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Trademark Application & Post-Registration Process Timelines

Applying to register your trademark with the USPTO begins a legal process. Legal requirements and deadlines must be met and fees may be required throughout the process.  Not all applied-for trademarks register.

Every trademark application must have a legal basis for filing.  The filing bases under federal trademark law are: Section 1(a) Use; Section 1(b) Intent-to-Use; Section 44(d) Foreign application; Section 44(e) Foreign registration; and Section 66(a) Madrid Protocol.

If your trademark registers, additional legal requirements, fees, and deadlines must be met to maintain your registration and keep your trademark registered.

The following timelines provide an overview of the process steps and time frames for filing a trademark application with a particular filing basis and for maintaining a trademark registration.

A Section 1(a) filing basis is applicable when you are currently using your trademark in commerce with all the goods/services in your application.  You must provide the date you began using your trademark and a specimen (real-use sample) showing how the mark is actually being used with the goods/services.

A Section 1(b) filing basis is applicable when you have not yet started using your trademark.  You must use the trademark and pay an additional fee prior to registration.

A Section 44(d) filing basis is applicable when you have filed for the mark in a foreign country.

A Section 44(e) filing basis is applicable when you have been granted a foreign registration for the same mark.

  • Section 66(a) Timeline: Application based on the Madrid Protocol (Under Development)
  • Post-Registration Timeline (Under Development)

USPTO Video on What You Need to Know Before You File

The United States Patent and Trademark Office has recently provided a very good video that provides an overview of the most important issues you should be aware of when filing a trademark application. It covers such topics as trademark availability searching, ownership information, differences between drawings and specimens, identifications of goods and services, and filing bases. Failure to understand these topics can create major deficiencies in your application or result in an application that is void from the start.  This is an excellent video with great how to guidelines that might be helpful to individuals and businesses who want to file on their own.  The URL for access to the video is

And, if you decide that you need help filing your application or responding to an Office Action, then please feel free to contact a happy trademark attorney at or by calling our office at 888-388-9614 or 757-253-5729.  We are here to help.

Last Modified: September 5th, 2010