How to Register a Trademark for Food


In the United States, trademarks are used to protect brands. A trademark is a distinctive phrase, word, symbol, or design that identifies and distinguishes products and services. It can also be any word or words legally registered as a business name in your state of incorporation.

In order to get the benefits of registering your food trademark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), you must first file an application for federal registration with them. You can apply for a food trademark online through the USPTO’s Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS).

What is a Trademark?

A trademark is a distinctive phrase, word, symbol, or design that identifies and distinguishes the source of the goods or services of one party from those of others. A trademark provides benefits to the owner in terms of building brand identity and establishing long-term customer relationships.

If you want to use your own name for your business and products, you should consider registering it as a trademark. Registering your business name will help prevent other people from using it for their businesses, making it easier for customers to find what they need from you.

Trademarks are usually registered with government agencies through some kind of application process, but it’s not always necessary to do so. If you’re just starting out selling your product or service online, this may not mean much to you right now—but as we’ll see further down in this post (and as we learned ourselves), there are certain steps you need to take in order to be able to fully protect your brands online by registering them as trademarks internationally.

What does it mean to Register a Trademark?

Registering a trademark is a great way to ensure that no one can claim your brand name or logo as their own. By registering, you have exclusive rights to the trademark (sometimes called a servicemark) in connection with what you’re selling or providing. If someone else adopts your registered mark, then they could be sued for infringing on your intellectual property rights.

While it’s not mandatory for food brands to register their trademarks, it’s highly recommended: there are many benefits to doing so—and once you register, it makes sense to protect yourself against unauthorized use of those same trademarks by others by monitoring them through the U.S Patent and Trademark Office database (USPTO).

If you don’t register your trademarked brand names and logos with USPTO, then someone else could adopt them and profit from them without paying royalties back into your business account; this would also prevent future sales opportunities since consumers wouldn’t know what products were connected with which brand names anymore if everyone else was using them too!

The USPTO grants trademarks based on three types:

  • Descriptive Marks – These are names that describe what the product or service does; “General Motors” is an example (General Motors makes cars).
  • Suggestive Marks – These are names that suggest what the product or service does but don’t say it outright; “Google” is an example (google means searching for something).
  • Arbitrary Marks – These are marks developed without any reference to the name’s meaning in any language; “Apple,” for instance, has no meaning outside of being fruit-inspired

How do I Apply for a Food Trademark?

To apply for a food trademark, you will need to make sure that the name you want to use is unique. You can search the USPTO website and see if there are any similar names already registered. If there are, you may need to change your name or come up with some alternatives (e.g., changing “cupcakes” to “bakery”).

There are two ways of applying for a food trademark: in-class applications and out-of-class applications. In an in-class application, you only need one filing fee that covers all classes where your mark could be used without needing additional fees per class. For example, if we were applying for our trademark “Drinkable Yogurt”, then we would only have to pay $325 once because it’s possible that this product could be sold as soda (Class 28) or as candy (Class 31). However, if we applied under an out-of-class basis then every time we wanted to sell our yogurt as soda or as candy we’d have to pay another $325 each time! Ouch!


You can apply for a food trademark online through the USPTO’s Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS). This is the fastest and easiest way to get your trademark registered. If you prefer, you can also apply in person or by mail, but those methods are slower and more expensive.

You can apply for a trademark with no drawings or photographs attached if you meet certain conditions. Your mark is not likely to be confused with other registered trademarks that are similar to yours, and there are no other factors that would prevent registration. In other words, if your idea or design hasn’t been used before by another company and it doesn’t look like anything else already out there on the market (or else why would anyone want it?), then you shouldn’t have any trouble getting it approved!

What does Registering a Trademark Mean for my Business?

  • Registering a trademark means that you have exclusive rights to the name or logo. If someone uses your trademark without your permission, you can sue them for trademark infringement. You also have the right to use the ® symbol with your mark. This shows that it’s registered and not just used in common speech.
  • The application process is free, but there are fees involved if you’re registering a lot of trademarks at once (more than one filing within three months). You’ll also need to pay an attorney or agent around $500 per application if you want help filing it for you. You can file online through the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) website; the process takes about 12 weeks from start to finish and requires several pieces of information including:
  • Your business name(s)
  • The goods or services associated with those marks (like food items)

It gives you Legal Recourse.

A trademark can also protect your brand from someone else trying to claim it. If a competitor or infringer uses your trademark, you may be able to sue for damages and get an injunction that stops the infringer from using the mark or logo. You might even be able to get a court order requiring the defendant to destroy any infringing goods in their possession and stop using the mark in question altogether.

Can I get Sued if I don’t Register my Trademark?

You can get sued for not registering your trademark. If you’ve spent a lot of time, money, and effort to develop a brand name or logo that you want to protect, then it pays to register your trademarks with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

If another business uses the same or similar mark in connection with its goods or services without permission from you and causes confusion among consumers as to who actually owns the mark, then they are “infringing” on that mark’s rights and may be liable for damages in court if they continue their infringing use.

If there is no registration on file at the USPTO, then an infringer could claim:

1) lack of knowledge about whether any infringement was taking place;

2) lack of intent by itself;

3) lack of profit gained by itself;

4) reliance on third parties’ use;

5) reliance on licenses granted by other entities

For example, let’s say that someone started selling tacos under the name “Super Taco,” which was already registered with the USPTO (by you). This person would have likely had no idea about Super Taco when it began selling tacos because he/she didn’t do any research before launching its new taco business – but now both businesses are competing head-to-head based off each having their own distinct brands despite only one being legally allowed to do so under copyright law!

If successful in court and awarded damages or an injunction against further infringement—which is what we would hope for—this means that these costs still weren’t incurred until after filing suit and going through all those steps mentioned above which could have been avoided altogether if only you had registered beforehand!

How long is the Process of Registering a Food Trademark?

The process of registering a food trademark is long and arduous. Each application is different, but the average time it takes to register a food trademark is 18 months. It can be much longer than that depending on how complex your application is and what happens during the approval process. You can check on the status of your application by visiting USPTO’s website and searching for it there.

The minimum length of time from filing to final registration is about 18 months, though most applications take much longer than that.

The length of time from filing to final registration depends on the complexity of your application and how long it takes the USPTO to review it. The average length of time is about 18 months, but it can take longer if your application requires more review by trademark examiners at the USPTO or if there are any objections filed against your mark.

However, there are ways to reduce this time:

  • You should have a thorough understanding of what type of mark you want (word mark vs design) because that determines whether you need an attorney’s help when filing for registration. If you’re not sure whether you do, consider contacting a local attorney in order to get some advice on which type might be best for your business.
  • It’s also worth trying to get faster registration through the Accelerated Examination Program (AEP) or Supplemental Registration Application Program (SRA). Both programs allow applicants who believe their applications will be particularly difficult due to both financial burdens associated with documenting certain aspects as well as reputation risk to make significant investments into protecting those assets without assurance they will ultimately succeed in obtaining trademark protection(s).

How much does it Cost to Register a Food Trademark?

The cost to register a trademark varies depending on how many classes you need and how many countries you want to file in. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has a fee calculator that can give you an estimate of what it might cost you to register your food startup’s trademark, but it’s best not to rely on this tool alone because the fee calculator is known for being inaccurate at times (especially when dealing with international trademarks).

A more accurate way of estimating how much it’ll cost is by speaking directly with an attorney who specializes in registering trademarks. They’ll tell you whether or not there are any additional fees associated with filing your application through their office, which may include:

  • Filing date expediting services ($100 per class). If someone else files the same mark as yours after the PTO receives your application (which can happen if they use different terms but have similar goods or services), then there’s no guarantee that theirs will be accepted before yours—even if they filed first. If this happens, however, one option available would be for both parties to petition for priority based on who used their mark first (i.e., when did each company start using its name/logo). That said, having priority doesn’t always mean success either; sometimes two similar marks can coexist peacefully without any issues arising between them later down the road.

The cost of registering your trademark depends on the size of your company and the complexity of your application. If you’re a small business with few goods or services to list, you can complete the filing process for under $400. If you’re applying for multiple products or businesses, expect to pay well over $1,000.


It’s important to understand that trademark registration isn’t a cure-all for your business. It won’t prevent others from using the same or similar marks, and it doesn’t give you any legal rights over a competitor’s brand (that’s called copyright). Instead, your mark is simply a way of identifying which products or services belong to you.

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