An important way to protect the name of your business or product is by registering the trade name or trademark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Several steps follow the filing of the application.
If your application meets the requirements of the USPTO, it will be issued a serial number approximately 2 months after the date of filing. If it does not meet requirements, it will be returned to you in the mail.
Approximately 4 months after the USPTO processes your application, it will be reviewed to determine if it can be registered. If your trademark is not registerable, you have 6 months to respond or your application will not be processed any further. Your trademark may be refused if it is identical or very similar to an already existing trademark.
If your application is approved, your mark will be published in the USPTO’s weekly publication called the Official Gazette. Prior to its publication, the USPTO will send you a notice stating the publication date.
Certificate of Publication
Approximately 12 weeks after the publication date, your mark will be registered and you will receive a registration certificate in the mail.
Some states provide trademark protection that is separate from federal laws. Registering a trademark under state laws is accomplished through your Secretary of State.
However, if you only register your trademark with the state and not the USPTO, your trademark will only be protected in that state.
Also, a federally registered mark will usually be given more protection than a similar competing, state-registered mark. The registration process for state trademarks is similar to that of federal trademarks.