Trademark Use vs. Registration: What is the difference?

Do you need a registration in order to use a trademark? No, there is no legal requirement to register or even apply for a mark before you can use it. In fact, it would be impossible in most cases to register a mark in the US before use. Unless a trademark application is based on […]

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Who is the trademark applicant?

Who should be identified as the applicant in a trademark application? In every trademark application filed with the USPTO, an applicant must be properly identified. This seemingly straightforward question can be somewhat confusing for trademark filers. Should the company or the individual be identified? What if there are multiple individuals involved in the business? The […]

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How can a design mark be distinguishable and registrable over a word mark?

How will a design mark application be compared to a word mark registration? To register a trademark containing numbers and/or letters, a trademark application may typically be filed for the word mark (standard characters) or the design mark (e.g., logo). As discussed in this post on their differences, a word mark application covers the wording […]

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Trademark Audit: How to lose your trademark registration

What is a trademark audit? A trademark audit is a USPTO program to check random trademark registrations to see if the registered trademark is still in use. Known as the Post Registration Audit Program, the goal of the USPTO is to bolster the accuracy and reliability of its trademark register. Audits give the USPTO a […]

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What is a failure to function as a trademark refusal?

What is a refusal based on a failure to function as a trademark? A certain type of trademark rejection seems to be occurring more frequently: the refusal based on a failure to function as a trademark. While it might not be as common as likelihood of confusion or mere descriptiveness, this failure to function trademark […]

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How to Choose a Trademark

What will be the name of your product? Choosing a trademark for your product can be more challenging than it seems. You may have already overcome the toughest hurdle of developing the product, so what can be so difficult about creating a name for it? Two key issues tend to come up whenever you try […]

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Can you register a misspelled trademark?

Can you register a misspelled trademark? Misspelled words can become registered trademarks, but not necessarily because of the misspelling. USPTO trademark examining attorneys will look into phonetic equivalents and the meaning of the term as properly spelled. If the similarly sounding word (as correctly spelled) would raise issues, such as mere descriptiveness or likelihood of […]

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What is a generic mark?

What is a generic mark? A generic mark is a word understood by the public as the common term for a product or service. For example, the word “apple” would be generic for the fruit. There is no more common term to refer to the apple fruit than simply “apple.” However, the term “apple” would […]

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Can you trademark before launching product?

What comes first: filing trademark or launching product? The US trademark registration system is different from the rest of the world. With a few exceptions, one generally must use the mark in connection with goods or services in US commerce in order to obtain a federal trademark registration from the USPTO. Should business owners first […]

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