion, merely descriptive, and the like. To learn more about such issues, click here.
Approved for Publication
When a trademark application clears examination, a Notice of Notification of Publication will issue. This is great news because it means the USPTO has approved the trademark to register, pending the final step of Publication.
Publication for Opposition
For a period of 30-days, the trademark candidate is published in the Official Gazette which is available to the public. If a third-party feels they will be injured if the trademark candidate should register, they can elect to file an Opposition proceeding which halts the trademark application.
When the trademark clears the 30-day publication period, the USPTO will issue a Notice of Allowance.
For Section 1(a) “In-Use” Trademark Applications:
If the trademark is already in use at the time of Allowance, the trademark will automatically proceed to registration and the certificate will issue in about 8-10 weeks.
For Section 1(b) “Intent-to-Use” Trademark Applications:
If the trademark is not yet in use, the applicant will have 6 months to file an “Allegation of Use” to show the USPTO that the trademark is being used in commerce. Once approved, the trademark will proceed to registration and the certificate will issue in about 8-10 weeks.