Register a Federal Trademark


Trademark registration provides important legal protections for your brand and can help you build a successful business. To get started with federal trademark registration, follow these steps:

Have a Trademark before Registering

You must have your trademark before you can register it. Trademarks are not required to be registered in the United States and are typically used by businesses that sell products or services under a particular name, logo, symbol, or slogan. Trademarks may also be used to identify and distinguish goods from those of others in the same industry. If you think that your business has a good chance of succeeding and want to protect what you’ve built from competitors stealing it, trademark registration is an ideal way to do so.

Choose a Trademark Class

A trademark class is a category of goods or services, and it must be chosen with care. You should consider several factors when choosing a trademark class, including whether the classification corresponds with your goods or services; how broad or narrow your classification is; and whether it will be easy to enforce.

Choose a Trademark Type

There are two types of marks you can register: a standard character mark or a stylized mark.

A standard character mark is composed of words, letters, and/or numbers. A stylized mark is a trademark that has been designed to look like an object or a person’s name.

Apply to Register your Trademark

You can file a trademark application online at the USPTO website. You’ll need to pay a fee when you file, and you’ll be notified by email when your application has been accepted or rejected by the USPTO (the Patent and Trademark Office).

When you submit your application, it may take up to 3 months for the office to provide confirmation of its receipt unless an error was made during submission. The office will also let you know whether there are any problems with your trademark application before it is published for opposition by third parties who may object to your use of the mark (an action called “opposition”).

Maintain your Federal Trademark Registration

Keep the information in your trademark registration up to date.

You must keep your contact information and address current with USPTO. To do this, follow these steps:

  • Log into the Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS).
  • Select “Trademark Search” from the left-hand menu bar at the top of the page.
  • Enter your name in TEAS’ “Trademark Number” box, then click on “Continue.” If you have more than one mark associated with a single application or registration, enter each mark’s individual number or numbers separated by commas into this same box and click “Continue.”


Trademark registration provides important legal protections, even if registration isn’t the first step in getting a trademark. If you don’t register your trademark and someone else does, then you have no way to enforce your rights. It’s also easier to stop someone from using your trademark if it’s registered with the USPTO than if it’s not.

With a registered mark, you can use the ® symbol next to your mark anywhere that it appears on products or services (for example, “Patent Pending” or “Registered Trademark”). This signifies that you own this particular phrase/word/design as part of a brand identity. Using this symbol can help prevent others from copying it by accident or out of ignorance—it shows them that they aren’t allowed to use it unless they’re licensed by you!


Trademark registration is a powerful tool for protecting your brand. And while it’s not the only step you need to take before you can start using your trademark, it is an important one. If you want to register a trademark, it’s best to do so as soon as possible—so that you can take advantage of these protections right away and continue them into the future.

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