Q: How long does the trademark application and registration process usually take? Is it possible to expedite it?
A: Hello. The average length of time for a federal trademark application from filing date to final disposition (be that registration or denial) was 9.8 months as of last June, according to the US Patent and Trademark Office. There are a number of things that can influence this number dramatically, however. First off, the "basis" for filing that you choose will change the timeline--if you are actively using the proposed mark before you file, the process will move faster. Next up, the examiner may issue rejections/office actions. While these are not directly within your control, they can be very dramatically limited by proper advanced screening of your mark, proper searching, and proper completion of the application. Further, if an office action is issued, you generally have six months to respond, but you can always (and should) respond much sooner to expedite the process. Finally, third parties can file oppositions that would further slow down the process. This, again, is something that cannot be controlled, but can be dramatically limited by proper pre-filing searches.
Outside of thorough vetting of your mark, proper searches, proper completion of the application, and rapid responses to any office actions, there is no other way to expedite the process.
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A: The total application processing time may be anywhere from 6 months to a year, or even longer if there are any oppositions filed. There is no option to expedite this process, however, regardless of when your trademark is actually approved – when the process ends – upon approval, you’re entitled to protection retroactive to the initial date of filing. That’s an important part of establishing priority of usage if any disputes should arise during or after your trademark application period.
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