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An Overview of the Trademark Examination Process

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If the Trademark Examiner deems the application acceptable, the trademark is then set for publication in the Official Gazette of the United States Patent & Trademark Office. This notice of publication provides a thirty day period for any opposition or extension of time to oppose to be filed. If it is a use based application and there is no opposition, the Examiner then grants the registration within three months of the Notice of Publication.

If it is an intent to use application without opposition, the United States Patent & Trademark Office issues a Notice of Allowance, giving the applicant six months in which to file a Statement of Use, demonstrating use of the trademark in commerce. If the trademark is still not being used in commerce, the application can request six month extensions to file the Statement of Use, as long as it does not exceed a three year time period from the date the Notice of Allowance was issued.

If the Examiner refuses registration of the trademark, this is detailed in an Office Action, which provides a six month response time to the applicant. The Examiner might have simple reasons for refusals, referred to as informalities, such as need for revision of the description of goods and services, incorrect classification number, etc. However, the Examiner’s refusal can be more complex, dealing with substantive issues such as likelihood of confusion with another trademark, merely descriptive of the goods and services, etc. The Examiner can be persuaded by arguments, and an appeal can be filed if this is not the case.

You would be wise to consult with a Florida trademark attorney first, before undertaking any trademark matters.

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