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When is it Too Late to Register for Trademark Protection?


The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is the federal agency responsible for trademark registration. Businesses can file for federal trademark protection with the USPTO. This raises an important question: When is it too late to register a trademark? While there is technically no filing deadline, it is crucial companies file for trademark protection as soon as possible. Within this article, our Florida trademark registration attorney highlights the key things you should understand about the timeline for registering for trademark protection.

Know the Law: There is No Technical Deadline to File to Register a Trademark 

To start, businesses and entrepreneurs in Florida should understand that, from a purely legal perspective, there is no technical statutory deadline to apply for a trademark registration. The law does not set a specific date after a service mark goes into commercial use by which you must have filed for federal trademark protection in order to be eligible to apply. Indeed, you can obtain state-level common law trademark rights based purely on actual commercial use. That being said, it could still be a major mistake to wait too long to file for trademark protection with the USPTO.

 You Should Still File for Trademark Protection as Early as Possible (Timing Matters) 

Even though there is no set statutory deadline, the trademark registration process is still time-sensitive. The best thing you can do to establish and protect your brand is to file for trademark protection as early as possible. Why? The earlier you file, the better your chances of protecting your brand. Filing early puts you in a strong position to defend your trademark against others who might want to use something similar. If a dispute over trademark rights arises, a prompt application for trademark protection is a compelling form of evidence.

 What You Need to do to Successfully File to Register a Trademark 

How do you file for federal trademark protection? It is a comprehensive, multi-step process that is about a lot more than simply filling out some general paperwork. Here is an overview of some of the key steps to successfully register for trademark protection with the USPTO:

  • Do Your Research (Trademark Search): Before anything else, make sure your trademark is not already being used. A lawyer can help you check for any similar trademarks. You do not want to make a major investment into a brand that you cannot trademark.
  • Carefully Define Your Trademark: Clearly identify what you are trademarking. Is it a word, logo, or a combination of both? When you have a clear trademark application, your odds of approval will increase dramatically.
  • Identify Your Goods or Services: Be sure to specify what products or services your trademark will cover. Once again, being precise is key.
  • Prepare and File Your Application: Gather all supporting documents. You can file online with the USPTO.
  • Monitor Progress and Respond to Any Inquiries: Keep an eye on the status of your application. After you file, the USPTO might have questions or require additional information. Be prompt and clear in your responses. An attorney can help.

Speak to a Trademark Registration Attorney in South Florida

At Perkins Law, our Florida trademark lawyer has the professional skills and legal experience that you trust. If you have any questions or concerns about trademark registration, we are here as a legal resource. Contact us today to set up your strictly initial appointment. With a law office in Boca Raton, our IP law firm handles trademark registration matters throughout South Florida.



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