The answer to the question of how long it takes to register a trademark shows why you’ll want to get started as soon as possible.
Every trademark application differs but, the general rule of thumb is that you’ll want to budget at least one year to the overall process.
The length of the trademark registration process depends on a number of factors including, whether you’re filing what’s called an “in use” application or an “intent to use” application.
An “in use” application means that you’re filing your application based on the fact that you’re currently selling your product or service in the marketplace. An “intent to use” application means that you’re filing your application based on the fact that you have the intention of selling your product or services in the near future. Once your application is approved, you will receive a “Notice of Allowance” for your application to move forward. You’ll be given six months (6 months) to provide proof of your current use of your trademark.
Another factor that could potentially delay your application is if the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issues any Office Actions. The USPTO typically issues Office Actions for several reasons. Often times, an Office Action will be issued because the examining attorney wants something from your application to be clarified or that a change is made to your application. For example, the USPTO may request that you use a different category to classify the product or service that you’re selling. The USPTO may also send you an Office Action because they discovered a conflicting mark that might be confusingly similar or identical to your mark. The USPTO will provide you with six months to respond to an Office Action.
It’s also important to remember that at the outset, once you file your application, it takes the United States Patent and Trademark Office between three to four months to assign your application to an examining attorney and for them to review your application. These little nuances all add up to the overall trademark registration timeframe.
Waiting to register your trademark puts your business at risk. Because of the lengthy registration process, it’s best to start right away to avoid discovering that your brand name is already taken, potentially losing your mark and having to rebrand.
The sooner you start the trademark registration process, the sooner you can claim ownership rights to your trademark, protect the brand you’ve worked so hard to build, and the sooner you can sleep better at night knowing that no one else can take your mark.