If you are a small business owner that intends to and has maintained a business in one state, you can likely qualify for a state trademark registration. Most states allow for registration of a product or business name as a state trademark; which is typically much less than a federal trademark registration. If your business never plans on leaving the state you are currently located within, a state trademark registration may be a good plan for you.
This article will cover the procedures for filing a trademark registration within the state of Texas. The trademark registration process in Texas follows the same basic path as those registrations with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, with some slight differences.
The biggest difference between the registration for a State of Texas trademark registration and the USPTO process is that there is no intent use to application in Texas. Thus, anyone attempting to register a Texas trademark must already be selling their products or providing their services within the state of Texas. The requirements for trademark registration within Texas are governed according the Texas Business Organizations Code §§16.001 et seq.
The Secretary of State for the State of Texas lists three basic requirements for registration in Texas:
- The mark must be “in use” in Texas before the date of the application.
- The mark must be distinctive.
- The mark cannot be so similar to any mark that is currently registered with the Secretary of State’s office or the USPTO that it is likely to cause confusion or mistake, or to deceive, when applied to the relevant goods or services.
To start the process of registering your trademark with the State of Texas, you must fill out an application, which requires most of the same information in a federal trademark application (to see the application itself click here). Another difference from the federal trademark process shows up in the application, the Texas application requires three original specimens of use for each class you file for. Also, the fee for each class applied for is only $50, as opposed to the usual $325 fee for each class in a federal application.
After you have filed the application, it will undergo a similar evaluation process to that of the USPTO. The State of Texas will review your application for any conflicting marks within the state and with the USPTO itself; if there is a conflict the mark will not be issued registration. If there are any other issues with the application, the examiner with the State of Texas will issue a notice to the applicant to correct the application or submit arguments, which must be completed within 90 days (the normal time to respond to a federal issue is 6 months) or the mark will be abandoned.
Once the examination process is complete or all issues have been resolved, you will be issued your state registration. However, there is no symbol to signify your registration with the State of Texas, so upon registration, and even before registration, you should use ™ next to your mark (the federal registration symbol is ® and should only used upon registration of federal trademark).
If you own and operate a business within the State of Texas and would like more information on filing for a state trademark registration or determine you eligibility for a federal trademark registration, the attorneys at Trademark Shark™ are here to help. You can give one of our trademark attorneys a call to discuss your trademark or intellectual property issues and see what protection is right for you.
HUNTING DOWN THE RIGHT PROTECTION FOR YOUR BRAND.