What Trademark Rights Do I Have While My Application Is Pending with the USPTO?


Hi everybody. I’m trademark attorney Josh Gerben and welcome to episode 1 of Ask a Trademark Attorney. So, today’s question
is “what trademark rights do I have while my application is pending with the
USPTO?” The answer is not many. While your application will certainly hold your
place in line and not allow somebody else to file a same or similar trademark,
it does not give you any enforcement rights to go ask somebody to stop using
a trademark based on your federal rights- because you just don’t have any yet. You
filed a trademark application, but do not yet have a registration. The trademark
application process typically takes about 8 to 10 months, so once your
trademark is finally registered, then you can go out and police your trademark. The
good news is that your rights will be retroactive to the filing date. This
means if you file your trademark on January 1st, and it registers on November
1st, you can actually go back and enforce the trademark based on rights from
January 1st. So, the rights are retroactive to the filing date, but while
your trademark application is pending you do not have significant legal rights,
especially enough legal rights to conduct enforcement based on that
application.

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