Trademark Basics from the USPTO - Hurdles to Filing a Trademark Application

legal requirements for filing a trademark.jpg

How do I protect my brand? It seems like a simple question, but it doesn't always have a simple answer.  One route of protection is through a trademark registration. The U.S. federal trademark application process can be confusing.  Here are a few things the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office believes all applicants need to know before they get started.

The Trademark Application Process is a Legal Proceeding

  • You may file a trademark application without an attorney. But, if you want legal advice you should consider an attorney that practices trademark law.
  • Foreign attorneys and non-attorneys who work for trademark filing companies are not permitted to advise you, help you fill out a form, sign documents for you, or take actions on your application for you.
  • Hiring someone who is not allowed by the USPTO’s rules to represent you can delay your application and jeopardize its validity.
  • You sign a trademark application under "oath." When you sign the application you are saying, "I swear what I state is true."

Your Trademark Application Must Meet Numerous Legal Requirements/Hurdles

  • Is your trademark federally registrable?
  • Can you properly identify your goods or services?
  • Can you identify the proper filing basis for your application?
  • Has your trademark been used in interstate commerce?
  • Who is the actual owner of the trademark?

To help you navigate the trademark process you can search the USPTO website for guidance and read the "Basic Facts About Trademarks" guidebook

More answers to your questions can be found on Texas trademark attorney Tamera Bennett's website here.