United States (USA)Trademark registration
The USA is a member of the Madrid Protocol. United States National Trademark protection is governed by a Federal law in force since 1946 commonly referred to as “The Lanham Act”. It applies to all fifty U.S. States as well as any territory under United States jurisdiction and control, including the American Virgin Islands (VI), in American Samoa (AS), Guam (GU) and Puerto Rico (PR). Trademark protection is obtained by registration. An unregistered trademark may be protected due to prior use in United States commerce (common law). The United States follow the first-to use system. Trademark law is based on the principles of “common law”.
A trademark application has to be filed before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). A postal address within the U.S. is sufficient. A non-legalized power of attorney is sufficient. Foreign applicants do not need a domestic registration.
The application process includes a formal examination, an examination of distinctiveness and a search for prior trademarks. takes approximately 10 - 16 months from first filing to secure the registration. Before registration, the trademark application is once published in the weekly “Official Gazette”. The opposition period is 30 days from the publication date of the application or within limited extensions previously obtained.
A trademark registration in USA is valid for 10 years and starts with registration date. The registration is renewable for periods of 10 years. However, an Affidavit of Continuing Use is due at year five (5) or the USPTO will cancel the trademark. So this is also a very important “renewal” date.
NATIONAL REGISTRATION: If you just want to register your Trademark in one country, it is sufficient to apply for a national registration at the local trademark office. INTERNATIONAL REGISTRATION (MADRID SYSTEM)*: If you already have filed a trademark application or have a trademark registration in one or more countries of the Madrid Union (based on the Madrid Agreement and Madrid Protocol), you can obtain trademark protection by filing one single application, so called International Registration (Madrid System). *Note: The fees for an International Trademark Application (WIPO) will be calculated for each individual country or multiple countries. For a quotation please send us an e-mail with the name of countries where you currently have a registration and all preferable countries where you wish to extend your trademark protection.
Duly note, if the trademark has not been used within 3 years from issue of the registration certificate or has not been used later for a continuous period of 3 years, it may be subject to cancellation.