4 Steps to Trademark

4 Steps to Trademark Registration

For trade and service mark registration, Carson Patents has four steps to seeking a trademark for your logo, brand, slogan, and/or business name. These steps show how to trademark a logo or how to trademark a name and logo.

We start with the business name search. If the trademark is not already in use, then we write and file an application. Prosecution is responding to letters from the USPTO to address issues raised in the application. Trademarks become registered when approved and added to the Principal or Supplemental Register at the USPTO. Carson Patents will work closely with you through the following 4 steps to pursue a trademark for your logo, brand, or business name. Contact us about any of the steps to trademarking for your logo, brand, slogan or business name.

The four steps to registering a trademark are: [1] business name use search, [2] preparing the registration application, [3] submitting the registration application, and [4] responding to communications from the USPTO examiner.

Carson Patents®

How to register a trademark

How To Register A Trademark

How to Get a Trademark Registered in 4 Steps

Total Approximate Time 275 days

Business Name Use Search

Business Name Use Search

The first step in how to get a trademark is to search for businesses or persons that might be currently using the trade or service mark you are seeking to register. The business name use search is done searching the databases at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). This is a USPTO trademark search. Additionally, you should search with a search engine (we recommend DuckDuckGo).

– Use the words and the images of your business name, logo, slogan, or audio clip for the search.

At the USPTO, searching is done in the USPTO’s Trademark Electronic Search System, or TESS. You can access TESS here. If the business includes foreign countries, you should also research the international database.

Internationally, research is done at the World Intellectual Property Office’s (WIPO) Global Brand Database (GBD). You can access GBD here.

TIP: Before you apply to register your business name, logo, slogan, or audio clip, you need to be sure that it is not already being used. If your business name, logo, slogan, or audio clip is not in use, proceed to the next step. If your business name, logo, slogan, or audio clip is already in use, consider changing it. Alternatively, contact an attorney to determine if there may still be potential to register the mark if the current use would not be confusing.

Prepare Trademark Registration Application

Prepare Registration Application

The second step in how to get a trademark is to prepare for online filing. Preparing before you file will save you time and potential office actions from the USPTO that would require a response to fix the application.

– Be sure you have electronic copy (downloadable) of any images that are going to be registered.

TIP: Write good short descriptions for your logos and audio clips before filing. When filing registrations for logos and audio clips, you will need accurate short written descriptions when filling out the application online in this step.

– Be sure you have all the contact information for the owner (business or person) of the mark.

– Be sure you know the classes (business uses) that you want to register in.

TIP: If you do not yet know what class(es), research the appropriate class using the USPTO’s ID Manual. Conduct the research in ID Manual by searching for the product or service that the business name, logo, slogan, or audio clip is used for. You can select and register multiple classes; however, there is a fee for each class.

After you are sure which class(es) to use, the last step of preparation is to be sure that you have an electronic copy of your proof of use in commerce. Evidence (proof) of you using the business name, logo, slogan, or audio clip in commerce can be a print out of your website or photos of signs, vehicles, buildings, menus, handouts, books, etc.

– Be sure you have evidence of your using the business name, logo, slogan, or audio clip in commerce (to do business).

Submit Trademark Registration Application

Submit Registration Application

The third step in how to get a trademark is to submit the registration application and pay the USPTO fling fee. To protect the mark in the United States, applications are submitted online using the USPTO’s Trademark Electronic Application System or TEAS. You can access TEAS here. Enter the information collected is step 2, and upload the electronic files in the sections where the application requests the uploads.

Once the application is filled out completely, double check the details and spelling before you submit. Once submitted, each application must be accompanied by a fee for each class requested. Pay the USPTO filing fee. Once submitted, the USPTO will email you a receipt. The receipt will have the reference numbers used to look up the application online.

Note: It can take a few days for the new application to be viewable online. This is common.

International Trademark Registration Note: Once a mark is registered in the U.S., it can be registered internationally at WIPO. The Madrid Application Assistant (MAA) for international trademark registration is maintained by WIPO. You can access MAA here

Respond to USPTO Communications and Office Actions

Respond To Uspto Communications

The fourth and final step to getting a trademark is to respond to any communications from the USPTO. If everything is submitted properly, meaning that the mark is unique and used in commerce to identify your brand and if everything checks out in the application, you will get a communication from the USPTO that they will or have registered your mark. Continue to respond to the maintenance and payment notices and you are set.

If something goes wrong and additional action is required, Carson Patents recommends contacting a trademark or intellectual property attorney to be sure you provide a complete and proper response. However, the letters from the examining attorneys are generally pretty self explanatory regarding how you can respond and continue to seek and get your mark(s) registered.

Estimated Cost: 250 USPTO TEAS Plus Filling Fee


  • Business Name,
  • Logo,
  • Slogan, and/or
  • Audio Clip.


  • Email Account
  • Internet Connection

Materials: Ideally, you have proof you are using the business name, logo, slogan, and/or audio clip in commerce before applying to register. This can be hardcopy (product listing, menu) or online. If hardcopy, scan it or take a photo so you have an electronic copy. If online, go to the URL and print the screen or page to a *.pdf file so you have an electronic copy. You will also need any specifics for colors and fonts for your brand.

What are the three requirements for trademarks?

There are three requirements that must be meet in order to get a trademark registered. The three requirements collectively are intended to show that you are using a distinctive mark in commerce to identify your brand. If these three requirements are met, your mark automatically has some trademark protection under the common law, and more importantly, it also becomes eligible for registration protection with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

Using the Mark as a Brand Identifier

The first requirement is ensuring that the mark is being used as a brand identifier. In other words, you need to be sure the mark is being used to identify the goods or services that your brand sells or provides, and it is not just decorative. Trade and service marks cannot be mere decoration. The purpose in using the mark should be to let your consumers know what business they’re buying the product from. 

Having a Distinctive Mark for Your Brand

The second requirement is that the mark must be distinctive. In other words, the mark has to be unique and different enough to make it clear that the goods/services are from your company and not another company. Marks that are similar to marks of others may be found to be a potential source of confusion which can prevent your registration application from being allowed. The point of the distinction requirement is to ensure that there is not a source of confusion between your mark and the marks used by others.

Use in Commerce

The third requirement is that the mark has to be used in commerce. This means that the mark should already be branded on goods and services that are being actively sold. While it is possible to apply for registration of a trade or service mark before you use it, lack of use in commerce will get you an office action response from the USPTO examining attorney telling the registrant to submit the proof of use in commerce.

Trademark Help Available Online

Trade and service marks are intellectual property protecting brand names and logos for products and services. The four steps to registration are: [1] business name search, [2] preparing the registration application, [3] submitting the registration application, and [4] responding to the USPTO examiner. 

Trademarks and Service Marks are used to protect business names, logos, and slogans. Getting a name, logo, or slogan registered is easy and can be done all online from anywhere around the world. If you have a mark registered in the United States, we can help you get it registered internationally. Also, once we get the business name, logo, and/or slogan registered in the United States, we can help you get that mark registered internationally as well.