Updated: Sep 19
The US Patent and Trademark Office has quietly increased the time it takes for a trademark application to be assigned for review from 3 months to 6. This means if you applied for a trademark this summer, it most likely will be Christmas, not Halloween, before you receive any response.
While waiting is (almost) never fun, this change shouldn't upset your business plans too much. Remember, every successful trademark application includes protections dating back to the when the application was submitted. So if your application is already pending, it will show up in trademark searches. Businesses with a logo similar to yours may be dissuaded from applying for trademark when they stumble upon your logo in their trademark search (assuming they do their due diligence). And while this won't be an absolute bar to others applying for a similar trademark (not even fully registered trademarks can block others from at least applying for a similar trademark), when your application is eventually approved, your filing will be deemed first in time and will likely result in the competitor's application being denied without you having to do a thing.
We of course realize the temptation to delay further business decisions until your trademark application is approved. It can be scary to develop tons of inventory with a logo that hasn't yet been approved for trademark. But keep in mind, part of your case for trademark is that you are already using this logo in commerce. So you almost have a duty to continue to use the logo on your products or in advertising your service. As well, if you had us help you file your trademark application, we assure you we did our due diligence, and while we cannot promise, we are optimistic the mark will eventually be approved. As well, if you signed up for our trademark services bundle (as opposed to services at the hourly rate) the answer to any non-final decision and up to three "cease and desist" letters are included in your retainer agreement. Therefore, even if USPTO requests more information before approving or if one or two competitors start using a similar logo before your trademark is approved, we got your back. So you may move forward with your plans for this Fall with confidence.
If you are a current or prospective client with a question about your trademark application, please feel free to contact us.
Blog posts do not constitute legal advice or representation. Be sure to consult with an attorney of your choosing before taking action.