Trade mark rights in the United States are established through use, thus the person or company that first and continuously uses a mark inside the U.S. is the one who will have preferential rights over it. It is highly recommended that trade mark owners register their marks. Trademark registration in the U.S. is administered by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
U.S Trade Mark Duration
Once the trade mark is registered in the U.S, it is valid for a period of 10 years from the date of application. The registration may be renewed indefinitely as long as the renewal fees are paid every 10 years. Registered marks may be cancelled on the grounds of non-use if they have not been used for a continuous period of 5 years.
Trademark Application in the U.S
The U.S is a First to Use country.
(whomever first USES a particular trade mark gets the rights)
What Types of Trade Marks can be registered in the U.S?
A trade mark or service mark includes any word, name, symbol, device, or any combination, used or intended to be used to identify and distinguish the goods / services of one seller or provider from those of others, and to indicate the source of the goods / services.
When filing a trade mark in the U.S, you will have to choose a basis for registration. One must comply with one of the following circumstances:
1. Application Based on Use in Commerce.
2. Application Based on Intent to Use.
3. Application Based on a Foreign Application.
4. Application Based on a Foreign Registration.
Depending on the basis chosen, requirements and times regarding the Declaration of Use (DOU) and the Specimen of Use (SOU) will vary.
Approximate Registration Time Table:
The average timeframe that it takes for a mark to be registered is 6 to 12 months.
(When the applicant seeks registration for more than one class). The United States of America follows the Nice Classification with regard to goods and services, and multi-class applications are permitted.
U.S Trademark Filing Requirements
Representation of the trade mark.
A list of goods and services.
The applicant (s) details.
Signed Power of Attorney. It is recommended to provide the Power of Attorney simultaneously with the filing of the application.