Trademark. Trademark Registration.
Have you recently filed a trademark registration on your own? Or have you filed a trademark through a non-lawyer website like Legal Zoom? If so, you should know that there are important trademark deadlines you must adhere to, or you risk losing that valuable asset called a federally registered trademark. Trademark registration is more than just filing.
If you are working with an experienced trademark attorney, who remains the attorney of record on file, they will make you aware of those critical deadlines. If not, you are on your own. And make no mistake about it, the United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) will not tell you when it’s time to file a document—it’s not their job. It’s yours. And if you miss a deadline, you will lose your application, and if you have registered your trademark and miss a deadline, you will lose that trademark. Period.
When I am working with a client throughout the entire application process, I make sure the client knows what is going on. Once the trademark is registered, I educate my clients as to everything they must do to protect their valuable asset. If it is a client I enjoyed working with, even after I am no longer the attorney of record, I keep them aware of filing deadlines.
Here are a few of the important dates and deadlines you must know about:
- A Section 1(a) filing basis applies when you are currently using your trademark in commerce with all the goods/services in your application. You must provide the date you began using your trademark and a specimen (real-use sample) showing how the mark is actually being used with the goods/services.
- A Section 1(b) filing basis applies when you have not yet started using your trademark. You must use the trademark and pay an additional fee prior to registration.
- A Section 44(d) filing basis applies when you have filed for the mark in a foreign country.
- And so many more. Check out the US Patent & Trademark Office website for all of the important deadlines you MUST be aware of.
It is better to do it right the first time. But, if you find you have made a mistake and need help cleaning up the mess, feel free to contact me for a complimentary consult to determine if there is a fit. Don’t worry, there is no attorney/client relationship established during the complimentary consult. You are free to take advantage of the information I give you and choose someone else to work with.
Bottom line, you want to protect your asset. It is better to file and meet necessary deadlines correctly the FIRST TIME, instead of filing your application incorrectly and having to respond to a USPTO Office Action. But if you didn’t do it right and need assistance, feel free to give me a call.
I’m Attorney Francine Ward, helping creative entrepreneurs and business owners protect their valuable content, products, brand, and their business. Find me on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, LinkedIn, and on my website. Until next time, think protection!