US Application Process

As in the UK and Europe, it is often sensible to conduct searching prior to the filing of a trade mark application in order to give a good indication of the likelihood of obtaining registration for a chosen mark. Again, marks that are identical or confusingly similar to earlier registered marks will not be registered, in respect of identical or confusingly similar goods.

On application, an examination is carried out including a search of prior registration, to determine whether or not the mark should go forward for publication. The US rules regarding the specifications of goods are different from those of the UK in that it is necessary to specify the commercial products to be sold under the mark.

On acceptance, the mark is published in the US Trade Marks Journal and a three month period is allowed for third parties to oppose a new application. Opposition procedures in the US are very long processes, with considerable evidence required by each side regarding the use of the respective marks.

The basis for a US application must either be use, intention to use or an existing registration in another country. If the basis for the application is use or intention to use, then use must be proved before the mark can be registered. This involves providing the first date the mark was used, together with a sample of the mark in use e.g. on packaging or advertising.

A US trade mark is registered for a period of 10 years and can be renewed indefinitely, while use continues. It is necessary to prove continuing use of the mark between the 5th and 6th years after the registration.


Typical US Application Costs


Preliminary Searching £600
Application for the first class £1,350
Examination £500 – £1,000
Proof of use £900
Total for a single class £1,900