FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions
A trademark includes any word, name, symbol, or device, or any combination used, or intended to be used, in commerce to identify and distinguish the goods of one manufacturer or seller from goods manufactured or sold by others, and to indicate the source of the goods. In short, a trademark is a brand name. A service mark is any word, name, symbol, device, or any combination, used, or intended to be used, in commerce, to identify and distinguish the services of one provider from the services provided by others, and to indicate the source of the services
Complete an application using the Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS). You will need to respond to office actions and file notices of change of address, allegations of use and requests for extension of time to file a statement of use through TEAS. You can check the status of your application through the Trademark Status & Document Retrieval (TSDR) system. If you do not have access to the Internet, you can call the Trademark Assistance Center at 1-800-786-9199 or 1-571-272-9250 to request a paper form. For further information about the applying for a trademark registration, see Basic Facts about Trademarks.
The USPTO allows you to access copies of the documents in almost all pending applications, as well as many registrations. The Trademark Status and Document Retrieval (TSDR) database allows you to view, download, and print documents contained in our electronic records. Also, for a fee you can request a copy of your trademark registration by contacting our Certified Copy Center.
A copy of the trademark registration is $3 per registration. Certified copies are $15 per registration. A certified copy of the registration is also called a “title and status,” as it will include the current status of the trademark and current ownership information according to our records. It will also include a certification statement, a seal, and an authorized signature affirming that the registration is an official USPTO copy. You can pay by credit card, USPTO deposit account, or by electronic funds transfer (EFT).
It is advisable to conduct a search of the office records before filing an application. A search for pending, registered and dead trademarks may be conducted on the USPTO website using the Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS) or by visiting the Public Search Facility located on the first floor of the Madison East building at 600 Dulany St., Alexandria , VA 22313 between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m.
Also, certain information may be searched at a Patent and Trademark Depository Library (PTDL). To find your nearest PTDL, go to www.uspto.gov/go/ptdl. If you need assistance in searching for trademarks, you may wish to locate a U.S.-licensed attorney specializing in trademark law. Local bar associations and the Yellow Pages usually have attorney listing broken down by specialties.
Use of the TM and SM symbols may be governed by local, state, or foreign laws and the laws of a pertinent jurisdiction to identify the marks that a party claims rights to. The federal registration symbol, the R enclosed within a circle, may be used once the mark is actually registered in the USPTO. Even though an application is pending, the registration symbol may not be used before the mark has actually become registered. The federal registration symbol should only be used on goods or services that are the subject of the federal trademark registration. PLEASE NOTE: Several foreign countries use the letter R enclosed within a circle to indicate that a mark is registered in that country. Use of the symbol by the holder of a foreign registration may be proper.
For goods, "Interstate commerce" involves sending the goods across state lines with the mark displayed on the goods or the packaging for the goods. With services, "Interstate commerce" involves offering a service to those in another state or rendering a service that affects interstate commerce (e.g. restaurants, gas stations, hotels, etc.).
Applications for trademarks used on regulated products (e.g. cannabis, drug paraphernalia, ivory, whalebone) and activities (e.g. gambling and wagering, retail stores featuring controlled substances) are subject to additional review. See more information on our Laws and regulations page.
The filing fees for an application filed through the Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS) are as follows:
- $225 per class of goods or services for a TEAS Plus application that meets the requirements of 37 C.F.R. §2.22; or
- $275 per class of goods or services for a TEAS Standard application.
If your application is filed based on a bona fide intent to use the mark in commerce, additional documents and fees will be required at a later time.
In general, you must file your application through TEAS, and pay the fee using a credit card, existing USPTO deposit account, or electronic funds transfer (EFT).
PLEASE NOTE: Fees are subject to change and should therefore be verified before submission to the USPTO. You may obtain the current schedule of fees.
You can find all USPTO's trademark forms in the Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS). Two filing options are available for the initial application form: TEAS Plus and TEAS Standard. The TEAS application form allows you to pay by credit card, electronic funds transfer, or through an existing United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) deposit account.
No. The examining attorney will review the application and may issue refusals based on the Trademark Act of 1946, 15 U.S.C. §1051 et seq., or the Trademark Rules of Practice, 37 C.F.R. Part 2. The most common reasons for refusing registration are because the mark is:
- Likely to cause confusion with a mark in a registration or prior application;
- Descriptive for the goods/services;
- A geographic term;
- A surname;
- Ornamental as applied to the goods.
For a discussion of these and other possible refusals, see Chapter 1200 of the Trademark Manual of Examining Procedure (TMEP). The examining attorney may also issue requirements concerning, for example:
- The goods and services listed in the application;
- The description of the mark;
- The quality of the drawing;
Here are some specific benefits of having a federally registered trademark:
- Constructive notice nationwide of the trademark owner's claim.
- Evidence of ownership of the trademark.
- Jurisdiction of federal courts may be invoked.
- Registration can be used as a basis for obtaining registration in foreign countries.
- Registration may be filed with U.S. Customs and Border Protection to prevent importation of infringing foreign goods.
- See U.S. Customs and Border Protection
- See Computer Crime and Intellectual Property section of the Department of Justice
You may receive unsolicited communications from companies requesting fees for trademark-related services, such as monitoring and document filing. Although solicitations from these companies frequently display customer-specific information, including USPTO serial number or registration number and owner name, companies that offer these services are not affiliated or associated with the USPTO or any other federal agency. See Caution: misleading notices for more information.
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Federal registration provides several advantages, including giving you a legal presumption of ownership and exclusive rights to use the mark nationwide in connection with your goods or services. It also gives you the right to bring a federal suit against anyone who may be infringing on your mark, and allows you to use the coveted ® symbol.
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