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Process for Filing a Federal Trademark

22. What is the process for filing a federal trademark protection?

The application for federal trademark protection follows a standard process. The following information is required for every trademark application:

•    Petitioner Information – Name of applicant; address for correspondence (may be name and address of agent).

•    Mark – The petition must provide a demonstration of the mark, such as a rendering, photo, or computer image. This will include an indication of whether the mark is made up of standard characters or whether it is dependent upon a particular design of the characters.

•    Nature of Business – The petition must designate of class of or actual product(s) or service(s) represented by the mark.

•    Filing Fee – The application must accompany the corresponding filing fee.

Upon receipt of a completed application, the USPTO will assign a serial number to the application and return a receipt of filing to the filer. The trademark attorneys at the USPTO may have additional questions or require additional information of the filer. The proposed mark does not receive federal trademark protection until it is approved by the USPTO. The mark holder may use the trademark symbol (“TM”), but may not use the registered trademark symbol (“®”) until the filing process is complete.

•    Discussion: What do you think about the process for applying for federal trademark protection? Do you think this has the effect of incentivizing individuals to rely solely upon state rights? Why or why not?

•    Practice Question: Mark is considering filing for trademark protection of the logo representing his business. Can you explain to him what is required to file a federal trademark application?

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