US Trademark: All you need to know – USPTO

Last Updated at: Dec 23, 2020
US Trademark - All you need to know
In October, 2020, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issued Examination Guidelines for examining “” terms. These guidelines provide guidance to trademark examiners on how to apply the recent recommendations by the U.S. Supreme Court in this regard. It also provides guidance to trademark applicants on the standards they can expect the USPTO to apply in considering whether their domain names can be registered as trademarks. 


Your brand’s identity may be captured by a symbol, word, number, or even a mix of colors. This identity is protected through a ‘Trademark Registration’ with the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Govt. of India. Trademarks symbolize your business, depicting what it stands for, along with an added story. In simpler words, they can be described as brand tags that are unique and protect the brand’s name. 

The trademarks are territory-based, i.e., they can be used in the country in which they are registered or in other words, this is also called Trademark Protection. If you want to expand the brand name internationally, the trademark must be protected in all those countries. 

USPTO (the United States Patent And Trademark Office)

Every country has its own set of rules and regulations for trademarks. One of the leading countries in the trade and economic sector, the US also has its rules for registering and obtaining a trademark. The authority that governs the laws and processes regarding trademarks in the US is the USPTO (the United States Patent and Trademark Office).  

Registering The Trademark

It is not mandatory to register the trademark, and the rights for a trademark can be obtained without registration. But, registration offers several benefits and can be done by filling the application with USPTO. 

register for your US Trademark

Documents Required For Registration

The list of details and documents to be submitted while getting the registration done for the US trademark are as follows:

  • Name, address, and signature of the applicant along with the entity type
  • The type of goods and services under which the brand is being registered  
  • The basis of filing
  • The drawing or a digital image of the logo/trademark that has to be registered
  • Description and details of the trademark
  • Fees

Mandatory Details To Be Provided Along With The Trademark

The following details have to be provided along with the application:

  • The business type, i.e., LLP, Private Limited Company, and others, along with the address details, phone number, email, etc.
  • The trademark can be of three types, as mentioned earlier, namely, standard character, special character, and sound mark.

Click here to know more: How To Apply For Trademark Registration In The USA?

Basis Of Filing The Trademark

According to the Trademark Law, the ‘filing basis’ are four types based on the requirement and the services provided by the brand.

These are:

  • Commerce and trade: If the trademark has to be used for trading the goods and services across various boundaries (states and countries).
  • Future use: If the individuals have to use their trademarks shortly, i.e., within 4-5 years, then the registration can be done on this basis.
  • Section 44d- Foreign Application: Under this basis, the foreign application must have been filed, and the registration has to be done within six months.
  • Section 44e- Foreign Registration: Under this basis, foreign registration has been completed. The final procedure has to be completed by submitting a certificate along with the details required. 

How To File The Trademark Application

The trademark application can be filed online on the TEAS (Trademark Electronic Application System). The steps to be followed for applying include:

  • Application filing: After all the details are available, the application is filed with USPTO. 
  • Checking of the Trademark: After the filing of the trademark is complete, the Trademark Examiner checks it on various basis.
  • Action and approval of Trademark Office: If any inappropriate information is found, a notice is issued concerning the application. A time period of 6 months is provided to correct the information or reapply for the application to be approved. In case, no objection is raised, the form is further sent for approval in the Trademark Official Gazette.
  • Opposition time: Once the trademark is published, the opposition (other brands) can claim against your brand within 30 days if the trademark is similar to their brand. 
  • Final registration: If the opposition and trademark examiners raise no objections, then the application for trademark registration is finally approved and completed. Further, a ‘notice of allowance’ is issued.

Click here to know: Procedure For Registering The Trademark

Validity Of Trademark

Once registered, the trademark is valid for ten years. 

Benefits Of US Trademark Registration

The registration of US Trademark has several advantages which include:

  • Ownership of the brand legally all across the US.
  • After registering with the USPTO, the highest level of protection is provided to the brand.
  • The rights for usage of the trademark are provided exclusively.
  • The registration symbol can be used legally.
  • Legal actions can be taken against those trying to copy the trademarks. 

Know in detail: Why You Should Register Your Trademark In The USA?


As such, having a trademark for the brand allows one to set it apart from other brands, levelling up the standards and distinguishing the products from others as well. Registering under the USPTO is quite a straightforward procedure that can be completed in a few steps. 


Senior Executive - Content in Vakilsearch