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FAQ

Is my trademark registration a guaranteed success?

There is always a degree of uncertainty in trademark registration. Often, national trademark office databases do not include the most recently filed trademarks as they are only updated so often. As a result, the trademark in question may already exist as a file in progress. In addition, some countries such as the United States adopt the use of the principle of priority in trademark registration. There may be cases where a trademark is not registered, but already been in use. In these cases, the first party to use the trademark will have trademark rights. These reasons may lead to failure of the trademark application. However, we share the risk with our customers, and are the only company to offer a guaranteed, 100% refund service level

How long does the registration process take?

Under normal circumstances, the trademark notice of acceptance will be issued within a month. Our priority service can guarantee protection of your mark by expediting the application to get a filing number within 3 business days. After that, the final trademark registration certificate will usually be issued in 8-19 months.

What is the cost to conduct a comprehensive search for my trademark?

Witmart is the only company that offers a comprehensive search done by a professional trademark consultant free of charge.

Who can apply for trademarks?

Any individual or company can apply for trademarks in the US, Canada, or EU, regardless of their country of origin or operation.

What is a TM?

TM is the short form for TRADEMARK, regardless of whether a trademark has been registered with any Intellectual Property office for registration; anyone can put TM to declare the trademark rights, but only registered owners can assert their rights in courts. Generally, in the upper right or lower right corner of the trademark.

What is ®?

® is the short form for REGISTERED, meaning it has been registered with an Intellectual Property Office. The owner of a registered trademark has the right to exclusive use of a mark which can be asserted in courts. You can identify a registered trademark on goods, packages, manuals, or other appendages. It is usually marked in the upper right or lower right corner of the trademark. It should be noted that the United States and some EU countries have strict limits on the use of ®; in some jurisdictions, it is a criminal offense to use the ® without a registration certificate.

What happens after your application is processed?

a. Our professional team will exam the possibility of registering the trademark. As a result of this in-house review, we will recommend to you how you can modify your application if it needs to be changed at all.
b. We will ask you for any required documents and resources to present you with a filing plan
c. Once you approve the filing plan, our specialist will submit the prepared document to the Trademark Office in the country of application.
d. Once Witmart receives the notice of acceptance; we will notify you immediately and send you the certificate by mail.

What are the different kinds of trademarks?

There are 3 kinds of trademarks that you can apply for: the word trademark, the figurative trademark, and figurative marks with letters. A word mark is represented using words, letters, numbers or any other characters that can be typed. A figurative mark is represented using pictures, graphics or images. A figurative mark containing letters is a specific combination of pictures, graphics or images with words or letters. Figurative trademarks are also sometimes called design trademarks.
-For word marks, the font of the trademark can be changed when used;
-For figurative marks, the image cannot be altered when used;
-For figurative marks containing letters, the combination cannot be changed, otherwise it will not be protected by the Trademark Law.

What is Trademark Statement of Use?

In many countries such as the US and Canada, there are two scenarios when applying for a trademark: Either the trademark is already in use in the designated country; or it has never been used. The US and Canada Trademark Offices only issue the registration certificate after the trademark applicant had provided a Statement of Use. In the case that the trademark has not yet been used, the application will be asked to provide a Statement of Use to prove that they intend to use the trademark to offer goods and/or services in the designated country.

Can trademarks be registered internationally? What is the Madrid International Trademark System?

Currently the only way to register a trademark internationally is through the Madrid System (officially the Madrid System for the International Registration of Marks). This system facilitates the registration of trademarks in multiple jurisdictions around the world. The Madrid System currently includes the world's 92 major trading nations, and the operation of the entire system is managed by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).
Although the Madrid System is convenient for centralized management of multiple trademark countries, it is very costly. After submitting an application to the WIPO, the customer needs to submit applications and fees to each country separately. Furthermore, should there be any problems with one country in your Madrid application, the entire application for all countries will fail, which can be costly. Finally, the applicant also needs to apply individually in each country before using the Madrid System to administer those applications centrally, so the risk is substantial and is not recommended for small to medium enterprises looking to expand.
For small to medium enterprises, we strongly suggest applicants apply for trademarks in the US, EU and other major markets separately. This means you save time and money and get better coverage for trademark protection.

What are the ideal colors for a “design mark” application?

Generally, a trademark is submitted in black and white. The colors of the trademark can be changed freely after it is successfully registered. However, if the trademark is applied in certain colors other than black and white, the trademark must use the exact colors as approved. Therefore, we suggest that our customers apply for trademarks in black and white.

Can we change the font of the letters after the “design mark” is registered?

Usually, it is acceptable if the change of the font is insignificant (such as changes from italic to standard, Arial to Calibri). If the changes are significant, we suggest that customers reapply.

My trademark contains both images and words. Should I register them separately, or together?

Our recommendation is to register the word and logo trademark separately. This creates flexibility on the usage of the trademark as well as reduces the overall risk of denial.

What is Nice Classification?

The Nice Classification is a system of classifying goods and services for the purpose of registering trademarks. It is updated every five years and its latest version (10th) of the system groups products into 45 classes (classes 1-34 include goods and classes 35-45 include services), and allows users seeking to trademark a good or service to choose from these classes. Since the system is recognized in numerous countries, this makes applying for trademarks internationally a more streamlined process

What are the classes in the Nice Classification?

The Nice Classification system can be reviewed at the WIPO website. Our trademark consultants will also be happy to assist you in determining which class your mark belongs to.

How do I select the most appropriate classes for my trademark?

Our trademark consultants would be happy to help you choose the class that is most appropriate for your trademark. After selecting a common category, the system will automatically recommend appropriate international standard categories, so you can choose classification of goods and services in line with international standards.

My trademark is being used by someone else’s Twitter account, can I get it back?

Yes, as long as you can prove that you are the rightful trademark holder. If you have an existing Twitter account, you can submit all of your trademark registration information, along with your personal/company information to Twitter. Twitter will review the information and make a decision on the handler.
If you don't have an existing Twitter account, you can still submit a trademark report. As a registered trademark holder, you can report possible violations to Twitter's Policy Team through support forms: https://support.twitter.com/forms/trademark
For the full Twitter Trademark Policy, please see: https://support.twitter.com/articles/18367#
Other social networks have similar trademark policy to protect trademark holders and their brands.

What is the period of validity of a China registered trademark?

The period of validity of a registered trademark is ten years, counted from the date of approval of the registration. If you intend to continue to use the registered trademark beyond this, an application for renewal of the registration can be made. Most countries have different rules for when you can apply for a renewal of your mark. In the US, for example, you can apply for a renewal within six months before the expiration date.