A Complete Guide to Trademarks in the USA

The article is a complete guide to the trademarks in the USA that is essential for every business owner. This comprehensive guide will cover everything you need to know about trademark registration, trademark, filing, how to file your trademark, and trademark search. You can own a brand name as well as other trademark rights, including the right to sell and use your trademark in the USA.

What are the types of trademark?

Product trademarks are categorized into 5 different categories. These are:

  • Generic Trademark
  • Descriptive Trademark
  • Suggestive Trademark
  • Fanciful Trademark
  • Arbitrary Trademark

USPTO classifies the mark based on the goods linked to the proposed trademark. A combined trademark is the name of a business and its logo. A word mark can be any word unique to the business signifying its identity. A color palette that is part of a logo can also be trademarked. However, the trademark application and registration process is complicated, even if the company is small sized.

You can register a trademark for goods and services sold in the USA. There are 45 types of classed in the United states. Out if these, 11 classes are specified for services and rest are for goods. The NICE classification categorized the trademarks into different classes to differentiate marks for various goods and services. The USPTO uses the classification system to keep new marks separate from existing ones.

Relevant Read: 3 Easy Steps to Find a Successful Business name

How do I trademark a brand in the US?

  1. Search for Similar Trademarks

Once you have chosen a name you wish to trademark, you will need to perform a trademark search to determine whether it is unique or already protected under trademark rights. While you can use a search tool called TESS that searches the USPTO’s database for similar names; still it is best to hire a professional firm as trademark search is a complex process. Your trademark application could be denied if the name is identical or too similar to an already-registered brand. To avoid this, you should do a thorough search of all possible named on various free and paid tools. It is also crucial to compare the sounds and meanings of the trademark names.

2. Fill USPTO Trademrk Registration Application

Fill out the trademark application at the USPTO. The application must be completed in its entirety and clearly describe what you are providing to the audience. You must provide as much detail as possible of your products or services in the application. It is also important to identify the class in which your trademark falls. Although you can register a trademark in more than one class, you will need to pay an additional fee per class. You can search the USPTO online manual to find out which class your brand products or services fall in. Fill out the application by copying the descriptions.

What are the 45 classes of trademarks?

Trademarks are classified on the basis of 45 classes under NICE classification of WIPO. Every product or service falls under one of these 45 categories. You may have heard of these classes, but you may not know what they mean. The NICE classifications are based on the similarities in the goods and services, and the likelihood of overlap. Contrary to more generic service marks, there are still overlapping categories in Class 45. Personal services, for example, are incredibly personal. These services are tailored to each individual, and must meet social and security needs.. No matter what product or service you offer, trademark registration is a smart business decision. You should select the right classes to avoid possible infringements.

Below is a quick guide to the classes and their associated products and services.

How are trademarks classified in services and goods?

Here is a separate list of various trademark classes for goods and services.

International Nice Trademark Classes for Goods

Class numberDetails
Class 1Chemicals used in industry, photography, unprocessed artificial resins, Tanning, and adhesive substances, etc.
Class 2Paintings, paints, pigmentation, coals. lacquers, mordants, printing, and art.
Class 3Cleaning goods, cosmetics, bleaching agents, abrasive preparations, laundry products, and essential oils.
Class 4Fuels, industrial oil, illuminates, wetting and binding products, fuels, and wicks for lighting.
Class 5Pharmaceutical products, medicines, veterinary preparations and veterinary apparatus, dental wax, disinfectants, herbicides, fungicides, and other apparatus for medical purposes.
Class 6Metal castings, hardware, locks, safes, common metals, alloys, metallic building material, and metals that are not covered by any other class.
Class 7Machine, automatic vending machines, machine tools(except land vehicles), and egg incubators.
Class 8Implements, hand tools, cutlery, and razors.
Class 9Cash register, calculators, data processing equipment, academic apparatus, magnetic data carriers.
Class 10Surgical apparatus used for medical purposes, prosthetics, medical and dental apparatus, artificial limbs, eyes teeth.
Class 11Heating and lighting apparatus, steam generating products, cooking, refrigerating, and dying.
Class 12Apparatus for locomotion, i.e., apparatus used for locomotion by land, water, and air.
Class 13Ammunition, weapons, firearms, and explosives.
Class 14Precious metal, precious metals’ alloys, jewelry, etc.
Class 15Musical instruments
Class 16Cardboard, paper, and goods made from them, bookbinding material, paintbrushes, playing cards, and printing blocks.
Class 17Rubber, asbestos, mica, gum, and goods made from any of them. This class also includes goods that are not covered by any other class.  
Class 18Leather, leather imitations, articles made of these items and not included in any other class, animal skins, hides, etc.
Class 19Non–metallic pipes, asphalt, pitch, and bitumen.
Class 20Picture frames, cork, wood furniture, reed, cane, etc.
Class 21Items for household purposes such as kitchen utensils, brush-making material, and cleaning articles.
Class 22Nets, strings, sacks, bags, and fibrous textile materials.
Class 23Yams and threads for textile making.
Class 24Textile and textile goods were not placed in the other classes.
Class 25Clothing, footwear, headgear, etc.
Class 26Lace, ribbons, embroidery material, buttons, hooks, pins and needles, artificial flowers.
Class 27Non-textile carpets, wall hangings, linoleum, and materials used as floor covering.
Class 28Gaming products, gymnastics, Christmas decorative accessories, sporting items are not covered under any other class.
Class 29Poultry products, meat, meat products, milk products, jams, eggs, dried and cooked fruits, vegetables, edible oils.
Class 30Spices, natural and artificial coffee, sago, tea, sugar, cocoa, rice, tapioca, flour.
Class 31Horticulture, forestry products, natural plants, fresh fruits, seeds, malt, agriculture, and grains are not included in other classes.
Class 32Aerated drinks, mineral water, light beverages, beer, non-alcoholic drinks (juices and fruits drinks), and other things used for preparing beverages.
Class 33Alcoholic beverages (except beer)
Class 34Matches, smoker’s articles, tobacco, etc.
International Nice Trademark Classes for Goods

Also Read: A Complete Guide Towards Trademark Registration in India

International Nice Trademark Classes for Services

Class numberDetails
Class 35Advertising, Business, Consulting, office functions  
This class includes services that help in managing the affairs of organizations, including commercial organizations. In addition, advertising activity concerned with any types of goods and services or a public announcement also comes in this class.  
Class 36Insurance, Monetary and Financial Services
Class 37Construction and Repair services where work is being done by contractors. This class includes finished as well as in the making building projects.
Class 38Communication services (oral and visual) that help in communicating anything between people are classified here.
Class 39Transportation and storage services related to goods storage in any place. Goods transportation via air, land, and water are covered here.
Class 40Material treatment services that involve changing of chemical or the mechanical composition of a substance are placed here.
Class 41Education and Entertainment services that enhance the knowledge, skill-set or mental capacity of a person or animal are placed here. Further, this class also covers entertainment services for people or animals.
Class 42All the scientific, research activities, and technological services along with services related to software and hardware development are placed in these classes. Moreover, this class also includes legal services and engineering services such as designing, creating blueprints.
Class 43Restaurants services, Temporary accommodation for people and animals along with services that provide the staple foods or drinks preparation for consumption.
Class 44Medical services linked with hygiene, first aid, animal breeding, beauty purposes salon, and grooming services to human beings along with animals forms a part of this category.
Class 45Personal or social services are classified in this class.
trademark classification of services

Relevant Read: A to Z of Trademark Classes

How do you check if a name is trademarked in the USA?

It is possible to search a corporate or business database in the United States to see if a name or brand has been trademarked. The corporate name database is similar in function to a person’s registry, but it is only for businesses.

To find out if a name is already registered as a trademark in the US, you can use the search engine on USPTO’s website. Simply type the name into the search box and hit the ENTER key. The search will then return results based on whether the name is already trademarked in the country. If you are looking for a particular design or logo, you can search by design code.

The Trademark Electronic Search System can be used to search for trademarks. This can help protect your brand and make you stand out from other competitors. It can also be used to determine if a particular symbol is being used by another company. Once you have found a mark, you should search for the exact name or any other similar mark. Once you have all of the results, you can make a list and then proceed to the next step.

Can you Trademark a Name Without a Business?

Trademarking your business name can help you protect your brand and protect your consumers against copycats. There are a few things you need to do before you file for a trademark. First, you need to have a business entity. This includes a corporation, a limited liability company, a trading name, or a DBA. Next, you need to create an account with the USPTO. After you have created an account, you will need to fill out the application forms. Once you have completed the forms, you will need to file your application. After your application is filed, you can track its status online. Now, USPTO attorneys will review it and may contact you for more information.

How do Trademarks Work?

Trademarks are legal protections for a certain type of good or service, For example, if you run a photography studio and you want to call it the “Best of Times,” it is a good idea to trademark that name. This way, other companies can’t use it or copy it. Even worse, you could sue them if they use your trademarked name, which would involve legal costs and penalties for the infringer.

Fortunately, there are many benefits of using a trademark. These legal protections and trademark rights prevent other companies from using your brand or product. Here are some facts about trademarks that you might not have heard of. First, a trademark is a symbol that distinguishes your product or service from another. The Apple logo, for example, is a trademark. The Apple family of products is recognizable, so a company could use the same symbol for a variety of products and services.

Second, trademarks can apply to colors and sounds. Some companies use a symbol, color, or sound to represent their products and services, In other cases, a logo is a trademark. Other businesses are not allowed to use that symbol unless they have the right to do so. However, a trademark does not have to be registered to be protected.

Trademarks help protect the name and reputation of a company. A company can use a trademark to differentiate their products and services from others, and this will protect its reputation in the marketplace. Companies must protect their brand name to avoid confusing customers. Trademarks can also help to protect a company’s reputation. This is an important step in building a successful business. If you are not familiar with trademarks, here is what you need to follow.

A trademark is a distinctive symbol that is uniquely associated with a product. It protects a company’s name and protects its products from being copied by competitors. In addition to a logo, a trademark can also be a color or sound. A trademark can represent any aspect of a product. The owner can use the symbol or sound on several of its products. The same logo or sound represents a particular company.

A trademark can prevent other companies from using the name or the symbol of a product. It also prevents businesses from using similar symbols or names to yours. A registered trademark can also protect the goodwill of your company. In the end, a trademark is the key to your success. To protect your business’s identity, you must be aware of your rights and those of others. Once you have registered a trademark, you are able to sell products and services under that name.

What are the benefits of a trademark?

A trademark is a logo or word that is used to identify a specific company’s products or services. It is often used in conjuction with other products or services. It is the only way that a cosnumer can distinguish the products or services of 2 companies. A trademark protects the business name and its products in the market. This is a vital component in any business, and it should be registered to protect the company.

A trademark is a badge that identify the source of a product or service, it is a sign that their businesses can’t use a similar symbol or name. A trademark is considered the best form of protection for a company. Its purpose is to protect its creator from any trademark infringement from competitors.

Trademark protect the name and design idea of a product or service. It is a sign that other businesses can’t use a similar symbol or name. A trademark is distinct from a patent that protects new inventions and ideas. A patent grants sovereign intellectual property rights o the creator, a trademark enables the owner to shoo other companies for infringement of his or her mark. It also protects a business name. If someone else uses it, legal proceedings can be initiated against him.

Trademark and copyrights have different purposes. A trademark protects idea’s material embodiment. The original work may be a literary, artistic, or musical composition that are protected by the copyright. Copyright protects the trade symbol and name of a product or service. A business may also use a trademark to protect its legal name. In such a case, the company should register both.

A trademark is an intellectual property form that protects the brand and its products. A trademark gives the consumer identity and connection to the business. A copyright protects the original aspect of the work, A trademark needs to be renewed after it has been expired. A trademark is a legal protection for up to 10 years after it has been registered,

How long does it take to register a trademark in USA?

Online filing is the best way to get your trademark registered. You will receive a timestamp along with a number. The trademark office will review your application and assign a trademark attorney to examine it. The examination can take several months. Once your application is accepted, you will have 6 months to respond. After that, your trademark application will move forward.

The USPTO will review your application within four to six months. After that, you will have six months to respond to the office action. For framing a office action response draft, you should seek professional help as it includes many complications. After the trademark is published in the Official Gazette, you will have two to three months to wait for the certificate of registration. Depending on your application, the entire process could take longer or be delayed. You should allow at least nine to ten weeks for the process to complete before you submit your application.

Once you have submitted your application, the trademark examining attorney will review it and make sure your application contains no overlaps with other marks. If no conflicts are found, your application will move on to publication, a public announcement of your pending mark in the trademark journal. Once the application reaches this stage, it is considered to be approved, Typically, this takes nine to ten months.

Relevant Read: The Difference Between Copyright, Patent, and Trademark

How Much Does it Cost to Trademark a Name in the USA?

It is easy to file a trademark application in the USA. However, the process is complicated requiring extensive knowledge and legal idea of the process. For checking your trademark’s availability, you can hire a professional firm. To determine the exact cost, you can hire a trademark attorney. The fee to file a trademark depends on the level of protection that you are seeking. Generally, you will need to pay around $250 for federal trademarks, but the fees for state and local trademarks differ. A better option is to hire a professional firm to conduct the whole process smoothly.

Moreover, some important documents should be there to file for a trademark at the USPTO. The USPTO requires you to prove that you have used your name or logo in business. If you have already registered your trademark in some US state, still it is advised to get the registration from USPTO.

What can be trademarked in the USA?

Depending on the nature of your business, you can either use a word or a symbol to distinguish it from others. If you want your name to be registered in the USA, you must be aware of certain restrictions. These restrictions include the use of the names of deceased USA presidents and words that are either deceptive or immoral.

The trademark application process is difficult as the mark goes through many stages starting from trademark search, trademark filing, examination, office action, publication, opposition, registration, and monitoring. Hiring a professional firm provides the best solution for all your trademark needs. You can register almost every word, logo, phrase, or symbol with USPTO provided it is not already trademarked by someone else. Moreover, you can not trademark a generic name. A generic term that describes the type of goods or services being provided by your company can not be trademarked. For example, a generic term for an eyeglass frame is not trademarkable, despite how the color of the frame is a key feature. A trademark can not be registered that describes an eyeglass lens color or tint, i.e., red eyeglass can not be registered as a trademark. Such generic trademarks are generally rejected by USPTO.

A trademark search is the first and foremost stage in trademark registration process. There are millions of existing trademarks in the market. Thus, you must make sure that your proposed trademark is not identical or similar to any of those already existing marks. This is where a comprehensive trademark search to check for the trademark’s availability comes into picture. A free tool to conduct a trademark search is TESS by USPTO. However, the free tools often miss some trademarks and platforms. Thus, it is best to seek help from a professional for conducting the trademark search.

Importance of trademarks for businesses and brands

Your product can only make a trustable market if the customers remembers your brand. And visual representations are the best ways of ensuring the retention of your brand in audience’s mind. The key point is to make sure that a customer can distinctly remember your brand name in the pool of market competitors. Trademarks are legally protected tools used in commerce to prevent others from copying your products and build your brand’s identity in the market. A trademark can protect your products as well as services from duplication and infringement.

All the large companies have their specific and famous trademarks. Nike’s swoosh logo, Audi’s overlapping rings, Jaguar’s Jumping Cheetah, etc. are some incredible examples of how a trademark is your company’s identity.

TMReady is your one-stop solution for all the services related to trademark search activities. Our years of expertise in the field coupled with advanced software tools ensure that you get comprehensive trademark search reports. We provide various packages to suit your budget and needs. Along with ready-made packages for trademark search, we also offer customized trademark search services. Our trademark search covers every possible similar trademark existing or in making. We provide trademark search reports that provide valuable insights to the client before they begin with the trademark filing process. To know more about our services, check us here

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