Finding The Right Attorney
Changes in Bankruptcy Laws
Do You Need A Tax Attorney
What Is An LLC?
The Law And Your Business
Do's and Don'ts of Employee Firing
Should You Register As Sole Proprietor?
Shredding Documents In Your Business
< More Articles >
5 Easy Steps to Obtaining a Trademark

There are many small business owners that want to register a trademark to ensure that no one else can profit on their name or logo. However, many small business owners do not know where to begin the trademark registration process. The following are 5 steps that any business owner can do to register a trademark.


1. Understand the process

The first step to registering your trademark is to understand what it means to register a trademark. You must file an application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (, often called the USPTO. This is the U.S. government office that is responsible for issuing federal trademarks.


2. Conduct a search

Before you file your application with the USPTO, you should conduct a search in order to make sure that no one else has filed the same or similar trademark. When you get to the homepage, select Trademarks from the menu on the left hand side and then select Search TM database. I highly recommend that you hire an attorney to do the search for you. The USPTO database can be extremely tricky to search if you are not an experienced searcher.


3. Complete and file the application

When you get to the homepage, select Trademarks from the menu on the left hand side and then select File Online Forms. On the next page, select File New Application. You may then follow the step-by-step instructions provided.


4. Monitor your application

Just because you file your application does not mean you have it. It must be reviewed and approved by a U.S. government attorney. If the examining attorney has any questions or requires any clarifications he will issue an Office Action. Once an Office Action is issued, you will have six months from the date of issuance to respond. If you do not respond, your application will be considered abandoned and you will have lost your filing fee and any priority established. Therefore, it is extremely important to visit the USPTO website every two months to ensure that you do not need to respond to any Office Actions.


5. Final Registration

Approximately 8-12 months after you initially file the application, and if the U.S. Government approves it, you will receive a registration certificate in the mail from the United States Patent and Trademark Office. This registration certificate will include instructions on the requirements to keep it active.


Thanks for joining us every month in Retailers Forum, the country’s largest trade magazine source for wholesale merchandise.