How to Register a Trademark in Rhode Island


If you’re ready to take your business to the next level, registering a trademark is a great way to start. A trademark gives you legal protection against competitors who might use your brand name in their marketing. Registering your trademark can also help grow your business by building up consumer recognition and trust in your brand name. This article will walk through the steps of registering a trademark with the Rhode Island Secretary of State’s office.

Why Register a Trademark?

You can register a trademark for a number of reasons, including:

  • Protecting your brand.
  • Protecting your investment.
  • Protecting your reputation.
  • Protecting your intellectual property.
  • Ensuring that you will be able to identify and protect customers who buy products from you.

How to Register

To use trademarks legally, you must register them with the USPTO. You can also use an unregistered trademark. You don’t need anything to use an unregistered trademark as long as you’re not violating someone else’s rights. For example, if you were using your last name as your business name without registering it first. If someone else wants to stop you from using your unregistered mark, they would have to sue for infringement. If someone has already filed for registration of their own mark and yours is too similar—or even identical—to theirs, then yours will be denied unless there’s some other reason why yours should be registered instead of theirs (like maybe if yours was first), but this rarely happens.

Use the TM Symbol

The TM symbol can be used to indicate that you have a trademark and are using it on the goods or services listed in your trademark application. If you don’t use the TM symbol, your mark is considered abandoned and may be available for someone else to register.

If you want to prevent others from using your registered mark, you may want to consider registering if:

  • Your trademark has been in use for three years but it is not yet well-known enough to qualify as a famous mark.
  • You wish to expand beyond the product or service that is associated with your trademark.

Complete the Application Form

You’ll need to fill out a standard trademark application form. This can be downloaded from the USPTO website, or you can visit your local office and pick up a printed copy. Make sure you have all the information required and that there are no mistakes before you sign it!

Choose your Trademark Classes

The first thing you need to do is choose your trademark classes. Your business may be providing a wide range of goods and services, but each item should belong to only one class. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has 45 classes that are organized by the type of good or service being offered.

The best way to decide which class is right for your business is to think carefully about your target audience and potential customers. What do their needs look like? Are they looking for general products (like any kind of electronics), or are they looking for specific brands that offer a certain level of quality (like Apple computers)? Do they have a variety of needs when it comes to buying something from you? Will it be one product or many different types of products? Once you’ve found an appropriate category, narrow down further into subcategories if needed so that every product falls under this umbrella term—but don’t overdo it either!

Your trademark should not extend too far beyond what makes sense in terms of coverage within its own industry sector; otherwise, someone might try registering “Trademark” as theirs instead–which isn’t allowed since trademarks must be unique!

Pay the filing fee

Once you have completed the Form and uploaded your drawing, it’s time to pay the filing fee. The USPTO requires that you pay the $100 filing fee online through their website by credit card or electronic check. You can also pay by money order if you do not have a credit card. A personal check should only be used if you are a non-profit organization (this is the only option for non-profits).


Registering a trademark for your business can provide legal protection for your brand. It prevents others from using the same or similar names, passing off their products as yours, diluting your brand, and helps you enforce a trademark in court.


Now that you know how to register a trademark in Rhode Island, it’s time to get started on your application! As we mentioned before, the first step is to make sure that no one else has already filed for the same mark as you.  Once your application has been approved, it will take between three and six months before your trademark is officially registered.

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