The process of trademark registration in the USA is relatively straightforward. There are some important factors to consider and keep in mind, and some strict guidelines to adhere to.
Ensuring that your application is successful means staying firmly within these guidelines, and often when people complete their own application they find that they have been rejected, but the associated paperwork explaining why can be confusing.
To avoid the risk of being refused when registering a trademark it's recommended that you apply through an experienced law firm, who can help you to adhere to the guidelines and rules around your application, and guide you through the process, ensuring that your application is far more likely to be successful first time. Things to consider when registering a trademark in the USA: -
1. Check whether the name has already been registered. This can be done via the TESS (Trademark Electronic Search System) database. Note: you can use the same registered name as another private company as long as your products and services are entirely different.
2. Ensure your chosen name is not too descriptive. You cannot register a business trademark that explicitly describes what the business's products or services are. You cannot trademark an ice cream parlour limited company name like 'The Ice Cream Parlour'. You cannot use deliberate misspellings or famous brand names in your trademark. You should not include a domain extension - dot com, dot net, dot org - in your registration (unless you also register a trademark without; including one leaves opportunities for others to register the same trademark with a different extension, thus impeaching on your intellectual property).
3. Research your classes. There are numerous different classes of business trademarks; ensuring that you are registered within the same class, and for all the classes that you want to trade within, is vital. It's also wise to consider future expansion possibilities and register for those, even if you aren't trading in those areas now. Renewals are due every ten years and you cannot increase the scope without beginning the process again in that time.