What Does “Published for Opposition” Mean for a Trademark?

Published for Opposition

You might see the phrase “published for opposition” when you check the status of your trademark application on the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) website.  The meaning of “published for opposition” is something that all owners of pending trademark applications should understand because it can be the most consequential part of the entire US trademark registration process.

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How Long To Register a Trademark in the US?

how long to register a trademark in the US

Current and prospective clients ask me all the time, “How long to register a trademark in the US?”  Unfortunately, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to that seemingly simple question.  Depending on your particular situation, it could be a matter of months.  But, in some cases, it could take many years.  The good news is that no matter how long it takes for the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to issue the Certificate of Registration, all of your federal trademark rights date back to the filing date of your trademark application.  In other words, it’s not the actual registration date that matters.  In fact, the registration date is only relevant to calculate trademark registration renewal deadlines.  It’s the application filing date that reserves your nationwide priority to use your trademark in connection with the advertising and sale of the products/services listed in your application.

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What is the Section 15 Declaration of Incontestability for a Trademark?

section 15 declaration of incontestability

The Section 15 Declaration of Incontestability is a document that’s filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for the purpose of making a federally registered trademark incontestable.  The Section 15 Declaration may only be filed if (1) the mark is registered on the Principal Register (not the Supplemental Register), (2) the mark is still in use in commerce, and (3) the mark has been in continuous use for five consecutive years subsequent to the date of registration.  Once the USPTO acknowledges the Section 15 Declaration, the trademark owner’s right to use its mark in commerce in connection with the products/services listed in the registration becomes incontestable.

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Supplemental Register vs. Principal Register – What is the Difference?

Supplemental Register vs. Principal Register

The issue of Supplemental Register vs. Principal Register frequently arises during the US trademark registration process.  If you’ve read my article titled “What is the Supplemental Register for US Trademarks?,” you already know that the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) maintains two separate trademark registers.  To recap, the Principal Register is reserved for trademarks that are considered under the law to be “distinctive.”  In contrast, the Supplemental Register is for non-distinctive marks, which are trademarks that have not yet acquired distinctiveness or “secondary meaning” in the minds of consumers.  I encourage you to read my previous article regarding the Supplemental Register so that you better understand the information presented here.

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What is an Amendment to Allege Use?

Amendment to Allege Use

An Amendment to Allege Use is a sworn declaration filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) indicating that your trademark is currently in use in commerce in connection with all of the products/services recited in your trademark application.  The Amendment to Allege Use requires you to (1) set forth the date on which your mark was first used anywhere in the United States, (2) set forth the date on which your mark was first used in interstate commerce, and (3) submit a proper specimen showing actual use of your mark.  If you filed your application on an intent-to-use basis, then you will eventually need to demonstrate actual use of your trademark by filing either an Amendment to Allege Use or the Statement of Use.

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What is the Supplemental Register for US Trademarks?

 

What is the Supplemental Register for US Trademarks?

The Supplemental Register is provided by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) as a way to federally register certain types of US trademarks.  Although it doesn’t offer all of the benefits and protections of the Principal Register, it’s still a valuable tool that should be utilized under appropriate circumstances.

The USPTO maintains two separate trademark registers.  The Principal Register is reserved for trademarks that are considered “distinctive.”  On the other hand, the Supplemental Register is for trademarks that have not yet acquired distinctiveness or “secondary meaning” in the minds of consumers.

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What is Proof of Use for Trademark Registration?

Proof of Use for Trademark

Proof of use for trademark registration is something that’s often misunderstood by people who choose to file their own trademark applications.  It’s not uncommon for people to contact me after receiving a trademark office action from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) indicating that registration of their trademark is being refused because the examples of use they submitted (referred to as “specimens”) are insufficient or improper.  This causes significant delays in registering their trademark and, in some cases, can even lead to their trademark application going abandoned and having to start the trademark registration process all over again.

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What is Use in Commerce?

What is Use in Commerce?

One of the questions I hear most as a trademark attorney is “What is use in commerce?”  The concept of “use in commerce” is vitally important in US trademark law, especially with regard to federal trademark registration.  Needless to say, the “use in commerce” definition is something all trademark applicants should be aware of.

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Benefits of USPTO Trademark Registration – A Quick Summary

Trademark are extremely valuable forms of intellectual property and even more important business assets.  Trademark owners must establish their legal right to their marks in order to properly safeguard them from possible infringement.  To obtain the maximum protection available under the law, trademark owners should strongly consider obtaining a USPTO trademark registration issued by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”).

What are the Benefits of USPTO Trademark Registration?

Below are the main benefits of registering your trademark with the USPTO:

  • A Certificate of Registration issued by the USPTO is prima facie evidence of (1) the validity of the registered trademark, (2) ownership of the registered trademark, and (3) the nationwide exclusive right to use the registered trademark in commerce in connection with the goods/services listed in the Certificate of Registration.  This is invaluable should you ever have to pursue or defend a trademark infringement lawsuit.

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Trademark Application – The First Step in Obtaining a US Trademark Registration

If you’re going to engage in a commercial enterprise, you’ll likely spend a great deal of time, money, and resources creating and developing your unique brands (i.e. your trademarks).  After all, your unique brands are what allow you to build consumer loyalty and, in turn, grow and prosper.

Your brands are some of the most valuable assets you’ll ever own because they embody your reputation and symbolize the goodwill your business has with the purchasing public.  And because they’re so valuable, they need to be protected against competitors who may try to imitate or disparage them.  As such, if you haven’t yet sought protection for your brands by filing a trademark application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”), then I strongly encourage you to consider doing so.

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