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Types Of Trademarks & The Clearing Process

In this article, you can learn about…

– The different types of trademarks.

– How to guarantee clearance and registration of a trademark.

– How long the clearance process should take.

What Are The Different Types Of Trademarks?

There are a variety of trademarks such as those on:

  • Goods
  • Services
  • Basic Words
  • Standard Images
  • Words & Images

The main difference between the types of trademarks is the way that the specimens are processed. Certain trademarks offer more protection than others due to the flexibility in their usage and display.

When registering trademarks, the search conducted to assess the possibility of existing similarities has various levels of complexity to it depending on the type of mark. For example, a “words and image” mark requires a thorough search of similar words and images for a likelihood of confusion, whereas a standard image would only require the latter.

Trademarks can be protected depending on the type, too. Even though a mark might have words and an image, the words can be protected independently so that the image can be changed. However, registering the image of the logo is still recommended because a similar image might later be used, and without registration, defending the image becomes much more difficult in infringement.

What Is The Difference Between Use In Commerce And Intent To Use In Commerce?

To get a trademark in general, your mark has to be used in commerce. An intent-to-use application is essentially putting a stake in the ground and letting the USPTO and general public know your plan to use the mark. The intent-to-use application is almost identical to the in-use application; the only difference is that the mark is not actually being used yet.

It is important to note that until commerce is involved, you do not have any rights to protect it and are at the discretion of the USPTO for clearance. After 36 months of an intent-to-use application on file, extensions are offered in six-month increments. The application on file must be converted to a statement of use to have any substantive right in your trademark.

How Long Should I Expect The Trademark Clearance Process To Take?

How long the trademark clearance process takes depends on the class of goods and services. The USPTO site states that issuance of an examining attorney will occur within three months of your application; however, that has not been true since the start of the pandemic.

It can take upwards of a year before getting an examining attorney. Then, once you get an examining attorney, assuming the trademark is cleared, it is issued a notice of publication meaning it has undergone a substantial examination and is allowed registration on the principal register.

After it is published for the public, objections are allowed through filing an opposition. Without any issues, the actual registration typically takes two months after the notice of publication. After registration, your trademark protection coincides with the first use in commerce. Should any infringement action occur between application and registration, protection may still be feasible from before registration of the mark.

For more information on The Different Types Of Trademarks, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (615) 784-9372 today.

Steven Wolfe , Esq.

Call For A Free Consultation (615) 784-9372

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