Comprehensive manual to getting a trademark registered.
Registering a trademark is a complex process, isn’t it?
Unless you are an attorney, it’s very easy to get confused with all these terms “Classification of Nice”, “Basis for filing” and etc. But, do you really have to master these if all you want is ®?
Well, it turns out, getting the registration can be an easy 3-steps online process. Interested? Then keep reading. In this article, you will learn about 3 extremely easy ways to get your brand registered: “Hire us”, “DIY” and “Buy a mark”.
But first, let’s write down some basics (you can skip them if you know these already):
- There is only one place where you can register your trademark officially. It the Trademark Office! In the US it’s the USPTO, in the European Union it’s the EUIPO and so on. You can get the list of all the Trademark Offices in different countries in the bottom of the article.
- Trademark registration takes time, period. In the USA the process will not take less than 8 months, don’t trust anyone who tells you that he will get you brand registered in 2 days. Either he lies, or he doesn’t know what he is talking about. In any case, stay away from him.
- To get a trademark you will have to pay at least the government fee. There is no such thing as a free trademark registration!
- A minor error in the beginning can destroy your brand in the future. Once your trademark is filed, you can’t correct anything, you can’t add a new item to the list, can’t change the logo, can’t add a new class and so on.
- Most likely, you will require a trademark attorney. We unite more than 200 attorneys from 150+ countries.
The fastest way.
Buy a trademark. Yes! You can buy a registered trademark and this is the fastest option as the brand will be transferred to your within a week and that’s all: you just got a registered trademark. There are some downsides: you’ll have to convince the current owner to sell the mark, the price can be high and you might need a trademark lawyer to prepare an assignment agreement. To make things easier, find below our mind map:
The easiest way.
Hire us. That’s it. We will do the work and you will be happy as our clients who publish reviews here. We know what we are doing and can help you to avoid any technical objections and will support you during legal procedures. We use an easy 3-steps online process:
Here’s the deal: Our service is designed to suit the needs of international business and is especially cost-effective if you order several countries simultaneously.We unite attorneys from 150+ countries and make it easy for you to expand into the new markets.
So if you want to get a mark without the hassle you can contact us and we’ll handle the entire process. Obviously, our attorney will charge a legal fee, but you will be sure that the application was filled out correctly and without mistakes.
The cheapest way: DIY.
Do it yourself. It’s totally OK to apply for a trademark yourself if you know what you are doing.If you live in the UK there is no need to hire anyone to file your trademark, especially if you are a startup registering its first brand.
The process can be complex in some countries though. And when filing abroad we do recommend hiring an attorney, moreover, it’s obligatory in many countries. Some mistakes might allow your competitor to object the registration. Ideally, you should hire a professional. File a trademark yourself only if you absolutely have no money to pay the legal fees.
You might be wondering: what if I add a letter to an existing trademark? Will it be registered? Fair enough, it won’t. A trademark has to be unique and bring a distinctive commercial impression. If you name your internet search gogle, it won’t be registered and most likely will get you sued. Unique means that it’s not even similar to any existing and registered trademarks. I can’t emphasize this enough: IT MUST BE UNIQUE. We will talk about this in another article as this is a crucial requirement.
Trademarks are not domains. You, possibly, can get a domain similar to a well-known domain, but you will never get a similar mark.
Considering moving forward with the the DIY option? You might need the facts below:
Trademarks are registered at the Trademark Offices of each country as they are territorial and valid only in the country in which they are registered. You can check the address of your local Trademark Office here.
Why does this matter?
Because there is no such thing as an international trademark. You will have to register your trademark in each and every country of the world to get it protected worldwide. That sounds like a lot of work and it actually is!
If you wish to get your brand trademarked you’ll have to file a special application at the Trademark Office, requesting trademark registration. The application can be filed by an attorney and, in some countries, it is obligatory to hire a licensed professional to handle the registration process. Usually, you will require the trademark agent if you are filing the trademark abroad, in a country in which you do not have an office or a resident address.
Trademark Applications are different in different countries and usually they have to be filled out in the national language of each country: in English in the USA and the UK, in Spanish in Spain and in Russian in Russia.
But there is a catch:
Filling in an application can be a tricky business, especially in the USA. Just look at this 37-pages long Booklet called Basic Facts (sic!) About Trademarks! And the actual list of rules has hundreds of pages.
The worst part?
60% of all applications in the USA receive objections! And only a half of all applications manages to register.
Getting a professional advice is a great strategy in trademarking your brand in this country. Registering a brand in the European Union and the United Kingdom entails a considerably easier process.
Getting a name trademarked demands time and money. The process is rather complex, especially it is complex when filing abroad, as you will have to find a reliable attorney and organize foreign payment.
In your country of residence, you can file the mark directly at the Trademark Office of your country. It's not that difficult and, usually, it can be done online.
Abroad, however, you will have to hire an agent to represent you and in some countries, you are bounded by law to hire an attorney to file your trademark. China is a good example, where foreign applicants need a local attorney.
General Requirements to trademark a brand:
That’s not as difficult as it sounds! On the other hand, these are basic requirements, the list can go on and on as in some countries (surprise!) they have additional requirements. Especially, in the USA. You might want to read this 36-pages document we mentioned earlier: https://www.uspto.gov/sites/default/files/documents/BasicFacts.pdf
Need requirements for a specific country? You can refer to this website, consult with your local Trademark Office or contact us.
But that’s just part of the story. Once you completed and submitted your application, the official registration process will begin.
Process and the time frame
The basic process is as follows:
Formal Examination: Are the documents in order? Does your trademark application contain any errors? Is the class correct? Is the description acceptable? Are you entitled to hold property?
Similarity Analysis: The examining attorney searches for potentially conflicting trademarks in order to decide if your trademark can be registered. If there is likelihood of confusion with any previously registered trademark, you mark will be refused registration. After the formalities are met, your trademark will be examined in order to determine if it can be registered.
Publication: The trademark will be published in the Official Gazette for the needs of opposition. It means that anyone, who thinks that the trademark shouldn’t be registered can present an objection against your trademark. Usually, other trademark owners who see a brand as a threat to their marks, submit oppositions.
Registration: If there are no prior conflicting trademarks and no oppositions have been filed, your mark will be registered and you will be getting a trademark registration certificate to confirm your ownership of the registered mark. Some countries issue a hard-copy of the certificate, others, like the European Union, have only electronic versions. In any case, your trademark will be protected for a period of time, which is, usually, 10 years.
What does this mean for you?
You own a property. It is intangible, yet valuable.
What should you do after registration?
International Trademark Search
Check if your trademark is available for registration.
International Trademark Registration
Protecting your trademark is the most important investment you can make.
International Trademark Watch
Be informed of recently applied similar or identical trademarks.