For many businesses, the process for registering and renewing patents and trademarks can be difficult, complicated, and fraught with chances for error. Every year, businesses and individuals lose millions of dollars in valuable intellectual property because of missed deadlines and procedural mistakes. The Patent&Trademark Bureau provides the expertise that modern businesses need to navigate the Patent Office’s registration and renewal process. You need experienced, professional assistance to protect your assets. Don’t let your hard-earned property go to waste!

A trademark or trade mark is a distinctive sign or indicator used by an individual, business organization, or other legal entity to identify that the products or services for consumers with which the trademark appears originate from a unique source, and to distinguish its products or services from those of other entities.

A trademark is designated by the following symbols:
  • ™ (for an unregistered trade mark, that is, a mark used to promote or brand goods)
  • SM (for an unregistered service mark, that is, a mark used to promote or brand services)
  • ® (for a registered trademark)

A trademark is a type of intellectual property, and typically a name, word, phrase, logo, symbol, design, image, or a combination of these elements. There is also a range of non-conventional trademarks comprising marks which do not fall into these standard categories. The owner of a registered trademark may commence legal proceedings for trademark infringement to prevent unauthorized use of that trademark. The owner of a common law trademark may also file suit, but an unregistered mark may be protected only within the geographical area within which it has been used or in geographical areas into which it may be reasonably expected to expand. The term trademark is also used informally to refer to any distinguishing attribute by which an individual is readily identified, such as the well known characteristics of celebrities. When a trademark is used in relation to services rather than products, it may sometimes be called a service mark. If you want to establish a brand for your product or service, you should consider creating a distinctive trade mark. A trade mark protects the identity of your goods and services. Once you register a trade mark, you have the legal right to use, license or sell it within the USA for the goods and services for which it is registered. You also have the right to prevent others from using it. If you do not register, another party could register your brand as a trade mark and you could be forced to defend your rights - you may even need to rebrand.

In the United States the registration process entails several steps prior to a trademark receiving its Certificate of Registration. First, an Applicant, the person or persons applying for the registration, files an application to register the respective trademark. The application is then placed in line in the order it was received to be examined by an examining attorney. Second, following a period of anywhere from three to six months the application is reviewed by an examining attorney to make sure it complies with all requirements in order to be entitled to registration. This review includes procedural matters such as making sure the Applicant's goods or services are identified properly. It also includes more substantive matters such as making sure the Applicant's mark is not merely descriptive or likely to cause confusion with a pre-existing applied-for or registered mark. If the application runs afoul of any requirement, the examining attorney will issue an office action requiring the Applicant to address certain issues or refusals prior to registration of the mark. Third, and after the examination of the mark has concluded with no issues to be addressed or an Applicant has responded adequately to an examining attorney's concerns, the application will be published for opposition. During this 30-day period third-parties who may be affected by the registration of the trademark may step forward to file an Opposition Proceeding to stop the registration of the mark. If an Opposition proceeding is filed it institutes a case before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board to determine both the validity of the grounds for the opposition as well as the ability of the Applicant to register the mark at issue. Fourth, provided that no third-party opposes the registration of the mark during the opposition period or the opposition is ultimately decided in the Applicant's favor the mark will be registered in due course.

The owner of the registration must renew his trademark during the following time periods:
First Filing Deadline: File between the 5th and 6th years after the registration date. If the renewal is accepted, the registration will continue in force for the remainder of the ten-year period from the registration date.
Subsequent Filing Deadline: File between the 9th and 10th years after the registration date, and between every 9th and 10th year after the registration date thereafter.

NOTE regarding Grace Period Filings: The above documents will be accepted as timely if filed within six months after the deadlines listed above with the payment of an additional fee.

The Renewal process looks as follows:
  • You receive the Reminder from Patent&Trademark Bureau
  • You sign it and mail it back to us in the Reply Paid envelope provided
  • We send you the invoice after we receive the signed Reminder from you
  • Upon receipt of all the fees the trademark is renewed

Failure to renew your trademark on time might result in cancellation of the trademark and a new application to pursue registration of the mark again must be filed.

1500 Market Street
12th Floor, East Tower
Philadelphia, PA 19102
United States

Phone: 215 207 0140
Fax: 215 207 0140

Business hours:
Mon-Fri from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm ET