How to Do Trademark Registration – Step By Step Guideline
Last Updated on March 25, 2021 by
A trademark is a word, phrase, symbol, and/or design that identifies and distinguishes the source of the goods of one party from those of others. United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)
Brand Registry Trademark specializes in successful trademark application and registration for online sellers nationwide and abroad. For its Brand Registry, Amazon is currently requiring only a trademark application be filed (as opposed to having a registered trademark in-hand). This is because trademark registration is awarded only after a government attorney (called an “examining attorney”) reviews the application and the information provided. It takes a lot of effort to be awarded a trademark registration by the USPTO. It is a process that will weed out many counterfeiters and fraud artists.
In short, to apply for your trademark you are going to need to have the following:
A brand name, wordmark, or logo that has not already been taken by another business and registered as a trademark.
Duration Obtaining Trademark Registration:
It will take at least nine months from start to finish to obtain a trademark registration.
If approved, then the government will publish the application “for the opposition” in about three months. If no one opposes the trademark application, it will register in an additional three months.
There is one exception to this “nine-month” rule – you may be able to file a “Petition to Make Special,” which is a petition to the Director of the USPTO’s office asking them to expedite the initial review of the trademark. There are additional costs and will only reduce the “first stage” shown above – the time it takes for a government attorney to review the application, likely reducing the processing time by about two months. To take advantage of this, you must be actively dealing with infringers – the USPTO will not grant a Petition to Make Special solely because you want to register on the Amazon Brand Registry.
How Do I Register My Trademarks?
Trademark registration is more than just filling out a form. There need to be lots of legal decisions for a huge impact on your trademark rights. Any small errors can mean months of delays in the registration of your brand with the Amazon Brand Registry shaking your trademark rights.
Here are the recommended steps to register a trademark:
Step 1: Trademark Search and Clearance
Avoiding the royal pain of rebranding your product, redesign packaging, and update listing, a comprehensive trademark search is a must. Look at everything that is already registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office or used in the marketplace to determine whether someone else is already using a trademark that is similar in sight, sound, meaning, or overall commercial impression.
Step 2: Drafting the Application
This step is crucial, especially for Amazon’s Brand Registry. If you incorrectly draft the application, even if you successfully obtain a trademark registration, Amazon may still deny your application for the Brand Registry.
Amazon now accepts both wordmarks and logo, but the written portions of the trademark should match the trademark the seller is using on Amazon exactly for the same goods and services being sold on Amazon according to the policy.
Step 3: Prosecuting the Application
Once the application is drafted and submitted, it will take at least nine months (see above) to obtain a registration. At various stages, the USPTO may need responses to inquiries or other concerns that require your attention. If you miss a deadline and allow the application to abandon, then you could risk having to re-file the entire application.
Step 4: Respond to the Office Actions by the USPTO
Once your application has been submitted, it will be assigned a USPTO examiner. As this examiner reviews your application, it is not uncommon for the USPTO to issue Office Actions. These Office Actions are essentially a way to notify you of a problem in your application. Common reasons for Office Actions include omissions or errors in your application or notification that your application cannot be accepted as is, usually because it is confusingly similar to an existing mark.
Step 5: Signing Up for the Amazon Brand Registry
Once the trademark application registers, you will be sent a trademark registration certificate and will be issued a trademark registration number. Your certificate will appear online at tsdr.uspto.gov (using your serial number to look it up.) You can then submit your information to Amazon through the online portal here.
Amazon will require the following information:
- A legal business or you can register as an individual with an EIN code if you are just starting out and haven’t registered an LLC or other business entity yet
- Your full trademark (as it appears on the product or product packaging – it must match how the trademark appears on your trademark registration)
- Your U.S. Trademark Registration Number
- Confirmation that this is a “wordmark” (not a logo)
- A full legal name and address of the owner (seller)
- Images of any logos using the trademark
- Images of products and packaging that carry the trademark
- A list of product categories (e.g., apparel, sporting goods, electronics) in which the brand should be listed.
- The date you first started using your logo or mark or shared it anywhere
- Which International Class you plan to use (or multiple classes – more on this later!)