It is important to register a trademark as soon as possible. Trying to prove that you began using an unregistered trademark in the open market before someone else began using a similar unregistered trademark is difficult and will lead to expensive court fees, even if the case is won. Therefore, the first step toward registering a trademark is to actually begin the registration process as soon as possible. Registering a trademark can save someone from future legal problems or annoyances over trademark ownership and rights.
One of two applications must be filled out and submitted to the USPTO to complete trademark registration. A “use” application means someone has already been using the trademark in commerce before the trademark was registered. An “intent to use” application means someone intends to soon use the trademark in commerce following the completion of registry with the USPTO. The USPTO will not officially register a trademark until “allegation of use” paperwork is submitted. This proves that the person who intends on getting a trademark registered is actually going to use it and not waste the registration. All fees will be determined by the USPTO.
Waiting for a trademark to be officially registered can take months or even years. In the meantime, the person hoping for a successful registry should continue using the trademark. Eventually, lawyers from the USPTO will contact the person and go over some details regarding the trademark. The trademark registration will either be denied or accepted at this point. Anyone in opposition of the trademark registration will have thirty days to file an opposition to the trademark registration. If no opposition is filed after the trademark becomes official, the “R” in a circle can legally be used on a product or service representing a registered trademark.