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Trademark registration process flowchart

The trademark process can be very confusing, so it’s no wonder why the USPTO recommends hiring an attorney to file your trademark application. Just check out the chart of the basic process above. To help you figure out the process, we made this handy trademark registration process flowchart, to give you a step-by-step description of the process (pro-tip: the step numbers correlate to the numbers in the chart).

The Trust Tree® trademark registration process flowchart

Step 1.

Application filed and assigned a serial number.

Step 2.

If the minimum filing requirements are met, the application is assigned to an examining attorney. The examining attorney conducts a review of the application to determine whether federal law permits registration.

Step 3a.

If no refusals or additional requirements are identified, the mark will publish in the Official Gazette. Any party who believes it would be harmed by the registration may file an objection (opposition) within that 30-day period with the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB).

Step 3b.

If refusals or requirements must still be satisfied, the examining attorney assigned to the application issues a letter (Office action) stating the refusals. The applicant must submit a response within 6 months.

Step 4a.

If the applicant timely responds, the examining attorney will review the submitted response to determine if all refusals and/or requirements have been satisfied.

Step 4b.

If the applicant does not respond within 6 months from the date the Office action was issued, the application is abandoned. To continue the application process, the applicant must file a petition to revive the application within 2 months of the abandonment date.

Step 5a.

If the applicant’s response overcomes the refusals and/or satisfies all requirements, the examining attorney approves the mark for publication in the OG.

Step 5b.

If the applicant’s response fails to overcome the refusals and/or satisfy the outstanding requirements, the examining attorney will issue a “Final” Office action. An applicant may respond to a final office action by overcoming the refusals and complying with the requirements or appealing to the TTAB.

Step 6a.

If the applicant timely responds and/or files an appeal, the Examining Attorney will review the submitted response to determine if all refusals and/or requirements have been satisfied. If not, the application will be abandoned unless the applicant has filed a Notice of Appeal, in which case the application is forwarded to the TTAB.

Step 6b.

If the applicant does not respond or appeal, the application abandons.

Step 7a.

If the applicant’s response overcomes the refusals and/or satisfies all requirements of the “Final” refusal letter (Office action), the examining attorney approves the mark for publication in the OG.

Step 7b.

If the applicant’s response does not overcome the refusals and the applicant has filed a Notice of Appeal with the TTAB, the appeal will be forwarded to the TTAB.
Trademark Maintenance

Step 9.

Before the end of the 6-year period after the registration date, the registration owner must file a Declaration of Use or Excusable Nonuse under Section 8. Failure to file this declaration will result in the cancellation of the registration. Declaration of incontestability should be filed at this time.

Step 10.

Within one year before the end of every 10-year period after the registration date, the registration owner must file a “Combined Declaration of Use” or “Excusable Nonuse/Application for Renewal”. Failure to make these required filings will result in cancellation and/or expiration of the registration.