Prospective suppliers should ensure that prior to engaging in distribution or marketing efforts that safeguards are taken to protect the brand name and trade dress of the product in question.


Buchman Law Firm, LLP provides search of USP&TO database to help avoid trademark issues and to help ascertain whether a brand name is available for use and registration. For more information on the registration of a trademark, see Frequently Asked Questions below or contact Paulette R. Carey.




Q. Do I need to register my trademark?


A. Common law rights are acquired as soon as a trademark is used in interstate commerce. However, registering the name with the US Trademark Office obtains several legal advantages which are not available to a common law trademark which is not registered.


Q. Can I reserve a trademark even though I am not using it yet?


A. It is possible to file an application based upon an intent to use the mark. The registration will not issue until the trademark is actually used; however, once the registration issues, priority reaches back to the date the application was filed.


Q. If I file on the basis of intent to use, how soon do I have to actually begin using the name?


A. A Statement of Use does not have to be filed until three (3) years after the examination process is completed and the Trademark Office issues a Notice of Allowance.


Q. What is involved in filing a trademark application?


A. The first step is to conduct a search to determine whether anyone else is already using the same or similar name. A complete search must be conducted of both registered and common law trademarks. If the trademark is available, an application is filed with the Trademark Office. The application is assigned to an examiner who determines whether the trademark is registrable. After the examiner approves the application, the mark is published for opposition. If no third party objects within thirty (30) days of the publication date, the registration (or Notice of Allowance) will issue.


Q. How much does it cost to file an application?


A. As of January 1, 2003, the official filing fee is $335; however the costs of searching a trademark and responding to any questions by the trademark examiner will result in an overall cost of approximately $1,000-$1,500.


Q. How long does the application process take?


A. Assuming that there are no special proceedings, a registration should issue twelve to fourteen months after the application is filed.


Q. How long will my trademark registration last?


A.. A trademark registration has an indefinite life span and may be renewed every ten years for as long as the trademark is in use.


For further information about trademarks, contact Paulette Carey





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