After the Trademark application has been submitted, it is then left for the USPTO to determine that the applicant has met the minimum filing requirements but before the application is forwarded to an examining attorney, a serial number will be assigned. Note that this process may take several months to complete.
When the application gets to the examining attorney, it will be reviewed so as to determine its compliance status with all applicable rules and statutes which also includes the required fees. It is also important to note that filing fees are not refundable even if the application is later rejected and for one reason or the other it was denied registration, filing fees will not be refunded.
During review, the following duties will be carried out
– A search for conflicting marks;
– An examination of the drawing, written application and any other specimen.
A letter will be issued once the examining attorney has decided that the trademark should not be registered. This is known as an “Office action” – it explains any procedural or technical deficiencies in the application, as well as any substantive reasons for its refusal.
The examining attorney may contact the applicant through an e-mail or by telephone if it only requires minor corrections. If an Office action has been sent by the examining attorney, the applicant is expected to respond to the Office action within six (6) months from the date of its mailing else the application will automatically be declared abandoned.
Prompt Response to Letter
The examining attorney will issue a final refusal if the applicant’s response fails to overcome all objections. The applicant may an administrative tribunal within the USPTO – Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) in an attempt to overcome a final refusal. However, this comes with an additional fee.
Publication of Mark
But if the applicant overcomes all objections and no objections to registration were raised by the examining attorney. The trademark will be approved and published in the Official Gazette – USPTO’s weekly publication after which, a notice of publication to will be sent to the applicant by the USPTO.
The date of publication will be stated in the notice of publication that is been sent to the applicant. 30 days is set aside after the publication of the mark for complaints that may come from any party who thinks it may have been damaged by registration of the mark.For more information about intellectual property lawyers visit us.
Opposition to Registration
As this time, the opposing party is required to file either a request to extend the time to oppose or a direct opposition to registration. Although an opposition is held before the TTAB, it is, however, similar to a proceeding in a federal court. But if no filing was made as opposition or if it becomes unsuccessful then the registration process can be initiated.