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Trademarks FAQs

What kind of review will the USPTO conduct after I file my trademark application?

When you file a trademark application, your proposed trademark will go through two main types of review. First, the USPTO will review your application to determine whether or not you have met the minimum filing requirements. Next, the application is forwarded to an examining attorney. (Note: this transition can take several months.)

The examining attorney will then review the application to determine whether it complies with all applicable rules and statutes and includes all required fees. A complete examination includes a search for conflicting trademarks (both registered and pending) as well as a review of the written application, drawing and any specimen. If the examining attorney decides, based on your application, that your trademark should not be registered, he or she will send you a letter, called an Office Action. This letter explains the reasons for the refusal and any technical or procedural problems with your application. Most often, you will have a chance to cure any deficiency in your application, other than a conflict with another trademark.

If minor corrections are all that is required for filing the trademark, the examining attorney may contact you by phone or email. If the examining attorney sends a written Office Action, you have six months from that letter's mailing date to respond with corrections or the application will be declared abandoned.

If your response to an Office Action does not overcome all of the examining attorney's objections, the examining attorney will issue a final refusal. To attempt to overcome a final refusal, you can appeal to the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) for an additional fee. This board is an administrative tribunal within the USPTO.

Once your trademark application passes the examining attorney's review, your mark will be published in the Official Gazette. This gives the public an opportunity to object to the mark if they believe they will be damaged by that registration. If no objections are filed within 30 days of publication, the mark will typically be registered in 3-12 months. At that point, you are an official holder of a federally registered U.S. trademark.