If the Examining Attorney finds a trademark application meets all the statutory requirements for registration, he or she will approve the application for publication.
When a trademark application is filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), it is assigned to a trademark Examining Attorney after about three months. The role of the Examining Attorney is to review the application to make sure it meets all the minimum filing requirements, such as the trademark owner is listed and the filing basis is submitted. In addition, the Examining Attorney reviews the trademark application for any substantive issues including proper goods/services identification and any likelihood of confusion issues.
If the Examining Attorney concludes the trademark application meets all the requirements to be a registered trademark, he or she will approve the “application for publication.” When an application is approved for publication it will be published in an upcoming issue of the Official Gazette, which are published every Tuesday. During the thirty day period that the mark is published in the Official Gazette, any third party can oppose the application if they believe the registration of the trademark will harm them.
The Official Gazette is published in print and online. Above is a screenshot of the searchable Official Gazette which can be found here. Below is the .PDF version of the Official Gazette which can be located on the USPTO website here and reflects how the print version of the Official Gazette looks.
Applications approved for publication is a great indicator for the success of a trademark application proceeding to registration. According to a study published in 2013, 98% to 99% of all applications filed between 1984 and 2010 based on use proceed to registration after being approved for publication.
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