The question “how long does it take to get a trademark” comes up quite often during our initial brand protection consultations. The short answer is; it depends. Perfect applications are rare, and while we have filed applications that were registered less than 7.5 months from the application date, the norm is closer to 9 months.
Each Examiner reviews an application subjectively, so it’s impossible to predict how they will scrutinize any individual application. Because trademark law is a niche field, and trademark applications are technical, an application could have any number of minor defects that are easily curable, such as not providing an appropriate specimen, insufficient identification of the goods/services, or filing the application in the wrong class. Alternatively, an application filed by an inexperienced individual could be flawed in a way that would force the individual to abandon their application altogether.
U.S. citizens do not need to work with a trademark lawyer to apply for a trademark, but it is highly recommended to do so. Additionally, a USPTO regulation that went into effect in August 2019, requires foreign applicants to work with a U.S. licensed attorney. Trademark law is always changing. Working with a lawyer who stays up to date on the latest trends, guidelines, and cases could help you save time, resources, and money.
The chart below will give you a better idea of the entire process: