How Long Does It Take To Register Trademark With USPTO? - Drishti Law

Previously, a trademark used to be successfully registered in 8 months. However, with the influx of trademark applications in recent years, the registration period has become significantly prolonged and now it takes around 12 to 18 months for a successful registration. You can clearly understand that the registration process is time-consuming and you would want to get ahead as soon as possible.

In this blog, we’ll break down the trademark process and see how long it takes for each step to complete.

How long does it take to register a Trademark Application with the USPTO?

The answer to “how long it takes to register a trademark” depends on several factors, so it can’t be answered in a straightforward way.

Step 1: Submitting the Trademark Application and waiting for the Examining Attorney to review it.

The first step in the process is the submission of the application to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). When you apply, it goes in a queue with the examining attorney for a review. The USPTO receives so many new applications every single day that this stage alone can take around 10 months from the timeline.

Step 2: Review by the Examining Attorney and issuing of Office Action

When your turn arrives, the examining attorney will review the application in detail and based on his analysis, he will decide if an office action is needed or not. The attorney’s decision is based on whether the application has complied with the technical requirements or not, whether the application has selected the appropriate class of goods/services, or whether your mark is conflicting with an already registered mark.

If any of the above is found, the attorney will issue the office action, and consequently, your application will face a delay.

Step 3: Publishing of the Trademark

After resolving the steps in the previous step, the trademark is moved to the publication stage, i.e., it is published in the trademark journal to invite oppositions. Opposition means that the third party will now raise objections to your trademark, notwithstanding the fact that they have a registered trademark or not. Typically, the opposition period lasts 30 days before registering a trademark.

You don’t have to worry about keeping tabs on these dates as the USPTO will email you about the progress of your trademark registration process. Not only this, you will also be informed if your trademark receives any opposition.

Step 4: Successful Trademark Registration

If your trademark receives no opposition, this means that it is eligible to be approved for registration now. However, due to a backlog, the USPTO usually does not issue the official registration certificate until the next 3 to six months.

Furthermore, if a trademark is registered on the intent-to-use basis then the applicant is required by law to show use of their trademark before the trademark office grants the official registration. Intent-to-use filing basis essentially requires to show that the mark is being or has been used in commerce.

The whole wait time till receiving the official certificate is approximately 15 months, however, the time frame can even exceed 18 months, as is the case the majority of the time.

Reasons for Delay in the Trademark Process

There are various issues which occur during the process and therefore become the reason for the delay in registering your trademark. The main ones are the following:

Intent-to-use Filing Basis

As stated above, the registration process will become longer than usual if you have applied under the intent-to-use filing basis. Since the law requires you to show the actual use of the mark in commerce, hence the time till getting the actual registration certificate in your hands will be prolonged. Having said that, this does not imply that the filing basis is wholly disadvantageous, rather it is the opposite. By filing a trademark application under this category, you can secure an earlier filing date.

Improper Description of the Goods or Services

Failing to properly describe your goods/services in the application is another cause for unnecessarily delaying the trademark process. The goods/services have to be described using the technical language specified by the USPTO.

Invalid or Errors in the Address

Another reason for the delay is not providing the correct address in your trademark application. The USPTO uses special software for verifying the provided address. After registration, your correspondence will be carried out through that address. Therefore, provide the actual address of your business without any errors.


As discussed previously, a mark is published in the journal to invite opposition from third parties. If the registration of your trademark is opposed by anyone, your application will stray away from the original timeline.

Problems in the Specimen

You can expect a delay in your registration if the USPTO objects to your application based on the specimen provided. If the specimens are insufficient or they are not adequate to demonstrate the complete use of your trademark, the process will undoubtedly be paused till the issue is resolved.

How to avoid the Trademark Processing Wait Time?

Unfortunately, almost every trademark application is faced with one or more of the aforementioned delays. If, as a business owner, you are worried that the registration timeline is unnecessarily long for you, there are certain ways you can accelerate the process.

Filing Amendments for the Intent-to-Use Application

A way to speed up your intent-to-use application is by filing an amendment with the USPTO. This means that if, during the application process, your mark begins its use, you can file an amendment to state the alleged use of the said mark. This will help in cutting down on the approval time for the application.

File an error-free application

This isn’t something which can accelerate the application process however it can ensure that you are not put in unnecessary delay due to menial mistakes in the application form.

Ensure that your application is error-free in the details and all the requisite documents are attached.

Seeking help from an attorney

Hiring a trademark attorney to carry the burden on their shoulders is the most useful way to speed up the application process. These attorneys are experienced in their field and they are well-versed with how to navigate through this process tactfully so that neither their nor their client’s time is wasted away due to unneeded delays.

If you wish to seek professional advice regarding trademark registration, you can  book a free consultation today with our experienced principal attorney who can assist you in this regard. At Drishti Law, our attorney will not only handle the registration of your mark but will also assist you in the post-registration stage.