You are currently viewing What agency handles the review of trademark applications?

What agency handles the review of trademark applications?

Where to apply for the trademark registration?

Registering your business name, brand, logo or design helps your products and company to stand out from others.  It makes a particular product unique among other similar products. Trademark registration prevents others from using a similar name, logo, slogan, and even a product design from copying it for commercial purposes.

A trademark registration gives the product, brand, or business name associated with a particular company a unique and distinctive feeling in which the company can reach its access to a dominant market. Initially, after deciding on a unique logo, design or brand, the first step is to get registered as soon as possible to prevent its use by any other unauthorized party. So where do you register your trademark?

  • For state registrations (often called Common Law), a quick search on the internet will show the nearest branch or office of the state trademark registry in your state.
  • For Federal Registrations, in the United States of America, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), is the agency to grant trademark registration.

The United States Patent and Trademark Office is headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia. Your application for a federal trademark registration should be filed with the USPTO and accompanied by relevant documents such as the trademark name, design or logo, the trademark’s owner info and so on.  A federal trademark application could take anywhere from 6 months to 4 years for getting registered depending on whether or not it is approved the examining attorney.

Who reviews the trademark applications?

In the United States, the Lanham Act governs the rules regarding trademarks.  The agency involved in the federal review process is the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The USPTO reviews the application for a trademark registration based on certain criteria. Some of these criteria are mentioned below:

  • The verification of documents that are submitted through the Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS) by the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
  • The verification of the applicant’s address and email address.
  • The United States Patent and Trademark office then appoints an Attorney to examine and review the applicant’s trademark.
  • The Attorney appointed by the USPTO searches for any conflicting trademarks and legal issues arising out of this trademark.
  • The USPTO then publishes the applicant’s trademark in any Official Gazette and waits for a “Notice of Opposition” before granting the certificate of trademark registration.
  • After a period of 30 days from the publication, the USPTO can finally grants the certificate of trademark registration to the applicant.

Due to COVID, the USPTO has been delayed in assigning examiners to trademark applications.  Before covid, examination typically occurred within 3 months of filing an application.  

What to do if a federal trademark application has been refused during the trademark examiner review process?

During the process of reviewing the registration application of a trademark, it is possible that there may be some objections and “Office Actions” that may be issued by the trademark examiner. These objections will eventually lead to the dismissal of the trademark registration filed by the applicant before the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The remedy for some office action refusals include:

  • Search in the USPTO databases and other databases by entering your trademark name and search for any similarity. 
  • Ensure that the granting of a certificate of trademark registration has no confusion among any other similar product.
  • Amend the trademark and its intent to avoid further rejection.
  • Respond to the Office Action issued by the examining Attorney within six months of the notice.

Federally Register your logo, design, or brand name for extra protection.

Registering your logo, design or brand name gives extra protection from its exploitation by anybody. There are certain agencies and officials to grant the certificate of trademark registration. Nevertheless, the trademark application may get rejected or granted based on certain criteria.

Let Karana IP get you from Trademark Application ™ to Registration ®.

If you have a new brand to protect, Karana IP has the ability to help you choose, protect, and enforce trademarks under state and federal law. Contact Karana IP Law today if you have questions about the selection, registration, protection, or enforcement of your mark.

Leave a Reply