Obtaining the appropriate trademark registration for your business is the best way to protect your enterprise and prevent others from unethically capitalizing on your brand image and hard work. Any individual or business who wishes to commercially sell a product will need to obtain a trademark for that product to prevent imitations, illegal sales, and other scams that can hurt the owner’s image.
If you are starting a new brand of fitness goods, it’s essential to understand how the trademark registration process works and what you will need to do to ensure your fitness goods have the trademark protection you need to operate your business with confidence. There are five main steps to complete if you want to register a trademark for fitness goods:
The process of submitting a trademark application to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is more complex than many trademark owners may realize at first. You need to do a lot of preparation work before you even file your registration application, otherwise, you could be met with denials, delays, or other problems. A few of the preparations you will need to make include:
You should not begin the formal trademark application process until you complete these pre-registration requirements. A fitness goods trademark will generally require a logo, an explanation of how you intend to use the logo, and listing all unique products that will feature your brand name and/or logo. For example, if you are registering a trademark for a line of different types of fitness goods such as activewear, socks, hats, and shoes, you will need to compile different information for each product. An experienced trademark registration attorney is a great asset to have during this phase of the trademark registration process.
Once you have all the necessary preparation done, and the information you will need to submit with your trademark application, you are ready to begin the submission process. You must complete the registration paperwork and submit it to the USPTO. You’ll need to create a registration account, and your application will have a registration fee of $250 to $350 depending on what type of registration you have chosen.
Creating an account with the USPTO will allow you to track the progress of your application through the USPTO’s Trademark Status and Document Retrieval (TSDR) system. It’s a good idea to check at least once every six months. If the USPTO attaches any notices to your application, you will need to address them very quickly, otherwise, the USPTO will consider your application abandoned. If this happens, you will need to restart the application process from the very beginning.
Once the USPTO acknowledges they have received all the required information for your fitness goods trademark, the agency will assign an examining attorney to oversee the final stages of your application process. The attorney must ensure that all of the required information for your fitness goods trademark is present within your application and that you have paid all required fees. They will also ensure that the applicant has followed all applicable laws and rules. Once the examining attorney completes this check they will start their review of the trademark. The examining attorney will conduct their own trademark search to see if any conflicting trademarks are currently active and verify your trademark specimens.
The examining attorney will then send you any necessary office actions. If you receive an office action, be careful to check the deadline for your response. If you do not respond in time, the USPTO will consider your application abandoned.
After you address any office actions pertaining to your trademark, the examining attorney will then proceed with publishing your fitness goods trademark in the USPTO’s Official Gazette. This weekly publication includes all trademarks that are in line for approval. If anyone with a live registered trademark or valid grounds for an objection to your fitness good trademark sees it in the Official Gazette they have 30 days to file their objections with the USPTO.
An objection to your fitness goods trademark will generate litigation similar to a federal court trial within the USPTO’s Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB). The TTAB is an opportunity to quash an objection or make final adjustments to the trademark to satisfy the objecting party. If you complete the TTAB trial process or there are no objections within 30 days of your trademark appearing in the Official Gazette, the USPTO will send you the final approval for your trademark.
Once you have your trademark, there are a few things you will need to do to maintain it. First, you will need to complete a few maintenance documents before you start using your trademark in any official commercial capacity. These documents allow you to expand your trademark further if necessary. You will also need to periodically renew your trademark registration to maintain your legal protections.
Fitness goods are in high demand all over the world and developing a new line of fitness goods could potentially be a very lucrative business venture. However, navigating the trademark registration process is more difficult than you probably expect. Working with an experienced trademark attorney is one of the best ways you can streamline the application process and minimize the chance of encountering resistance against your proposed trademark.
The team at Four Reasons Legal offers more than 15 years with a specific focus on trademark law in the United States. We have helped countless business owners secure the trademark protections they need to protect their businesses and brand identities. We can assist you with every stage of the trademark registration process for your new fitness goods, from your preliminary application paperwork to your trademark search and dealing with office actions from the USPTO. Contact us today if you are interested in registering a trademark for fitness goods and require the assistance of a team of experienced and dedicated Denver trademark attorneys.