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How To Register a Trademark

If you've got a special word, phrase, symbol, or design that identifies something you can't risk losing, follow these steps to register it and ensure it stays safely with you.


  • Step 1: Use your trademark. Once your trademark is officially registered, you have six months to either use your trademark or file an extension, so use your brilliant idea before you lose it.
  • FACT: Reportedly, the first known registered trademark in Britain was the Bass Red Triangle of Bass and Company Brewery. It was registered on January 1, 1876.
  • Step 2: Wait for a response. After filing, the USPTO will ensure you've met all the requirements and will forward your application to an attorney -- this process can take several months.
  • TIP: [Include the necessary information] Apply for the trademark. Include your name and address, a drawing of the mark, a list of the goods, and your filing fee with the application. Follow the application instructions very carefully to ensure a successful application.
  • Step 3: File your application by using the Trademark Electronic Application System, also known as TEAS, which can also be found at In addition to filing your application, TEAS offers online help, validation functions, immediate receipt notice, and 24-hour availability.
  • TIP: If you don't have internet access, check with your local library. If they can't help, call USPTO at (800) 786-9199 to request a printed form.
  • Step 4: Check the Trademark Electronic Search System, also known as TESS, at to make sure there are no identical or similar trademarks. Your mark will be rejected if there is a similar one already registered.

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