If you are looking into selling craft spirits, it is likely that you will want to get a trademark for your uniquely crafted spirit. Craft spirits trademarks are practically required to commercially sell a product. A trademark protects the brand name or logo that you have associated with the craft spirit, to prevent resaleor falsification, and otherwise protects your brand identity that is linked to your company and your services. To protect your brand and company, investing in a trademark is one of the first and most important steps.
There are a number of steps to complete the trademarking process. Although the process can be complex if you are doing it for the first time, the payoff of completing the trademarking process is worth all of the hassle.
Before you begin the trademarking process, you’ll want to create a “mark” or exactly the brand logo you want to associate with your craft spirits. There are four things you will need to keep in mind when you are creating a mark:
The filing basis will affect a lot of the later processing that goes into your trademark. In fact, there is a verification process that is taken, under oath, which you must swear to truthfully answer all of the questions and applications you plan on associating with your trademark. False statements or breaking of the statements can and will get you into legal trouble.
An attorney which you can hire to represent you can help you with some of the mark work that goes into pre-filing, such as identifying, searching, and filing bases. However, you should have a clear idea of what you want and have a design ready beforehand and you must be sure that the attorney you have contacted has experience in the trademarking registration process. A non-USPTO experienced attorney won’t be able to help you or know what to look for when determining potential problems.
Once you have created your mark and have gone and done all the pre-filing work, the bulk of the hard work is done and you are ready to begin the actual filing process.
The USPTO is the governing agency that will award you your trademark. You’ll need to start an account on their site and submit a trademark application. It does come with a fee of $250 for TEAS Plus or $350 for TEAS Standard registration. If you already have a trademark ID and all of the information necessary, you can use the TEAS Plus option. If you don’t have a trademark ID or all of the necessary information to fill out a TEAS Plus form, use the TEAS Standard option. After filing, you can monitor your application status through Trademark Status and Document Retrieval (TSDR) and you will be notified if you are successful in acquiring your trademark. You should check the status of the trademark at least once ever six months or you risk missing important legal action and have your case declared abandoned.
Now that you have registered and the USPTO has determined that you meet the minimum requirements, they will send it to an examining attorney. This is the longest part of the trademarking process and may take a couple of months. The examining attorney will review the application, fees received, and if it meets all the requirements necessary to proceed before starting a complete review of the mark. Their complete review will be focused on if your mark has any conflicting designs or issues with current trademarks, and the written application.
If the attorney accepts your trademark application, they will send you or your attorney a response for office action. If you or your attorneys do not respond in a timely manner, the registration can be declared abandoned and your trademark application will be dismissed.
After all objections are cleared and the attorney has reviewed all the information needed, they will publish the trademark in the “Official Gazette” which is the weekly USPTO publication which all registered trademarks are published under. Anyone who believes that it is a conflicting trademark or has other objections will have 30 days from publication to respond with their objections. If there are no objections or all the objections fail, you will be able to move onto the next stage of the registration process.
The final stage is receiving your trademark registration and doing the maintenance registration associated with your registration. Failure can result in a cancellation or expiration of your trademark and you’ll have to file again from the start.
If you require a trademark for your business, Four Reasons Legal is an expert in the trademarking registration process. We have over 15 years of experience in helping people receive a trademark successfully and provide protection/legal services to enforce the trademarks you have registered. The trademarking process can be taxing and complicated for anyone. Hiring an attorney experienced in the USPTO process, such as ourselves, can help you successfully receive your trademark registration. Contact us or schedule a phone consultation to start your craft spirits trademark today.