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Understanding the Difference Between TEAS+ and Regular Trademark Applications in the US

By Paul Cosmovici, Managing Partner at Cosmovici Intellectual Property

 

In the vast world of intellectual property, trademarks serve as crucial assets for businesses, safeguarding their brand identity and distinguishing their products or services from competitors. When it comes to securing trademark protection in the United States, understanding the nuances between different application processes is essential. Two common avenues for trademark registration are the TEAS+ (Trademark Electronic Application System Plus) application and the regular trademark application called TEAS Standard. In this brief guide, we will delve into the disparities between these approaches, exploring their features, benefits, and suitability for different business needs.

Contents

 

1.  The Basics of Trademark Application

2.  TEAS+ Application: Expedited and Cost-Effective

3.  TEAS Standard Application: Flexibility and a more tailored protection

4.  Choosing the Right Option for Your Trademark Application

5.  Conclusion

1. The Basics of Trademark Application

 

Before diving into the specifics of TEAS+ and TEAS Standard applications, let us first establish a foundational understanding of the trademark registration process in the US.

 

A trademark is a word, phrase, symbol, or design that identifies and distinguishes the source of goods or services. Registering a trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) provides several benefits, including legal presumption of ownership, nationwide protection, and the ability to enforce trademark rights in federal court.

 

Traditionally, trademark applications were filed on paper, but with technological advancements, the USPTO introduced electronic filing options, streamlining the process, and enhancing efficiency.

2. TEAS+ Application: Expedited and Cost-Effective

 

Trademark Electronic Application System Plus is a specialized electronic filing option offered by the USPTO for trademark registration. It is designed to provide a faster and more cost-effective approach for applicants meeting certain requirements.

Key Features of TEAS+ application:

 

Reduced Filing Fee: One of the primary advantages of the TEAS+ application is its lower filing fee compared to the regular application. By adhering to specific filing requirements and using the electronic system, applicants can save money on their trademark registration.

Expedited Processing: TEAS+ applications receive priority processing, resulting in quicker examination times compared to TEAS Standard applications, as, in theory, the Office holds all the necessary information concerning the trademark in question. This expedited process can be particularly beneficial for businesses seeking prompt protection for their trademarks. 

Structured Form Fields: TEAS+ utilizes structured form fields, guiding applicants through the application process and reducing the likelihood of errors or omissions. This structured approach helps streamline the filing process and ensures compliance with USPTO requirements.

Strict Requirements: To qualify for TEAS+, applicants must meet certain criteria, such as but not limited to:

  • The application must include all required information and documents;
  • Only pre-approved goods and services from the USPTO’s Acceptable Identification of Goods and Services Manual must be claimed;
  • If any of the following situations apply to your application, you must provide the relevant additional statements when you file your application:
  • Prior registration of the same mark in the US;
  • Color claim and description of color;
  • Translation or meaning of the mark;
  • Transliteration of the mark if is not in standard characters;
  • Consent to registration of name or portrait;
  • Concurrent use of the mark by one or more other parties; 

3. TEAS Standard Application: Flexibility and a more tailored protection

 

While the TEAS+ application offers expedited processing and cost savings, the regular trademark application provides flexibility and a more tailored protection, making it suitable for a wide range of trademark applicants.

Key Features of Regular Trademark Application:

 

Broad Eligibility: Unlike TEAS+, the TEAS Standard application does not impose claiming only the pre-approved goods and services. Applicants have greater flexibility in describing their products or services, allowing for a more tailored approach to trademark protection. However, the list of goods and services still must be definite enough to permit proper examination of the application.

Longer Processing Times: TEAS Standard applications take longer time to be processed by the USPTO. This is because the Office will examine what requirements are missing and will issue an office action so the Applicant can provide all the missing pieces. While they may take longer to examine compared to TEAS+ applications, they still offer robust protection and legal benefits upon registration.

Higher Filing Fee: Unlike TEAS+, the regular trademark application incurs a higher filing fee. However, for applicants prioritizing flexibility and a tailored protection, the additional cost may be justified.

4. Choosing the Right Option for Your Trademark Application

 

When deciding between a TEAS+ application and a TEAS Standard application, it is essential to assess your specific business needs, budget considerations, and timeline requirements.

 

If expedited processing and cost savings are paramount, and your goods or services align with the USPTO’s Acceptable Identification of Goods and Services Manual, then a TEAS+ application may be the ideal choice for your trademark registration.

 

On the other hand, if you seek flexibility in describing your goods or services, while not spending too much time choosing the pre-approved goods and services, or providing too detailed information about the mark from the start, then a regular trademark application may better suit your requirements. Check how to register a trademark in the US.

 

Also, TEAS Standard application would be the right choice if foreign application/ registration basis is used, as the Examining attorney will provide suggestions to your claimed list of goods and services.

 

An important aspect to be considered is that failing to meet TEAS+ requirements will result in changing the application to TEAS Standard and the remaining tax of $100/ class will be applicable.

5. Conclusion

 

Whether you opt for TEAS+ or a TEAS Standard application, securing trademark protection is a critical step in safeguarding your brand and establishing your presence in the marketplace. By understanding the differences between these application options and aligning them with your business objectives, you can navigate the trademark registration process with confidence and clarity. Consulting with a trademark attorney can help you navigate the process and ensure you choose the most suitable option for your business needs.

 

***

 

 

Need any assistance with trademark filling in the US? Contact Cosmovici Intellectual Property via iPNOTE now to get started.

 

The iPNOTE platform features more than 800+ IP law firms that cover more than 150 countries, so you can always find the right direct service provider using our flexible filtering system.

 

Conduct a free trademark search with our AI tool.

 

Use our AI Assistant to register your trademark in the US.

 

Sign up for free, and we’ll help you solve any IP-related problem.

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