Trademark registration in the USA

The American continent attracts entrepreneurs from all over the world. This is a huge market with a large solvent audience, so selling your goods and provision of services here is very profitable. Naturally, in order to do this legally and protect your brand from the illegal actions of third parties, you need to act exclusively in the legal field, incorporate the company according to the law, register trademark usa and, of course, pay taxes.
In this country, the intellectual property rights system is established as nowhere else in the world. Therefore, you should not worry here when documenting a patent, a useful invention, a music label, or a clothing or food company. The law protects everyone equally. If you come up with something and want to establish your right to a brand, you should go through a simple procedure and get protection for your brand.
Sometimes a company operates for a long time under a name that is not documented. The company successfully positions itself, has a high-quality client base, and a recognizable brand. And then another enterprise appears, enlisted under the same or similar branding, perhaps even unintentionally.
All of this can cause irreparable damage to the firm reputation, in addition, the owner who officially possesses the trademark has the right to initiate a claim to the short-sighted proprietor who did not have time to register the trademark.
Having received official confirmation of the privilege to use the trademark in the United States, you can carry out activities throughout the country. Any copying or commercial use of your trademark will be prosecuted. Violators face severe punishment, so many do not want to fake things in the US, knowing that for this they will go straight to jail.
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What is brand certification in the USA?

Official confirmation of the right to use a particular sign, logo, text slogan, or musical sound is called trademark registration in usa. The process is not much different from other countries. A frequent person or legal entity must submit documents to state certification bodies by filling out certain forms. After that, the state registrar will check whether such or a similar trademarks has already been previously registered.
If the application is duly drafted, after the lapse of the statutory period, the applicant will receive a notification and a certificate of making a unique entry in the trademark register. Usually, the period for consideration of documents takes from ten to sixteen months. But waiting is definitely worth it. As a result, you will receive copyright protection for ten years. And after this period, you can extend it for another ten years.
USA trademark registration is required not only for businesses that are located within the country and provide some goods or services. If an entrepreneur is located in Europe, Asia, or any other part of the world, but exports his products or renders services on the territory of the United States, he also must get trademark protection. With the development of online trading, many began to sell on Amazon, Etsy, and eBay. If your potential customers live in the US, you also ought to register a trademark, otherwise unscrupulous dealers will take advantage of the loophole to fake your products.
Please note that not every trademark can be registered in the United States. Legal protection is not granted to logos that include the image of the flag, coat of arms, and other state emblems of any country. Do not use symbols that may mislead consumers, as well as those that are identical or similar to those previously recorded in the United States. It will not be possible to employ the name, portrait, or signature of a famous person without his consent. Also, the brand must not be offensive from a religious, political, or social point of view. Given the abundance of different groups and views in the nation, you will have to think a lot to make the brand neutral in all respects.
Please note that according to US law, the copyright holder of a trademark on the 5th year of its validity is required to provide the Office with a Declaration that the trademark is used (Declaration of Use) regarding all classes in which it was registered or an explanation indicating a good reason for not using it (excusable non-use).
After 10 years, the registration period will expire. Therefore, the owner of the trademark will need to apply again to the state authorities to renew or cancel the trademark. And so it is necessary to do it every decade. It should be noted that the State Patent Offices do not send any formal notices. You will need to control this on your own so as not to miss the deadlines for submitting documents. If you forget to file an application or declaration, this may result in the cancellation of the trademark and removal of legal protection. Therefore, it is important to keep a close eye on deadlines.
While owning a trademark, it can be gifted or sold. As you know if the name is famous and popular, it is a very valuable asset, which only becomes more expensive over the years. Therefore, it is essential to record the right of ownership at the very beginning of commercial activity in order to avoid difficulties in the future and secure your business lawfully.
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How do we register trademarks in the USA?

In our company, United States trademark registration takes place in several stages.
  1. After the initial consultation, we check the designation for protectability and find out if similar or identical designations have already been recorded. If there are similar designations applied for registration, we will let you know as well.
  2. Next, you are required to provide grounds for enlisting a commercial name in the country. In this case, it is a use in commerce or intent to use.
  3. When the package of papers is ready, we will submit an application on your behalf to the United States Patent and Trademark Office. An alternative option is an international entry under the Madrid Agreement.
  4. The Office carries out formal and qualifying tests of the petition. This check allows finding out if the rights of third parties have been violated. Sometimes you can get a provisional refusal to record a trademark after the inspection. In this case, you can change the name, logo or sign, or file an appeal within 6 months.
  5. After all examinations have been passed, the state body publishes the trademark application in a special bulletin. This is to ensure that any person or organization that objects have 30 days to write a waiver request. Usually, this doesn’t happen. But in case such a letter is received, the brand owner will have to respond to it.
  6. The last stage is the issuance of a trademark certificate.
You will receive a certificate at your office. Our partners in the USA will send the document to us via courier service, and we will hand it over to you. Once a trademark has been officially entered into all state registries, you can use it as you wish. You can write the sign “®” next to the name. Now everything is official! The law will protect your rights throughout the country for the next decade.

Reviews

We started selling products on Amazon and did not even think that we must somehow record a trading name in the US because we already had registration in our country. Thanks to the qualified assistance of experts from FIntech Harbor, we managed to protect our rights in time.
I want to thank the lawyers from Fintech Harbor for their help in the trademark application USA. Previously, we tried to do it on our own but were rejected after the inspection. By entrusting the process to experts, we got rid of bureaucracy and saved a lot of time and money. Now we are waiting for official certification for our brand.
I recently incorporated a firm that produces farm products. Thanks to Fintech Harbor, I quickly completed all the essential papers and my goods are already successfully sold in supermarkets in two states. Everything went faster than I expected! Highly recommend.

FAQ

The list of banned names is not much different from other countries. You cannot use the state symbols of the United States or other states. The brand name, slogan, visual logo, or musical commercial sound should not be very similar or even identical. You can not use generally accepted words (bread, air, bag) and misleading terms. It is also worth remembering politeness and political correctness. Your designation must not be offensive to social, national, or religious groups.
The national registry of trademarks that are valid in the United States is publicly available online. The site https://www.uspto.gov/trademarks/search provides all the information. It is only available in English. Search is free. Anyone can check the full name or a single word. As a result, information is available, including the registered trademark and its owner. Information will also be recorded if the trademark was sold or donated to a third party. You can also see the date of application and the date of publication in the public register. In addition, full information about the company that owns the trademark is displayed, including the name and address. Information about the representative who conducted the registration is available. At the very bottom, you can see the live/dead status. This way you can determine if the brand is active or has been withdrawn.

To register a trademark in the USA one should provide the following papers:

  • applicant’s name and address (if an applicant is a private person, a copy of passport is required);
  • for companies—constituent documents, address, and type of organization, passport of the founder and director;
  • applicant’s signature;
  • description of the trademark (text slogan, logo design, and any other identification);
  • description of the services or products that will be sold under this brand;
  • receipts for payment of state fees.

The most difficult part for non-professionals is understanding the classification and choosing the right class. Therefore, it is worth contacting experienced lawyers so that all documents are properly executed. There have been cases when long months of waiting ended in vain due to incorrectly completed forms.

US register trademark term usually takes from 10 to 18 months. On average, many companies manage to obtain permission to use the ® mark within a year. But all cases are individual. It is important to remember that the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) may want to clarify some issues. And the sooner you answer their questions, the better. Also, after a notice is published in the official state bulletin, a third party may have objections about your designation (for instance, someone considers that your trade name is very similar to their own and violates their rights). In this case, you will need to collect a package of documents and provide arguments in your defense, or even completely change your designation and start the whole procedure again. Tens of thousands of new designations are registered in the US every year because the competition in this market is huge. Therefore, it is better to submit documents in advance, even before you start selling your goods in the country.