What Is the USPTO and What Does It Do?

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Simply put, the best approach for protecting your intellectual property is to get federal backing. More specifically, if you own a piece of intellectual property that is capable of functioning as a trademark, then you must apply for its registration with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Continue reading to learn the role of the USPTO and how an experienced New Jersey trademark lawyer at The Ingber Law Firm can walk you through the application process.

What is the USPTO and what role does it play for my intellectual property?

To start, the USPTO is a federal agency in charge of granting United States patents and registering trademarks. This is per Article I, Section 8, Clause 8 of the Constitution, which mandates that the legislative branch “promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries.” In doing so, the USPTO promotes a stronger and more effective approach to intellectual property protection. Subsequently, such protection drives the flourishment of the United States economy.

For your case, the main advantage to registering your mark is that you may be granted the exclusive right to use it nationwide on, or in connection with, the products or services listed in your registration. Further, it gives you the ability to bring an action concerning your mark in federal court; with the possibility of collecting damages if you prevail.

What do I need to submit my trademark application to this office?

To reap the benefits of a registered trademark, you must carve out time to work on your application. This is because submitting your initial application does not necessarily guarantee that your mark will be registered. That said, there is the Trademark Electronic Filing System (TEAS) Standard and TEAS Plus. For TEAS Standard, the USPTO requires your application to consist of the following contents:

  • A filing fee of $350 per class of products or services.
  • An accurate description of the products or services you wish to register.
  • A designation of a United States licensed attorney (yet this can be done later on).
  • A providing of additional statements (yet this can be done after submitting your initial application):
    • If your mark includes color.
    • If your mark includes a design or stylized font.
    • If your mark includes a name or portrait of a living person.
    • If your mark includes a non-English word or non-Latin characters.
    • If your mark is already in use, but you need to limit its use to a specific geographic area.
    • If your mark is already registered but the owner’s name is not the same as in your new application.

So with this extensive application process ahead, you must not wait too long to retain the services of a skilled Essex County, New Jersey intellectual property lawyer. Please call The Ingber Law Firm at your earliest possible convenience.