The “First to Use” rule applies in the United States, which means the law does not require registration of mark in order to obtain rights.
You cannot register marks that contradict the American standards of moral, marks that can cause public disorder, terms that are generic in nature, name of states, flags of nations, emblems of international organization, marks that does not demonstrate distinct characteristics, surnames, and geographical and location names.
Visit the trademark national office at: http://www.uspto.gov/
The United States Patent and Trademark Office is the agency of the Department of Commerce charged with granting patents and registering trademarks in the U.S. for the perpetuation of creativity and innovative endeavors. The USPTO advises the President, Secretary of Commerce and various government agencies on ways to protect, enforce, and promote intellectual property policy in the U.S. and abroad.
The website of the USPTO is www.uspto.gov
Yes. Some of the pre-filing use benefits are:
- Obtain common law rights
- Establish the date as the mark’s first user
- Demonstrate distinctiveness of the mark
- Avoid oppositions due to non-distinctiveness
The application will be examined if it is compliant with the filing requirements. Before the application is submitted, it would be best to ensure first if the mark passes all requirements with regards to clarity, formality, distinctiveness, or any conflict. This will prevent you from being rejected. Once the examination is done, the application details will be published online and third-parties will have a chance to oppose.
A petition to cancel a registered mark is possible if these violations are present:
- The owner filed the application in bad faith
- The mark is proven to be immoral or in conflict with public policy
- The mark is deceiving the consumers
- The mark is describing the characteristics of the good/service
- The mark is generic and/or functional
- The mark is not capable of making the good/service distinct
It will start on the date the application details are published online and will end 30 days after that date. Extensions are possible to be granted.
Objection to application is available on the grounds of propriety rights, misleading marks, disparaging signs, violation of the rights to a company/business name, and descriptive and non-distinctive marks