How Long Does it Take to Register a Trademark?

The length of time it takes to register a trademark can vary depending on a number of factors, such as the nature of the trademark and whether any legal issues arise during the examination process. On average, the process can take anywhere from 10 months to over a year. After you file a trademark application, it will be assigned to an examining attorney at the United States Patent & Trademark Office who will review the application to ensure that it meets all legal requirements. If there are no issues, the mark will be approved for publication in the Trademark Official Gazette, a weekly publication of the USPTO that provides notice to the public of pending trademark applications. After publication, any person or entity can raise an opposition to the registration of the trademark, if the person or entity feels they have a legal ground. If there’s no opposition, barring extraordinary circumstances, the federal trademark registration will be issued.

Additionally, it may take additional time if a USPTO office action is issued against the trademark application, which is when the examining attorney has determined that the trademark application needs to be revised or has raised an issue that needs to be addressed before the mark can be approved for registration.

More information on general timelines for registering a trademark can be viewed here – Current trademark processing wait times.

Does An Intent To Use Application Take Longer For The USPTO Process?

Yes, an Intent-to-Use (ITU) trademark application typically takes longer to process than a Use-based application.

An ITU application is filed before the trademark is actually used in commerce, and the USPTO will only register the trademark once the applicant demonstrates that the mark is in use. This additional step adds time to the process.

The total processing time for an ITU application can vary, but it typically takes around 12 to 18 months from filing to registration.

What Are Some Common Legal Issues That May Delay The Trademark Registration Process?

Some common legal issues that can delay the trademark registration process with the USPTO are:

  • Likelihood of Confusion: If the trademark examiner finds that your proposed trademark is too similar to an existing trademark, your trademark application will likely rejected.
  • Descriptiveness: If the trademark examiner finds that your proposed mark is merely descriptive of the goods or services it is used for, it may be rejected.
  • Genericness: If the trademark examiner finds that your proposed mark is a common term used to describe the goods or services it is used for, your trademark application will likely be rejected.
  • Obstruction by Prior Trademarks: If a prior trademark registration or pending application blocks registration of your trademark, it may be rejected.
  • Office Actions: If the USPTO trademark examiner raises objections or requires additional information or clarification, it can add time to the process of registering the trademark.

These legal issues can often be addressed through written responses to USPTO office actions via arguments and evidence provided by the trademark applicant or through negotiation with the trademark examiner. It’s important to note that obtaining a trademark registration requires a legal process and it is recommended to seek guidance from a trademark attorney to ensure that the application meets all the legal requirements and has the best chances of success. If you would like to register a trademark with the USPTO, please do not hesitate to contact us.  Our trademark attorneys can assist!

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