Registering a trademark or service mark makes it easier for the owner to protect it against
would-be copiers and puts the rest of the country on notice that the mark is already taken.
Registering a trademark or service mark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) makes it easier for the owner to protect it against would-be copiers and puts the rest of the country on notice that the mark is already taken. The registration process involves filling out a simple application and paying an application fee. To qualify a mark for registration with the USPTO, the mark’s owner first must put it into use “in commerce that Congress may regulate.” This means the mark must be used on a product or service that crosses state, national, or territorial lines or that affects commerce crossing such lines—such as would be the case with a catalog business or a restaurant or motel that caters to interstate or international consumers. If an intent-to-use application is being filed (the applicant intends to use the mark in the near future but hasn’t begun using it yet), another document must be filed for a fee once the actual use begins, showing that the mark is being used in commerce. In this section we provide some assistance about the registration process. (as defined above).