Registering a trademark is a complex and lengthy process that can take several months or even years to complete. Learning how to check a trademark’s status can help make this process run more smoothly and prevent unnecessary delays. Understand trademark monitoring in more detail and learn how a Kansas trademark lawyer from Grabbe Law Office can help with monitoring your existing trademark status by calling (785) 621-4711 or setting up a free 15-minute consultation online.
Understanding Trademark Status
Checking a trademark’s status enables aspiring trademark owners to monitor the progress of their trademark applications. Businesses or individuals may check the status of their marks by using the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s Trademark Status and Document Retrieval (TSDR) system.
This system enables users to inspect, print, and download information concerning their trademark’s registration and application status. Using this tool can help businesses, and any attorneys working to secure trademark registrations on their behalf, to stay up to date on the trademark application’s status and avoid missing crucial registration or filing deadlines.
Trademark Status Importance
Using the TSDR system to check a trademark’s status is important as it enables users to check their application’s progress and identify whether it is necessary to submit additional information. When applying for a trademark, applicants submit several documents to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). After reviewing the information included with the application filing, the USPTO may issue a request for additional documents, known as office actions, which have deadlines of six months. After this stage, a window opens allowing third parties to file oppositions against a mark within 30 days. Because these oppositions show on a trademark status, checking the TSDR system regularly enables aspiring trademark owners to take appropriate action to protect their intellectual property and progress their applications.
The USPTO may not always explicitly notify applicants or trademark owners about upcoming deadlines concerning their applications or existing trademarks, making it crucial for these individuals to access this information themselves. The responsibility of monitoring a trademark’s application status lies with the applicant. If an applicant misses a deadline, the USPTO abandons their trademark registration application, meaning the applicant must start the process over from the beginning if they want to proceed with the mark’s registration.
How Do I Check an Existing Trademark Status?
During the pending stage of a trademark application, the recommended approach is to view the mark’s status every quarter. After registering the mark, it is a good idea to check its status every two or three months to monitor third-party attempts to cancel the registration. Individuals may check an existing trademark’s status by following these steps:
1. Visit the USPTO’s TSDR website.
2. Enter the reference number or trademark serial number to view the status of registered and pending trademarks.
3. If applicable, use the Madrid Protocol to view the status of international trademark registrations.
4. Inspect and download relevant documents concerning the trademark application.
5. Call the USPTO if any issues arise in accessing the trademark status.
To learn more about trademark monitoring, and to see whether you can gain assistance with your intellectual property (IP) issues, consider contacting a seasoned Kansas trademark attorney at Grabbe Law Office.
What Are the Different Trademark Statuses?
Trademark monitoring using TSDR is relatively straightforward. However, it can be challenging to understand what the different statuses mean. Below are some examples of common trademark statuses:
· Under examination: After receiving an application, the USPTO assigns it to an examining attorney. This typically lasts for about four months.
· Office action issued: Examining attorneys issue office actions when they identify potential legal issues with a mark. They may issue office actions for multiple reasons, such as if a mark is too similar to an existing one or if it fails to meet certain legal requirements. Aspiring trademark owners have a strict deadline of six months for responding to these actions.
· Published for opposition: If an examining attorney does not object to the registration, the USPTO publishes the mark. Following publication, third parties have 30 days to oppose it.
· Notice of allowance: This status is applied when no third parties oppose the filing. A notice of allowance means the registration is permissible but is yet to take place. This status triggers a six-month window within which the trademark owner must either submit a statement of use or file a request for an extension.
· Abandoned: If an applicant fails to respond to an office action, or does not submit a statement of use, before the specified deadline, the USPTO assigns the mark this status. When this happens, it loses any legal protections, and it is necessary for the trademark owner to start the registration process again if they still want to register the mark.
· Registered: This status means the USPTO registered the mark, allowing the trademark owner to use the registered trademark symbol. No further documents or actions from the trademark owner are necessary until five years after the mark’s registration; however, additional confirmatory paperwork will be required between years five and six.
Checking Existing Trademark Registrations
Before starting a trademark application, it can be useful to check existing trademark registrations, as applying for a similar mark is likely to end in an examining attorney rejecting the registration. Aspiring trademark owners can do this for free via the USPTO’s Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS).
Individuals can also conduct trademark registration searches using USPTO’s public search function. Some people considering trademark registration may also find it helpful to consult with an attorney specializing in business or intellectual property law to ensure that the search for potentially conflicting marks has been comprehensive before time and money are invested in the trademark application process.
How Long Does It Take for the USPTO To Approve a Trademark Application?
According to the USPTO, it usually takes between 12 to 18 months to approve a trademark application. However, the exact time it takes for a trademark application to gain approval varies. Trademark applications relating to marks that are currently in use, or applications including a good faith intention of using it, are likely to gain approval more quickly than international marks registered via the Madrid Protocol.
Contact an Experienced Intellectual Property and Trademark Attorney Today
Monitoring a trademark’s application status can help companies avoid registering trademarks that are similar to existing registered marks. Moreover, it allows them to quickly identify whether the USPTO requires additional documentation and meet any deadlines the agency may set regarding this paperwork. Learn more about trademark monitoring and discover how a seasoned trademark lawyer from Grabbe Law Office can assist clients in protecting their intellectual property rights by calling (785) 621-4711 or setting up a free 15-minute consultation online today.