Federal Trademark Application- How to file in the US?

Federal Trademark Application- How to file in the US?

In the U.S., every trademark needs to be registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).  The federal trademark application filing process is a slightly complex procedure. However, the protection and benefits it offers are worth the effort.

You can file the application online using the Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS). It is an online trademark filing service that helps to save time. Alternatively, you can also submit a paper application.


In this article, we will guide you through the process of filing a trademark application. We will also discuss the U.S. trademark law that regulates the procedure. So, let’s begin.

Filing a Federal Trademark Application

In most cases, the applicants are able to take care of the trademark application process on their own. They need to specify the following in the application:

  1. Describe the type of mark. Typically, there are three types of formats to choose from:
  1. Standard character format
  2. Special character format
  3. A sound mark
  1. Specify when the trademark was first used. This includes the date when it was used as well as the products or services it was used on.
  2. Clearly describe the product and services on which the mark will be used. If you make a mistake in federal trademark application, you cannot change it later.
  3. Mention the classification under which the mark will be registered. It must be noted that there are 45 trademark classes for goods and services. You can find more information about this on the USPTO website.

Other Factors to Consider

Apart from this, the federal trademark application must also include the following:

  1. A drawing of the mark that clearly shows what the mark looks like. Make sure there is nothing else around the trademark to avoid any confusion.
  2. A specimen of the mark that depicts how it will be used in connection with the products or services.
  3. The registration fee

The registration fee for applying for different intellectual property rights is different. Typically, the Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS) fee is $400 per trademark class. You can also file the federal trademark application in paper that costs around $375 per class.

What Types of Trademarks Are Not Eligible for Federal Registration?

All trademark applications are studied by the USPTO’s auditors before they are granted. Many times, some marks stay as unregistered trademarks due to several reasons.


The USPTO may not register any trademark in the following cases:

  • The mark contains the name of any living person unless that person has approved
  • It includes the American flag
  • It contains the symbols of any local or federal government
  • It contains the name or likeness of a late U.S. President unless his/her widow has approved
  • It contains any words or emblems that criticize any living or dead people

What Happens after a Federal Trademark Application is Filed?

As per the U.S. trademark law, once the application is filed with the USPTO, an examining attorney will begin reviewing the application within three months. In case the attorney identifies an issue with the application, he/ she may notify you immediately. If you receive a notification, you must respond to it as soon as possible.

After the issue is resolved, the trademark will be published in The Trademark Official Gazette. This is a USPTO publication that includes a list of all the newly published marks as well as renewed registrations.

It must be noted that getting a federal trademark application approved is a slightly longer procedure. Sometimes, other corporations may oppose your application. This will happen if they feel that your mark is very similar to theirs. And this may lead to a slowing down of the entire process.

However, the opposition does not imply that your application is automatically dismissed. If the opposing party is unable to back their claim with any evidence, the mark will be successfully registered.

The entire process of filing a federal trademark application and getting it approved may take several months or sometimes years altogether.

How Long Does a Federal Trademark Registration Last?

Once a trademark is registered after federal trademark application with the USPTO, the owner obtains a registration certificate that is valid for ten years. Also, the registration may lapse before these ten years, in case the owner fails to file a statement within six years of the registration date, confirming that the mark is still in use.

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