🪶 Written by an experienced lawyer

Yao Law Group’s Short and Easy Guide to Filing a Trademark Application

Choose the mark type: 1) character mark (word/word combo), with specific font/design; 2) design mark (logo); or 3) sound mark (jingle/sound).

Elektra B. Yao

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Step 1: Make Your Mark

You will need to determine the type (format) of mark:

  • character mark, consisting of a word or combination of words, font or specific design for the words, etc.;
  • design mark, a stylized design with or without letters, such as a logo;
  • sound mark, such as jingle or distinctive sound.

Step 2: Trademark Search

Before you apply, you should search the USPTO’s trademark database (Trademark Electronic Search System, or TESS) to see if any trademark has already been registered or applied for that is:

  • Similar to your trademark
  • Used on related products or for related services, and
  • Assess potential conflicts and similarities to ensure your trademark’s uniqueness and avoid legal issues.

A trademark that meets all three criteria will prevent your trademark from being registered because it creates a likelihood of confusion.

Step 3: Goods vs Services***

Properly identify the goods or services you will be providing. Search the ID Manual here by entering relevant keywords in the search box to find your product or service.

Step 4: Likelihood of Confusion***

Properly identify whether there are other companies, people, or brands out there whose mark has a high “likelihood of confusion” with yours.

Step 5: Use in Commerce vs Intent to Use***

Properly confirm whether the mark is 1) already in use or 2) already used in sales and products.

  • For marks already in use: A “Statement of use in commerce” must be established with an example in which the mark was used.
  • For marks intended for use: A “Intent to use” will require an additional form and fee

Step 6: File the trademark application

You can finally begin filing your application through the Trademark Electronic Application (TEAS) System.

Step 7: Success

Once your application is approved, you can begin to monetize!!

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