The Office of General Counsel and the Trademark Licensing office jointly oversee the filing and maintenance of ASU trademark and tradename registrations at the state, federal and international levels.
Only authorized signatories may sign trademark and tradename applications. Filings with the United States Trademark Office or any foreign trademark office may be made only by legal counsel engaged by ASU’s Office of General Counsel.
United States Trademark registration process
ASU departments or schools interested in filing United States federal trademark applications to protect any trademarks should follow these steps.
- Complete the application form with all necessary supporting documentation for the Trademark Licensing office. Be sure to include the mark, a detailed description of the relevant goods and services the department provides or intends to provide in connection with the mark, and samples of how ASU uses the mark where available.
- The Trademark Licensing office reviews the information and provides an initial analysis of whether the mark is suitable for registration. Some of the criteria used in making an initial determination include:
- A mark is not suitable for registration if it is generic or if it is descriptive of the goods or services with which it is being used by ASU. The most protectable and registrable marks are arbitrary, such as APPLE for computers, or fanciful, such as ADIDAS for athletic apparel.
- A mark must be used as a brand name rather than as a noun. Below are examples of proper and improper trademark use of ASU registered trademarks:
Acceptable trademark use Not used as a trademark Sun Devil athletics I am a sun devil Decision Theater analytic services Go to ASU’s decision theater
- A mark may not be confusingly similar to any other party’s use of the same or similar marks, whether or not registered, for similar goods and services. The Trademark Management Office conducts a preliminary screening search online with the United States Trademark Office for any registered or filed trademark applications for the same mark in connection with similar goods and services.
- If the proposed mark is suitable for registration, the Office of General Counsel will engage outside counsel to run a full trademark search and provide an opinion as to the registrability of the mark.
- If the trademark search and opinion are clean, outside counsel would then work with the department to determine the content of the trademark application.
Costs and fees
United States trademark registration
The costs of obtaining United States trademark registration depend on how the mark is being used and whether an application for registration is based on actual use or intent to use the mark. Applications based on actual use cost less. Each department pays all costs associated with trademark registration and maintenance. Contact the Office of General Counsel for current cost estimates.
- The cost of a search and opinion as to trademark ability for each word mark is about $2,250 - $2,750. The cost is higher for a logo or picture mark.
- The cost to prepare and file a United States trademark application for each mark in one class of goods or services is about $1,500. This includes filing fees and legal fees. Additional fees apply if filing in more than one class of goods and services. Additional fees could accrue after filing if the Trademark Office requires additional filings or information.
Arizona trademark registration
A less expensive and easier way to gain protection for a mark is to file a state registration. This costs under $50 in Arizona. State registration provides significantly less protection than federal trademark protection.
- Purchasing and Business Services Manual | PUR 222: Trademark Licensing.
- Trademark applications.
- United States Trademark Office webpage.
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