Obtaining registration for a trademark in the United States is a process that starts with searching existing trademarks, then, assuming there is no conflict between your proposed new mark and anything already registered, preparing and filing an application with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (the "USPTO").
After a period that runs from five to seven months, depending on the backlog at the time, an attorney at the USPTO reviews the new application. The examining attorney may ask for additional information, and may also engage in some discussion and negotation relating to the proposed registration.
If the discussion and/or negotiation has a positive result, the USPTO will publish the proposed registration in the Federal Register, opening a comment period during which anyone may raise an objection to the registration. If there is no sustainable negative comment, the USPTO issues a registration, which must be renewed at specified intervals.
At David A. Browde, P.C., all the trademark work is handled personally by David Browde, the former Writing and Research Editor of the Fordham Intellectual Property, Media & Entertainment Law Journal. And all U.S. Trademark registrations are done for a flat fee.
What we do for our flat fee: We start with a comprehensive search of existing trademarks and advertising databases, to make sure your proposed mark won't run into trouble in the registration process at the USPTO. We advise you of any changes that may need to be made to the proposed mark to avoid any conflicts discovered during the search, file the registration application, and handle any negotiations with the USPTO up through the final registration or final rejection. See a full description of the steps we take at the bottom of this page.
How much is the flat fee? It depends upon how many registrations and classes you need, and how many are filed on the same day.
What isn't included: The application fee charged by and paid directly to the USPTO, which can vary, starting at $275.00 for the most simple of registrations.
What happens if there's a rejection? Appeal is possible to the TTAB - Trademark Trial and Appeal Bureau.
What if I want to register in foreign countries, including under the Madrid Protocol or through WIPO, the World Intellectual Property Organization? We can guide you through the process, and, working with a network of agents in various countries, will handle your international trademark needs. The WIPO/Madrid Protocol process is more complicated, because, even though there's some uniformity lent by virtue of the common application process, each country has its own internal review formalities and charges its own registration fee. For that reason WIPO and Madrid Protocol registrations can't be handled on a flat fee basis.
The Trademark "Don't" of the Year. No matter who handles your registration, some time after you first file with the USPTO, you will almost certainly receive a number of official looking solicitations from companies with official sounding names, demanding money. Time after time, clients who use our flat fee registration service call up and say, "Hey, you promised it would only cost X, and now I have this bill..." The bills are designed to look like they might have come from a government agency, and often are seeking sums of money from $395 to $2000 for supposed services the senders claim you need to "protect" your mark. Without exception, those our clients have sent us have been attempts by people we charitably won't call con artists to sell services that are unnecessary at best, and completely phony at worst. The only fees you ever should pay for registering your trademark (aside from legal fees to your attorney) are those paid directly to the USPTO. No one else needs to be paid for a U.S. trademark registration. Ever.
Our full U.S. Trademark Process:
- We perform an extensive search of the existing trademark databases, as well as other advertising related databases, to determine if there is a competing use that could cause problems in the registration process.
- Assuming no blocking use is found, we prepare and file a registration with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office ("USPTO"), in the relevant category or categories.
- Some six months or more after the application is filed, a staff attorney will be assigned by the USPTO to review the application.
- Sometimes the application is approved as is, but more than half the time the USPTO staff attorneys have some comments about the application, and enter into discussions as to how to either clear their objections, or seek additional argument from us as to why their comments are insufficient to bar registration. In some cases, there can be two or three rounds of back and forth before they make a final decision...but typically, within eight or nine months, the discussions result in a decision by the staff attorney that the proposed trademark is registrable.
- The USPTO orders publication of the proposed trademark in the Federal Register.
- About two months after publication, assuming no negative public comments that the staff attorney deems valid (and such comments are extremely rare - I've never had one) the trademark is formally registered, and the USPTO issues a Certificate of Registration.
Contact us for trademark services here.