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商標註冊的六大步驟

商標是品牌的一個組成部分,是品牌的標誌和名稱,便於消費者記憶識別。如果沒有一個聯邦或國際註冊商標,您在品牌上的投資是沒有被充分保護的。最好的商標是抽象的設計,並非依照它所代表的商品或服務的字面意思來描述的。例如,”CISCO”是一個電信通訊公司;”AMAZON”不是代表”亞馬遜河”,而是網上購物網站。以下是聯邦商標註冊的六大步驟。

(第一步) 確定您所需的商標是否可用(可選擇步驟,但強烈推薦實施):最佳做法是首先進行”許可搜索”以確定您選擇的商標是否已經被其他人使用。在商標申請程序開始前進行”許可搜索”,可以使您避免在美國專利商標局(USPTO)商標申請審查程序中可能出現的麻煩和問題。此外,”許可搜索”可使您能夠確定是否您選擇的商標會有可能侵犯他人現有的商標權。

(第二步) 把您的申請提交到美國專利商標局:商標代理律師可以幫您準備並提交您的商標申請到美國專利商標局。同時,商標代理律師將確保您的商標申請程序和商標審查程序順利無誤的進行。一個好的商標代理律師精通商標申請每個程序的細微差別。

(第三步) 美國專利商標局的商標審查員將審查您的商標申請:在提交商標申請約四至六個月之後,美國專利商標局的商標審查員將審查您的申請,以確定您是否有權註冊商標。商標審查員將進行調查,看您所需的商標是否和任何其他已經註冊的商標相同或容易有類似混淆。商標審查員還會考慮其他一些因素,比如,您的商標申請是否需要對現有商品或服務條款進行修改和您的商標申請是否符合美國商標法。

審查意見(Office Action) :如果商標審查員指出商標申請的一個需要解決的問題,審查員會提出一個”審查意見”或者與您取得聯繫,請求允許審查員做相關的修訂。一旦”審查意見”被發布,您必須在最多六個月內做出回應;否則您的商標申請將被認為自動放棄。

(第四步) 商標異議程序:一旦商標審查員批准了您的商標申請,您的商標將有30天的公開被”異議階段”。任何第三方都可以通過提交異議申請來反對你正在美國聯邦商標局註冊的商標。對予以公告的商標提出異議的,商標審判上訴委員會(Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, TTAB) 應當及時調查核實,並處理異議人提出的任何有關問題。對於已經被完全許可的商標,異議比較罕見;即便這樣,有些商標還是會存在被異議的問題。

(第五步) 您的商標註冊成功:如果您的商標公告後沒有任何人提出反對意見,商標申請將直接進入註冊程序。如果您提交的商標申請是”以實際使用(Use-Based)為基礎”的申請,您將在異議階段結束後的大約六至八週收到”商標註冊證書”。

如果您提交的商標申請是”以意圖使用(Intent To Use)為基礎”的申請,並且如果您的商標申請被異議的30天沒有被反對,您將收到一個”準許通知書”。您必須在收到”準許通知書”最多六個月之內提交”使用聲明”,以證明您現在已經把商標用於商業使用當中。

(第六步) 商標續期的要求:一旦商標被註冊,您就可以通過在商業中使用來維持該商標。為了繼續使用通過已註冊的商標,您必須在美國專利商標局註冊日期後第五至第六年間提供一份用以表明該申請繼續存在的”使用宣誓書” 對商標進行續期。

總之,商標代理律師將檢測和追踪您的商標註冊的每個相關程序,並確保通知您及時續期商標。一般來講,有經驗的商標代理律師可以很快幫客戶註冊到滿意的商標。

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