Frequently Asked Questions

Is Marks Matter a law firm?

Yes. Our principal attorney is licensed to practice in California. Marks Matter is based in Cupertino—best known for a small hometown brand, Apple Inc.  

What does Marks Matter do?

Marks Matter focuses exclusively on trademark prosecution. That is, we help individuals and businesses secure their rights in their brand through trademark registration with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

Why Marks Matter?

We are an actual law firm where you deal with an actual attorney whose focus is this unique practice area. Because of lower overhead and our flat fee models, we can charge a fraction of what large full-service firms do and achieve better results.

There are many legal services web portals on the internet that offer nominally low-cost trademark registration services. These companies operate on a rote “file and forget” model: you pay a small fee, fill out an online form, and someone (usually a non-attorney) submits that form to the USPTO. Several months later, you receive a denial from the USPTO for any one of a number of possible reasons. The company that helped you submit the application is then unable to assist you further. If you’ve found this page in an effort to get out of exactly this situation, we can help here. While these services may look inexpensive, they can ultimately cost you much more in legal fees and, more importantly, time, than if you had contracted with Marks Matter. At Marks Matter, you deal with an actual attorney who can head off problems, or help you avoid a costly legal fight with competiting brands and save you time on launching yours.

Conversely, the main alternative for filing a trademark application through one of these legal services mills would be a full-service law firm. Usually, such firms demand a large retainer of several thousand dollars and would bill you for every interaction you have with them. That model incentivizes wasting time for which the firm then bills the client. Marks Matter operates differently and is built on a set of flat fee models designed to make trademark registration more accessible and transparent to more businesses.

How does the trademark filing process work?

You start by filling out our online questionnaire here. Based on the options you’ve selected, we’ll begin to research your proposed trademark. This process includes a conflict check for potential confusingly similar marks already registered with the USPTO as well as a general search for confusingly similar unregistered marks that may have superior rights. After that, we’ll provide you with an opinion on whether or not your mark can be registered with the USPTO. This process typically takes up to a week. After that, if you give us the go-ahead, we’ll file a trademark application on your behalf. At that point, it’s a waiting game for the USPTO’s examiners to review the application. If there are no problems, then the USPTO will grant the application. Often, however, the USPTO responds with an office action or needs more information. Usually, these are perfunctory requests for information. However, many are more serious and require legal arguments to overcome. In some instances, another mark owner may contest your chosen mark, which will result in litigating the issue in order to resolve the dispute.

How long does this trademark process take? Do I get updates?

We aim to provide an opinion response to your initial request within a week. If you give us the go-ahead to file your application, depending on any other information we might need from you, we’ll provide you with a receipt once we file the application. That process usually takes two weeks. If you need faster service, please include that information in our online sign-up form and pay the additional fee.

We update you each time a significant action occurs in your application process. Our default communication will occur by email as it is our experience that this is the most efficient means of communication for this type of legal service.

From initial application to final grant (or denia), a typical registration process lasts from 8 to 12 months, with an initial response from the USPTO at about month 5.

If I fill out your form, will you need other documents from me?

Not usually. The form is designed to be user-friendly and comprehensive. We will need a copy of a logo if you are choosing to register one. If you give us permission to file your mark, we will also need an example of your mark being used in commerce. That could be a link to a website for where your product or service can be purchased or copies of receipts from purchasers, among others.

What forms of payment do you accept?

We accept major credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, etc.). If you need to make different payment arrangements, please contact us at info@marksmatter.com

Which package is right for me?

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I tried to register my trademark and got a letter from the USPTO. Can you help me?

In many cases, yes. Please go here, identify what sort of letter you received from the USPTO, fill out the rest of the form and we will be in touch.

If the USPTO grants my trademark, do I get a certificate?

The USPTO does offer formal certificates for an additional fee if you want one. It is not necessary in order to assert trademark rights. Grant of a federal trademark allows the owner to use the ® symbol behind the mark. This symbol puts would-be infringers on notice that you have a registered mark.

I’m not a US citizen, but my business sells in the United States. Can I still register a trademark?

Yes. Both foreign nationals and foreign business organizations may file trademark applications in the United States provided that they offer their goods or services for sale in the United States.