What is the process for filing a trademark?

I am writing a book and publishing a new site that is of the same name/domain. I did an initial trademark search and the phrase I want to register appears to be available. At what point can I go ahead and apply for one? Do I have to wait until after the book is publishes or is just owning the domain good enough for that?

Asked on August 30, 2013 under Business Law, Florida


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

You can file slightly (6 months, I believe) in advance of having the product or service actively in commerce, based on an intent to use the mark in commerce; however, you cannot file too far in advance, or without a bone fide intent to being commercial use.

You can find instructions, a good overview of the process, and the forms to file at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) website. While an attorney would clearly be helpful, if you're not intimidated by legal forms or online filing, you could file yourself.

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