Things Your Startup Must Know About IP

When you found a startup, you have a lot on your mind at the beginning — hiring the right employees, attracting customers, choosing an office space — and you may not think about how your intellectual property (IP) affects your ability to do business. IP, however, is your startup’s most valuable asset, and as a startup founder, you need to be mindful of how it is used and who can claim ownership of it.

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How Long Does It Take To Get A Trademark?

The question, “how long does it take to get a trademark,” comes up quite often during our initial brand protection consultations. The short answer is; it depends. Perfect applications are rare. While we have filed applications that were registered in less than 7.5 months, the norm is closer to 9 months.

Each Examiner reviews an application subjectively, so it’s impossible to predict how they will scrutinize any individual application. Trademark law is a niche field and trademark applications are technical. An application could have any number of minor defects that are easily curable, such as:

  1. an insufficient specimen;
  2. insufficient identification of the goods/services; and/or
  3. filing an application in the wrong class.

Alternatively, an application filed by an inexperienced individual could be flawed in a way that would force the individual to abandon their application altogether.

U.S. citizens do not need to work with a trademark lawyer to apply for a trademark. However, it is highly recommended to do so. Additionally, a USPTO regulation from August 2019 requires foreign applicants to work with a U.S. licensed attorney. Trademark law is always changing. Using a lawyer who’s up-to-date on the latest trends and guidelines could help you save time and money.

How Long Does It Take To Get A Trademark?

Timeline showing how long it generally takes to get a trademark

What is International IP & Why Do You Need It?

The United States has certain registration requirements for copyrights, patents, and trademarks. These requirements make protecting your Intellectual Property (IP) straightforward with good legal representation. However, when you want to operate in a global market, you need to understand international IP protection and registration requirements, which will vary based on the type of IP involved.

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