Have a great symbol, word, phrase, design or a combination of the aforementioned to represent your business or product? Then you need to learn how to register a trademark in order to keep that symbol for your own and prevent others from copying or recreating your idea. A service mark is the same thing except that it represents a service rather than a product, and it also will need to register as a trademark. Once you have a registered trademark or service mark you can use the codes TM or SM following your trademark in any context in order to convey to the world that the symbol is spoken for and may not be copied.
To register a trademark, simply visit http://www.uspto.gov/teas/index.html to find the online application using Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS). Here you will receive online help services, a validation function to ensure that your application contains no omissions, immediate reply via email containing a filing receipt, a serial number and a summary of your application. This online service is available 24 hours a day for your applying convenience.
If you do not have internet access, the application may also be obtained from any Patent and Trademark Depository Library in the United States. You can mail, hand deliver or phone in your application.
An attorney is not necessary for trademark registration, however you are required to comply with all trademark rules so some individuals rely on an attorneys assistance to ensure the adherence to all guidelines. If you choose to utilize the services of an attorney, USPTO will only communicate through that attorney.