In this article, you can learn about…
– How long the clearance process typically takes.
– How making changes to a trademark affects clearance and registration.
– When it is safe to use a trademark.
How Long Should We Expect The Trademark Clearance Process To Take?
Generally speaking, our firm can get trademark clearance through advanced searches and provide a professional opinion about your mark within 6 business days.
Do You Need To Start Over With A Fresh Trademark Clearance And Registration If You Wish To Change Our Trademark Even Slightly?
After changes to a trademark, the possibility of having to start over the clearance and registration process depends on a variety of factors and must be determined on a case-by-case basis.
There is a trademark doctrine called tacking which is related to gradually and slightly modifying your trademark appearance, yet still maintaining a consistent commercial impression. An example would be condensing or simplifying a logo for a mobile phone application icon. Slight changes can be protected under the doctrine of tacking; however, an expert opinion is strongly recommended before assuming protection.
Therefore, the doctrine of tacking should not be solely relied upon. The price that it costs to register a trademark is much less financially burdensome than trying to litigate one should infringement occur.
If the trademark changes more than that or if it changes the words in any way, you will want to re-register your trademark, use both of them, and keep protection for both. Regardless of which one will be primarily used, you need to register for maximum protection.
When Can I Use The TM Symbol With My Trademark?
The TM symbol can be used at any time as long as you are using the trademark as a source for goods. You do not need a registration to use the TM symbol. The general public sees the ™, which is totally fine, but it does not indicated that the mark is registered. TM just means you are using it as a trademark, and anybody may even see that with a generic or merely descriptive source identifier, as long as they are not infringing on another’s trademark.
Registration is required for the R with the circle around it ®; that is the legitimate stamp and the one that lawyers get and take seriously. It can only be used once you are registered, and it is a violation of federal law to use the circled R without being registered with the USPTO.
For more information on the Timeline of the Trademark Clearance Process, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (615) 784-9372 today.