How to Register a Federal Trademark?


Naturally, business owners who put a lot of time, money, and effort into their work want to maintain control over it. You can keep an eye on quality, stave off competition, and stop unauthorized duplication by registering your brand. But what is involved in trademark registration? What is the procedure like and how much does it cost to register a federal trademark? The details of registering your trademark or design are explained in this article.

What is a Trademark?

A trademark is a word, phrase, symbol or design, or a combination of words, phrases, symbols or designs, that identifies and distinguishes the source of the goods of one party from those of others.

Unlike patents and copyrights which are granted by law to their owners to be used in their respective fields only (e.g., you can’t use your patent for non-commercial purposes), trademarks can be obtained through registration with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

The major function of trademarks is to distinguish one product from another by means of branding. Most commonly known examples are Coca-Cola® and McDonald’s®, but there are literally thousands more on record—from well-known brands like Amazon®, Twitter®, Microsoft® and Apple®, to lesser known ones like Converse All Star Chuck Taylor Rubber Shoes Inc., NPD Group Inc., Burger King Worldwide Inc., The Hershey Company LLC and many others .

How to Register a Trademark?

  • First of all, you need to decide what your trademark will be.
  • Then, you have to file an application for trademark registration with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
  • You can file online or by paper:

Do I Need a Trademark Attorney?

If you are a small business with fewer than five employees, the process of registering a trademark is likely not going to be too complex for you. In fact, it may even be something that can be done by yourself or with the help of your employees. On the other hand, if you are starting a business and need to register multiple trademarks as part of this process, then hiring an attorney may make sense. A trademark attorney will help guide you through all aspects of the application process and allow you access to legal advice when necessary.

Trademark Application Process

  • File an application: After your attorney has prepared the necessary paperwork, you should file the trademark application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). You can do this through their website or by mail.
  • Pay the fee: The filing fee for registering a trademark is $225 for electronic applications and $275 for paper forms. If you want to use one of the USPTO’s services like expedited processing, then there are extra fees involved as well.
  • Assign an examiner: When your application is ready to be reviewed by an examiner, it will become assigned one who will review its merits and determine whether or not it meets all requirements for registration (whether or not it’s unique enough). They may suggest some changes that need to be made before moving forward in order for things to go smoothly during this process—but don’t worry! Your attorney will help guide them through any changes needed so things don’t get delayed unnecessarily…and remember: if they do suggest any changes then they’ll send them back out again once everything has been modified accordingly.”

1. Preparing the Application

The first step to registering a federal trademark is to prepare the application. In general, an application includes:

  • A description of your mark that should be as specific as possible and include words that describe the goods or services covered by your trademark (for example, if you were selling car parts online, it would be best to use terms like “car parts” rather than just “parts”).
  • A drawing for each class of goods and services covered by your trademark registration. If you don’t have access to someone who can draw one for you, check out sites like Trademark Avenue which offer templates that can help guide you through the process.
  • A statement that indicates whether there are any foreign registrations or applications pending on this mark; this allows USPTO officials to determine whether there could be any conflicts with existing rights held by another party in other countries. It’s important not only because it helps prevent potential disputes down the road but also because if conflicts do arise later on then they must be resolved before approval can occur here at home within UIPA itself too!

2. Gather your supporting documents

You will need to gather a number of documents to support your trademark application. These documents should be provided by you, your attorney or other authorized representative. A checklist and list of the required supporting documents are available on the Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS).

Below is a list of some of the most common types of supporting documents:

  • Numbering system – an official numbering system that you use in connection with one or more products, services, businesses or organizations covered by this application;
  • Color(s) – if used as part of your mark; and
  • The mark itself – if there is not already a specimen included with this application (for example, if there is no specimen included in this application). If possible, please submit two copies each for color marks and all other types when submitting digital files via TEAS or uploading physical specimens directly into TEAS through our web interface

3. Filing Electronically or By Paper

You can file electronically or by paper. You can find out how to do this on the USPTO website.

Electronic filing is recommended because it’s faster and more convenient for you, but if your circumstances don’t allow for it, you may choose to file by paper instead. What are those circumstances? Some people don’t have a scanner or computer, or they don’t have a printer at home. If any of these apply to you, then yes—you will need to file your trademark application by mail (or fax).

4. Receiving an Application Number

Once you have submitted the application, you will receive an email notification with the Application Receipt Number. This number is a unique identifier for your application and will be used in all correspondence with the USPTO. This number can be found on top right hand corner of your receipt.

5. Paying the Trademark Fee

The last step in the trademark process is paying your fee. The fee is $225 and it’s non-refundable. You can pay online or by mail, with a credit card or check (made out to “United States Patent and Trademark Office”).

6. Assigned Examiner’s Reviews

The USPTO’s assigned examiner reviews the application for formalities and substantive grounds of refusal. This review usually takes between three to six months, depending on the type of trademark you are registering. If there are no issues with your application, an Office Action will be issued. The Office Action is a letter from the USPTO that describes the status of your application and provides instructions on how to address any issues raised by the examiner in their report.

If an applicant has responded to an Office Action, it may contain substantive objections to their response or objections to their response to previous Office Actions (or both).

7. Applicant Responds to Office Action

It’s important to respond to the Office Action. If you disagree with it, you can file an amendment or a statement of use. The amendment is an additional filing that changes your application in some way (such as adding a claim). The statement of use is used when the applicant wants to change the marking on its goods or services from “proposed” to “used.”

If you agree with the Office Action, then all that’s left for you to do is file a response. If you don’t respond within six months after receiving an Office Action, your application will be abandoned by default.

8. Receipt of Notice of Allowance, or Final Office Action

If the applicant is not satisfied with the Final Office Action, he or she can respond to it. The applicant also has other options:

  • appeal the decision to a higher authority in the USPTO;
  • request reconsideration of that decision; and/or
  • request abandonment of the application (this may be done at any point during prosecution).


If you are interested in doing business online, then it is important to get your trademark registered. This will help you avoid the risk of getting sued for using another company’s name or logo. It also gives you exclusive rights over the name or logo, so nobody else can use them without your permission.

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