The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) defines the term “trademark” as “any word, phrase, symbol, design, or a combination of these things that identifies your goods or services.” It is impossible to establish a successful brand without a strong trademark.
What does it mean if a trademark is pending? Read on to find out.
What is a Trademark? – The Basics
A trademark identifies the source of goods or services and distinguishes one company from another in the marketplace. Without trademarks, it would be challenging to differentiate brands and establish fair competition.
Even though US law grants protection to unregistered (common law) trademarks, the best strategy to ensure superior protection is filing for federal registration with the USPTO. Once the registration is approved, successful applicants have exclusive rights over their respective marks.
In addition to added public recognition, federal trademarks allow the use of the ” ®” symbol with the marks, which contributes to solidifying the brand’s identity and reputation among competitors.
What Does it Mean If a Trademark is Pending? – The Verdict
A pending trademark is a mark that has not already been approved by USCIS. While the applicant has submitted the paperwork, the trademark application must go through a processing period that varies depending on different aspects.
For example, failing to file the forms accurately or providing uncertain information may lead to USPTO’s requests for further information. Severe mistakes will likely result in refusals, which may require a time-consuming and costly process to appeal the decision.
Generally, the USPTO registration process requires eight to ten months to complete. Please note that trademark rights are retroactive to the date of filing. Hence, if someone obtains USPTO approval in December, but the trademark application was filed in February, it is possible to enforce the rights acquired from January on.
Benefits of Federal Trademark Registration
Receiving USPTO approval for a federal trademark offers several benefits in terms of legal protection. While common law and state trademarks have a limited scope of protection, federal trademarks enjoy nationwide protection.
Federal trademark owners have a presumption of ownership in court, which may result in a challenging experience for competitors to prove their ownership in case of litigation. Another non-tangible asset that is directly associated with a solid trademark is goodwill.
Building goodwill and reputation requires continuous effort over time, especially considering the hard work required to establish a robust customer base.
USPTO registration adds an element of trust to the relationship between a brand and its customers, as it demonstrates the company’s compromise to provide trusted and reliable goods or services.
Another essential aspect of federal trademark registration is superior protection in court. It is not hard to find competitors willing to infringe on a successful company’s mark, which requires strategies to prevent or eliminate infringement as efficiently as possible.
If someone infringes a federal trademark, the injured party can file a lawsuit in federal court. The likelihood of receiving a greater amount of compensatory damages increases as well.
Federal Trademark Registration – Immediately Seek Expert Legal Guidance
A well-versed legal advisor in intellectual property law, Attorney Romy B. Jurado willingly wants to help protect your interests. Contact us by calling (305) 921-0976 or emailing [email protected] to schedule a consultation.