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美国商标 United States Trademarks

Trademark Timeline - Steps to Obtaining and Maintaining a U.S. Trademark

Trademark Introduction 商标简介
On the right is a typical timeline for obtaining a trademark in the United States.  You are also invited to look at a list of trademarks obtained by this law firm, to see examples. 右图是美国商标注册流程的一个缩影。你可以查看我所目前为客户已申请到并注册了的商标

Trademarks protect the name, logo, sound, or other signal which indicates a source of goods.  A consumer knows that the trademark for "Coca-Cola" refers to a particular concoction of chemicals that form a soda of a particular composition and quality.  By registering a trademark, one is giving rights to stop others from selling a product marked in a manner protected by your trademark. 商标保护名称,标记,声音,或其他标注产品出处的信号。比如可口可乐商标注明该饮料出自该公司,有一定的化学成分,保证一定的质量等。通过注册某一个商标,你可以阻止他人用类似或容易混淆的记号销售相同或类似的产品。但是你不能阻止他人用完全不同的记号销售相同或类似的产品。

0 months - Filing Your Trademark 0个月-递交商标注册申请
First, a search is conducted.  For information on Trademark Searches, view the previous page by clicking here. 递交之前一般会需要做一个搜寻。

After conducting a search and ensuring that your trademark has a reasonable chance of being obtained (after all, who wants to put lots of money into marketing, branding, and producing your products if you can't use a name), it is filed at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (the "U.S.P.T.O." or "USPTO). 搜寻结果可以为你提供一个商标是否有可能获得注册的信息。

4 months - Trademark Examination 4个月 - 商标进入审查阶段

About four months from the date of filing, an Examining Attorney at the trademark office examines your trademark application and reports on his findings in an Office Action, or sometimes, by having a conversation with the Attorney of Record. 一般在4个月左右,你的美国商标注册申请进入审查阶段。审查员本身会做搜寻,并出具审查报告。在这个期间,审查员也有可能直接和我们联系沟通。

In many cases, your trademark is allowed at this point or allowed with a minor change or edit.  In some cases, a trademark may be rejected outright.  The most common rejections are a) the trademark is descriptive and is only allowable on the Supplemental Register, and b) It is likely to cause confusion in the marketplace with another trademark.  If a Response is necessary, we have up to six months to provide such a Response which is usually on paper, but sometimes a telephone discussion with the Examining Attorney helps. 通常商标注册申请也可能在此时获准,或做一些小改动等。但是也会出现申请被拒。被拒的理由通常是 a)商标是描述性的 b) 商标被认为可能会和市场上的其他商标引起混淆。你有6个月时间在书面上回复审查员的异议,在可能的情况下,也可以直接和审查员电话沟通。

6 months - Publication 6个月 -公布期
Assuming your trademark application hasn't been delayed by a rejection or taking time to file a response and is proceeding on the Primary Trademark Register, then your mark will be published for opposition at about the 6 month mark. 假如在上述程序中,你的商标注册申请没有受到任何障碍,大约在6个月的时候,商标进入公布期,以便让公众(其他公司等)提异议。
The trademark office typically takes a few weeks or more from the time an Examining Attorney approves your trademark until it gets published in the Official Gazette, but once published, an opposer has 30 days to speak up.  He can extend the time to oppose up to a total of 90 days, which usually gives enough time for negotiations.  An Opposition is rare, but it can happen.  Filing a formal complaint with the Trademark Trials and Appeals Board is even rarer, but again, it can happen.公布期一般是30天,也可能被延至90天,在有异议的情况下,使各方有充足的时间协商。公众提出异议的情况少见,但不排除有可能发生。在异议不能和解,上升到上诉的情况是更少见,但也不排除有可能发生。
9 months - Notice of Allowance 9个月 - 获准通知

If all goes well, and absent occurrences spoken about above which may add time to the application process for your trademark, a formal Notice of Allowance will be received from the Patent Office.  If haven't yet filed a Statement of Use, we'll need to file this now as well.  A Statement of Use is a picture of your product with your trademark thereon (no advertising materials). If your mark is a service mark, tangential goods which relate to your services (such as advertising materials) must be submitted. 如果一切顺利,美国的商标注册申请会在9个月左右获得批准。此时可以递交商标启用证明,比如印有商标的产品,产品的包装,营销广告资料等。
10 months - Trademark Issues 10个月 - 商标正式注册生效

 It takes a few weeks from the time of Allowance until the final Trademark Certificate arrives.  This is especially true if we only filed a Statement of Use after issuance (see 9 months).  Now you can get the broadest scope of damages for trademark infringement when you go out and sue someone. 恭喜你,你的美国商标注册已完成,你的产品和商标将得到法律范围许可之内的保护。
You'd think the fun would end here, and it would if this were a Design Patent, but with a trademark, there is a 'use it or lose it' policy.  So, we have to keep telling the government that we're using the trademark. 你此时可能觉得大功告成了。如果是外观专利的话,的确如此。但是请记住:商标有“不用则废”的原则

60-72 months from issuance- Maintain Your Trademark 60-72个月-维持你的商标

The timeline switches track a bit here.  For convenience, the timeline is now listing months from issuance and not months from filing.  The issue date becomes key in calculating all future dates in U.S. trademark practice.  Once your mark is in use for at least five years, it's said to have obtained secondary meaning.  That is, your trademark has now taken on a "definition" of it's own.  Brand awareness and the fact that you've sold your product for five years is enough, according to the law, that people unquestionably know that your trademark refers to your product or services.  So the government grants it "incontestable" status.  (Okay, it's actually contestable, but for fewer reasons and it's much harder to contest.) 美国商标注册生效日期很重要。从这个日期算起,商标被持续使用5年之后会获得所谓“第二层面”的意义。即商标在5年持续使用中已明确建立起自己的品牌,其品牌的坚固程度已达到“不可质疑” 的程度 (不是“不可质疑”,而是 “很难质疑”)
So, between 5 and 6 years from issuance we file two affidavits: a) an affidavit of continued use and b) an affidavit of incontestability.  Your Patent and Trademark Attorney typically keeps track of the time and notifies you when the affidavits must be filed. 在美国商标注册生效日的第5-6年间需要交 a) 持续使用声明 b) 持续使用而不可质疑声明 一般你的知识产权律师会提醒你递交这两份声明。

108-120 months from issuance - Maintain Your Trademark 108-120 个月 - 继续维持你的商标

By the 10th year of issuance, and every 10 years thereafter, you must file continued affidavits of use.  Thus, at 10 years, 20 years, 30 years, and ... you get the idea, further affidavits must be filed or your trademark registration goes abandoned. 在美国商标注册生效日的第10年,你还需要再次递交持续使用声明,之后是每10年递交一次持续使用声明
For more information, take a look at our other trademark pages or get in contact with a patent and trademark attorney at this firm.
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