How to File a Trademark – Part 4

By Drew Stevens - November 2, 2018 - Technology & IP

If you’re not a Columbus, Ohio trademark lawyer, trying to decide what kind of trademark application you need can be difficult. Here, we’ll dive into the mechanics of the trademark application itself and what you should be watching for if you’re new to intellectual property and are trying to file a trademark on your own with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Before we get into the application itself, we’ll take a look at the three different types of trademark applications.

Type of Application

To file and register a trademark, we’ll get into another USPTO acronym – TEAS. The Trademark Electronic Application System has three options for trademark filing: TEAS Plus, TEAS Reduced Fee (also known as TEAS RF), and TEAS Regular.

For those companies and startups looking to shore up your intellectual property assets, there are a few noteworthy differences between the three options. With TEAS Plus and TEAS RF, you’ll be corresponding electronically and via email – no written applications. TEAS Regular is the only option for written correspondence. At the time of publication, TEAS Plus costs $225, TEAS RF costs $275, and TEAS Regular costs $400.

Many of you will whittle down your options to TEAS Plus and TEAS RF. Generally, and there are exceptions, if you have a more traditional and straightforward trademark application, TEAS Plus may be your best option. If you’re a technology, software, fintech, IoT, e-commerce, or other kind of “new technology” company seeking to file a trademark, TEAS RF may be your better bet.

Why? With TEAS Plus, you can only use the keywords in the USPTO Trademark Identification Manual that have been pre-approved by the USPTO for your goods and services description. We’ll dive more into the importance of the goods and services description later, but for now, note this key difference.

By way of example, if you’re filing for an apparel-related trademark in international class 025, the ID Manual will probably have you covered. IC025 has IDs for everything from soccer boots to skiing shoes to “Japanese style sandals of leather.” On the other hand, the limitations of the ID Manual will become more apparent if you’re trying to incorporate comparatively newer elements of your industry’s lexicon.

Of final note on the type of application – no matter which application you pick, you will be charged the applicable filing fee for every class that you file in. For example, if you select a TEAS RF application and you want to file in international class 035 and international class 042, you’ll owe a total of $550 in filing fees.

Filing an Application: Page 1

Now that you’re familiar with the different types of application, we’re ready to walk through a hypothetical trademark application. For our example, we’ll assume you select the TEAS RF application.

The first step will be the first page in which you’ll be asked for two points of information: confirming your type of application and whether an attorney is filing the application. Confirm you are selecting TEAS RF and check no if you’re not using an intellectual property attorney.

Filing an Application: Page 2

Page 2 of the trademark application asks for basic intake and contact information. The only important part to note here is that whatever you input may become public information. In other words, prepare for lots of spam (and scam) emails and mailings.

In our next post, we’ll keep walking through our hypothetical trademark application. If you find that you’re having difficulty with your trademark application or have related intellectual property questions, don’t hesitate to contact our Columbus trademark attorney.

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