Conduct a trademark evaluation. A trademark evaluation helps uncover other trademarks or brands that may conflict with your own. If there are other brands out there similar to your own, it may make it more difficult to register your trademark.
Prepare and file your federal trademark application. If your brand assets are eligible, you can register them for federal trademark protection. Federal registration provides nationwide protection to your brand. The application asks for information about your trademark, as well as examples of how the trademark is used. It should be completed with care.
Wait. After your application is filed, the waiting game begins. The USPTO advises that it typically takes 6 months to hear from a trademark examiner about your application. But depending on how busy they are, it could take longer.
Respond to office actions. Sometimes trademark applications are approved as is. However, it is not uncommon for the USPTO to request more information or even issue an initial rejection of an application. You must respond to these “office actions” in a timely manner, or your application will be abandoned.
Publication. Once your trademark application is approved by the USPTO, your trademark will be published for opposition. During this time, others will have the chance to oppose your trademark if they believe there is a reason it is ineligible for registration.
Trademark Registration! Time to breathe a sigh of relief. After a journey of at least 7 months, you officially own your brand!
Maintain your trademark. Protecting your brand doesn’t end with trademark registration. To maintain ownership of your brand you’ll have to maintain your trademark. This will include monitoring your trademark to make sure no one else is using it, and filing occasional documents with the USPTO.