How to trademark your product or business name in the U.S. by using pre-qualification tools to minimize risk and reduce application costs.

By Product Dragon—Nonprofit helping ethical product innovators

Trademarks are very important if you want to do ethical and legal business in the U.S. Your product or service can be blocked from the American market if trademark disputes arise between your brand and a registered U.S. trademark.

This article covers how to determine if registration is possible for your brand, and how to get started.

Essential Steps for Non-US Entities

Registering a trademark in the U.S. as a non-U.S. citizen or a foreign corporation is very similar to the process that U.S. citizens or businesses follow. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  1. Determine Eligibility: use the free Trademark Application Qualification System (TAQS) or consult a U.S. attorney.
  2. Search for Similar Trademarks: After determining eligibility, it’s advisable to search the USPTO’s online database (see below).
  3. Appoint a U.S. Attorney: As of August 3, 2019, foreign-domiciled applicants and registrants must appoint a U.S.-licensed attorney to represent them in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). This means that non-U.S. applicants will need to hire a U.S.-based lawyer to handle their trademark applications.
  4. Prepare and Submit Application: Using the USPTO’s online system, the U.S. attorney can submit a trademark application on your behalf. Additional steps may depend on your specific situation.