FIND ANSWERS TO COMMON QUESTIONS HERE
- What Is Flat Fee Trademark?
- Are You An Actual Trademark Attorney?
- Trademarks, Patents, Copyrights: What Is The Difference?
- Can I Use The ® Symbol Once My Trademark Application Has Been Submitted?
- What Is The Cost For Flat Fee Trademark To Prepare My Trademark Application?
- What’s With The Government Filing Fee?
- Why Does Flat Fee Trademark Offer Flat Fee Prices?
- Why Should I Register My Trademark?
- Does My Mark Qualify For Trademark Registration?
- Why Should I Conduct A Trademark Search?
- What’s Included In The Comprehensive Trademark Search?
- What is the Difference Between a Word Mark and a Stylized Design Mark?
- What If My Trademark Search Results Are Unfavorable?
- How Long Does It Take To Register My Trademark?
- My Application Was Filed As Intent-to-Use. What Next?
- I Received An Office Action From The USPTO, What Now?
- How Do I Maintain My Trademark Registration?
- What Is Trademark Infringement?
- What is Likelihood of Confusion?
- What Is Trademark Dilution?
- Does My U.S. Trademark Registration Provide International Trademark Protection?
- What is the Madrid Protocol?
- I just completed my flatfeetrademark.com order, what can I expect now?
What Is Flat Fee Trademark?
Flat Fee Trademark is an online trademark search and application service. Trademark services are provided by the Law Office of Minott Gore P.A., a trademark law firm. Trademark attorneys Keesonga Gore and Serena Minott founded Flat Fee Trademark to offer comprehensive U.S trademark search and registration services at affordable flat fee prices. The Law Office of Minott Gore, P.A. and Flat Fee Trademark are located in sunny South Florida, but we represent clients in all 50 U.S. states and internationally. Regardless of where you are, we can assist you with the federal trademark process.
So Why Choose Us?
Many local trademark attorneys charge for their legal services by the hour and as a result can get very expensive. We offer entrepreneurs and business owners an easy, affordable way to protect their trademarks with the knowledge and expertise of a trademark attorney on their side.
Are You An Actual Trademark Attorney?
Yes, we are licensed trademark attorneys. Trademark attorneys Keesonga Gore and Serena Minott founded by FlatFeeTrademark.com in 2008. Both attorneys still directly answer client phone calls and handle every trademark search and application submitted through the website every day.
When we say contact us for a complimentary consultation, we mean it. We answer our own phones and you get to speak with a real live trademark attorney.
When we started FlatFee Trademark eight years ago, the concept of hiring a trademark attorney, or any attorney for that matter, through the Internet was fairly novel. That’s no longer the case and we believe it’s the future of legal services. By providing our trademark law services online, we’re able to streamline our services, maintain reasonable overhead expenses and offer you affordable flat fee prices. It’s a win-win for everyone.
Trademarks, Patents, Copyrights: What Is The Difference?
Trademark is a word, slogan, symbol or design that identifies and distinguishes the goods of one company from those of another.
Service mark is the same as a trademark, except that it identifies and distinguishes the source of a service rather than a product.
Patent is a grant of property rights to an inventor for an invention. The right conferred by a patent grant is the right to exclude others from making, using, offering for sale, or selling the invention in the United States or importing the invention into the United States.
Copyright is a form of protection provided to the authors or creators of original works of authorship, including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and certain other intellectual works, both published and unpublished. The copyright owner is granted the exclusive right to reproduce, distribute, display or perform the copyrighted work publicly.
Can I Use The ® Symbol Once My Trademark Application Has Been Submitted?
No. The federal registration symbol, the R in a circle (®), is for use only on trademarks registered with the USPTO, not for pending applications. The use the ® to provide notice to others of your legal rights in a federally protected trademark once your mark is accepted for registration. If you would like to provide informal notice of your claim to trademark rights in a particular name, you may use a superscript TM in connection with your mark while pending registration.
What Is The Cost For Flat Fee Trademark To Prepare My Trademark Application?
Our Comprehensive Trademark Search and Application Package is offered at $475, which includes a complimentary consultation call with Attorney Gore or Attorney Minott, a Comprehensive Trademark Search (federal trademark records, State trademarks, common law uses and domain name registrations), an Attorney Opinion Letter analyzing and explaining the search results, and an Attorney-prepared trademark application. We continue to serve as the Attorney-of-Record for your application while pending registration. We will respond to non-substantive requests from the USPTO while your application is pending registration.
In addition, all applicants must pay applicable USPTO government filing fees of $275 per mark, per class of goods and/or services for which you are seeking protection. For certain qualifying applications, the USPTO also offers a reduced filing fee of $225. If your application qualifies, we will file at the reduced rate. You do not pay the USPTO filing fee until we are ready to submit your application to the government. We do not receive any portion of the USPTO filing fees.
What’s With The Government Filing Fee?
The $275 government filing fee is the cost every applicant pays for the USPTO to administer the U.S. trademark registration system. The government filing fee applies per class that your goods or services cover. There are 45 different classes. We provide advice on the applicable classes based on the information you provide to us with your trademark order. Flat Fee Trademark receives zero revenue from these filing fees.
Why Does Flat Fee Trademark Offer Flat Fee Prices?
Most attorneys charge by the hour, which can really add up over time. At Flat Fee Trademark, we offer flat fee pricing as an affordable alternative to hourly billing. Flat fee pricing makes quality legal service more accessible for individuals and businesses, regardless of size or years in business. We’ve streamlined the trademark registration process and we keep overhead costs low so we can pass valuable savings on to our clients.
Why Should I Register My Trademark?
A federally registered trademark protects your brand name, logo or slogan from unauthorized use by others. A registered trademark provides legal protection and enforceable rights under the law against competitors and provides a basis to sue for trademark infringement if someone starts using your mark without permission on similar or related goods or services. A federally registered trademark guarantees:
Use of the registered trademark symbol (®) alongside your brand or logo.
Constructive notice to the public of your claim of ownership and exclusive right to use the mark in connection with the goods or services listed in the registration.
National priority of ownership against anyone who attempts to use or register a confusingly similar mark.
The ability to bring legal action concerning the mark in federal court.
In a case of trademark infringement, registered trademark owners are entitled to seek triple damages plus attorneys’ fees.
United States trademark registration may be used as a basis to obtain registration in foreign countries.
A federal trademark registration may be filed with the U.S. Customs Service to block the importation of infringing (counterfeit) foreign goods.
The ability to shut down Internet domain names, social media usage, Amazon, Etsy and other competing e-commerce use that attempt to infringe upon your mark.
After five years of registration, your right in the mark becomes incontestable, eliminating nearly every defense to trademark infringement.
Does My Mark Qualify For Trademark Registration?
To qualify for federal trademark registration, marks must be sufficiently distinctive and not infringe on any existing marks. To determine if your mark has already been registered or if there are other uses that may impede registration of your mark, a comprehensive trademark search is highly recommended.
As for trademark distinctiveness, there are several possible categories, from most distinctive to least: fanciful or arbitrary, suggestive, descriptive, and generic.
Your mark also may not be offensive or disparaging, merely geographically descriptive, primarily function as a surname, merely descriptive or generic for the goods/services offered.
Why Should I Conduct A Trademark Search?
Running a trademark search prior to filing your trademark application saves time, therefore saving money and protects your business from potentially serious disputes in the future. A trademark search provides valuable information about common law uses or existing registrations for the same or similar marks that may affect your application at the USPTO. The USPTO may refuse your application on the basis of a prior registered trademark, or a common law trademark user could oppose your application during the 30-day publication period. If the USPTO refuses registration of your mark for any reason, any filing fees and/or legal fees paid are non-refundable.
What’s Included In The Comprehensive Trademark Search?
A Comprehensive Trademark Search provides a complete picture of the trademark landscape for your brand. It informs you if someone has sought federal trademark registration for a mark that is identical or similar to your proposed mark, or if someone has sought protection for the mark in any of the 50 U.S. states. It also lets you know about commercial uses of the mark for domain names and for business name registrations.
Our Comprehensive Trademark Search includes a search for identical and similar marks in the federal trademark records, state trademarks, domain name registrations, and common law uses. Our search service also includes an Attorney Opinion Letter. This explains the search results and how they may affect your trademark rights and trademark registration process.
What is the Difference Between a Word Mark and a Stylized Design Mark?
A word mark protects the words themselves. If registration is granted, you can use the registered word mark any way you like and still have protection. This makes word marks the strongest trademark protection you can get (because the words are protected, it will not matter what your logo or someone else’s looks like).
For a stylized logo, the look and design of the logo is what’s protected. It includes any literal (text) and design elements of the logo. But if you change the logo, you risk losing some of your trademark protection. A stylized logo registration protects the exact design that was filed.
In the case of a stylized design mark, the trademark filed must exactly match the mark that appears on your goods/services.
What If My Trademark Search Results Are Unfavorable?
If the results of the Comprehensive Trademark Search results are not in your favor, we will provide a second search of your new/alternate mark (for the same goods or services as your original order) at no additional cost. If you would like another Comprehensive Search with written Attorney Opinion Letter, the cost would be $325.
How Long Does It Take To Register My Trademark?
Once your order is processed, you will receive the Comprehensive Trademark Search Report and Attorney Opinion letter within 4-5 business days. Following the Search Report and Attorney Opinion Letter, we will await your affirmative approval on whether to move forward. Once approved, we will send you a completed, electronic application for review and signature within 1-2 business days.
You have an opportunity to review and approve the application before signing. You must inform us of any requested changes or corrections at this time before the application is signed and submitted. Once filed at the USPTO, the registration process usually takes between 9 – 12 months, but it may be longer if there are substantive issues to be resolved before registration is granted.
My Application Was Filed As Intent-to-Use. What Next?
If your trademark was filed as an “Intent to Use” mark (the mark was not yet in use), you will have to file a Statement of Use once you start using the mark, or when the mark is granted provisional approval by the USPTO, whichever occurs first. If the mark passes approval, the USPTO Examiner will issue a Notice of Allowance for your application.
The Statement of Use informs the USPTO that you are now actively using your trademark in commerce and your Intent to Use (ITU) application should be allowed full registration. We must also submit a specimen showing actual use of the mark in commerce on the goods or services specified in the ITU application. Once filed, your mark will proceed to registration and you will receive a Certificate of Registration 2-3 months later.
Intent to Use trademark applications provide the benefit of any earlier filing date if you are not yet using your mark when the application is filed. However, ITU applications do incur additional fees. Our legal fee to prepare and file the Statement of Use is $125 and the USPTO filing fee is $100 per class. If you are not yet using the mark and need more time, we can file a Request for Extension of Time. The legal fee for an Extension is $125 plus the USPTO filing fee of $125 per class.
Failure to file a timely Statement of Use, or Request an Extension of Time will result in significant late filing penalties, or abandonment of your ITU application.
I Received An Office Action From The USPTO, What Now?
Office Actions are a part of the procedural process that occurs during the USPTO trademark review process. Office Actions are not uncommon and can be issued for a variety of reasons. Contact us at (800) 769-7790 to discuss your specific Office Action. Our attorneys can advise you as to the reason for the Office Action and most importantly, assist in preparing legal arguments to properly address the issue in a timely manner. You have six (6) months from the date the Office Action is issued to file a timely response.
How Do I Maintain My Trademark Registration?
A federal trademark registration is valid for 10 years but may be renewed indefinitely if the proper step are followed. You must continue to use the mark on or in connection with the goods or services specified in the registration and file a Statement of Continued Use between the 5th and 6th year anniversary of your trademark registration date.
You must also file a Declaration of Use between the 9th and 10th year following your registration date. Thereafter, trademark renewals are due every 10th year anniversary following your original registration date. The trademark attorneys at FlatFeeTrademark.com are available to assist you with the trademark renewal process.
What Is Trademark Infringement?
The unauthorized use of a registered trademark by another is known as trademark infringement. Your brand name, logo or slogan may be a target of trademark infringement or you may inadvertently infringe on someone else’s trademark. An infringement claim against you could prove costly if you are found liable for monetary damages such as lost profits. In some cases even attorneys’ fees and punitive damages can also be charged.
What is Likelihood of Confusion?
One of the primary factors the USPTO considers in determining whether to allow a mark for registration is whether there exists a likelihood of confusion between the proposed trademark and a registered or pending trademark for the goods or services covered in the application. The USPTO considers: (1) how similar the marks are, and (2) the commercial relationship between the goods and/or services identified by the marks. The marks do not have to be identical to be confusing.
There could be similarities in appearance, sound, meaning or commercial impression to support a finding of likelihood of confusion.
What Is Trademark Dilution?
Trademark “dilution” refers to the lessening of the capacity of a famous mark to identify and distinguish goods or services, regardless of the presence or absence of (1) competition between the owner of the famous mark and other parties, or (2) likelihood of confusion, mistake, or deception. Unauthorized use of a registered trademark in a manner that damages or devalues the quality, prestige or stature of the brand may result in a suit for trademark dilution.
Does My U.S. Trademark Registration Provide International Trademark Protection?
No. If you would like trademark protection in countries beyond the United States, you must seek international trademark registration in the specific countries or regions where you are interested in obtaining protection. If you are interested in seeking international trademark protection, please contact us at 800.769.7790 for rates and more information.
What is the Madrid Protocol?
The Madrid Protocol is the primary international system for trademark registration in multiple jurisdictions throughout the world. The Madrid Protocol gives existing trademark owners or trademark applicants the ability to extend trademark protection in any and all member states by providing a bundle of national registrations through one application. Applicants must specify the countries in which they are seeking protection and pay the appropriate filing fees. A home registration or application is required to seek protection under the Madrid Protocol.
I just completed my flatfeetrademark.com order, what can I expect now?
Once your order is processed, your card will be charged $475 (for one mark). You will receive the Comprehensive Trademark Search Report and Attorney Opinion letter within 3-4 business days. If the mark is clear, you will receive a completed, electronic application for review and signature within 1-2 days. Once signed, we file the trademark application with the USPTO. Your credit card will be charged for USPTO filing fees at the time the application is filed. Our Flat Fee Trademark service includes standard monitoring and standard non-substantive responses to the USPTO pending registration. Additional flat fee rates apply if we are requested to present substantive responses or legal arguments to the USPTO.