A trademark is a word, phrase, symbol, or design that identifies and distinguishes goods manufactured or sold by one party from those of another party. A designer label on a pair of jeans is an example of a trademark. Closely related, a service mark is a word, phrase, symbol, or design that identifies and distinguishes the source of a service rather than goods. However, the term “trademark” is often used to refer to both trademarks and service marks.
In Pennsylvania, a trademark registration is effective for a period of five years from the date of registration. An application to renew a trademark registration for another five years must be made within six months prior to the expiration of the existing Pennsylvania registration by submitting the appropriate form to the Pennsylvania Department of State Corporations Bureau.
In order to register a trademark in Pennsylvania, your trademark must meet the following criteria:
- The trademark name must be available for use in Pennsylvania.
- The applicant must provide a valid name and address, and Pennsylvania must have legal jurisdiction if the applicant is a corporation.
- The application must contain a statement as to the name and description of the mark, along with a facsimile of the mark to be registered.
- The applicant must specify the general class of goods or services. (See 54 Pa. C.S. § 1103.)
- The applicant must list the goods or services with which the mark is used and the mode and manner in which the mark is used in connection with the goods and services.
- The applicant must specify the date when the mark was first used anywhere.
- The applicant must specify the date when the mark was first used in Pennsylvania by the applicant or the predecessor in interest of the applicant.
- The applicant must specify the date, if any, an application to register the mark, or portions or a composite thereof, was filed by the applicant or a predecessor in interest in the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
By meeting the above requirements, a trademark may be eligible for registration in Pennsylvania. However, it should be noted that registering a trademark in Pennsylvania is not the same as registering a trademark in the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
If you need help deciding whether to register your trademark in Pennsylvania, or any other matter related to starting or managing your business, the attorneys at the Scolieri Law Group, P.C. can help. Located in western Pennsylvania, our attorneys are experienced in Pennsylvania business law and can take care of the details for you. Contact us today at (412)765-0546 or firstname.lastname@example.org.