For most trademarks already in use, federal registration is a relatively straightforward process. You use a simple two-sided form provided by the Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) to:

  • describe your mark,
  • state when it was first used,
  • describe the products or services on which the mark will be used, and
  • suggest the classification under which the mark should be registered (there are approximately 40 classifications for goods and services; the PTO can help you figure out which one is right for your mark).

In addition, your form must be accompanied by:

  • a “drawing” of your mark (for word marks, this simply involves setting the mark out in the middle of a page in capital letters),
  • samples of how your proposed mark is being used, and
  • the registration fee.

On its website, the PTO offers two electronic registration options: prinTEAS lets you fill in the form online but requires you to print out and mail in a hardcopy. eTEAS lets you both fill in the form online and file it via email. These options are available at

If you are applying to register your mark on the basis of its intended use, then you need not provide the samples or the date of first use, but you can’t complete your registration until you put your mark into actual use and file some additional paperwork with the PTO.

The USPTO offers a free booklet containing plain English instructions for filling out this form, and also provides help on its website:

See also…

Copyright, Trademark, Patent

International Law Issues