Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Registering Trademarks & Service marks

As we mentioned in our previous post, you can choose to register your
trademark or you can choose not to. If you do register your trademark you
can use the ® after the brand name, whereas if you do not register it, but

merely apply for a trademark, you use TM after the brand name. (And remember
that you can only use the registration symbol before your trade or service
mark once the application has been processed, which could take anywhere from
6 months to several years.) That said, the benefits of registering a
trademark are: you’ll have evidence that you own the trademark; you can
invoke the jurisdiction of federal courts; and you can file your
registration with the U.S. Customs Service to prevent importation of
infringing foreign goods.

If you want to apply for registration of a trademark, you can fill out an
application online and file it over the net using the Trademark Electronic
Application System (TEAS) here. You can also respond to Office
actions and file notices of change of address and many other documents
through TEAS. If you’d like to check the status of your application, you
can visit the Trademark Applications and Registrations Retrieval (TARR)
database at http://tarr.uspto.gov. If you don’t
have internet access, call the Trademark Assistance Center at 1-800-786-9199
(or 1- 571-272-9250) to request a paper form.

Your completed application form to register a trademark (submitted online or
via US mail) should include: the appropriate fee; a drawing of the mark to
be registered; and specimens of use of the mark if the application is based
on actual use in commerce.

You can mail paper applications to: Commissioner for Trademarks, P.O. Box
1451, Alexandria, Virginia 22313-1451

The trademark and service mark filing fees are as follows:
(1) $275 per class for a TEAS Plus application that meets the requirements of 37 C.F.R. §§2.22 and 2.23;

(2) $325 per class for an application filed electronically using the
Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS); or

(3) $375 per class for an application filed on paper.

These fees will be charged not only when you file a new application, but
also when payments are made to add classes to an existing application.