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  • Writer's pictureSheila Gibson, Esq

How long does it take to register a federal trademark?

Updated: Feb 13, 2020

While filing a trademark application can be quick, the registration process is typically not. To make matters worse, it is difficult to predict exactly how long it will take an application to proceed to registration because there are so many factors that can affect the process. A good ballpark number is 1 year to 18 months for non-cannabis marks and double that for cannabis marks.

The typical timeline is as follows:


Approximately 4-5 months after filing the USPTO will examine the application and either

(a) issue an office action setting forth reasons for refusal, or

(b) proceed the application to publication.

**NOTE: for cannabis marks, there is currently a backlog of applications awaiting review resulting in a delay of about a year or more before examination.

If an office action is issued, the Applicant will have 6 months to respond to the reasons for refusal. The USPTO will consider the response and within 1-2 months either issue another office action or, if all issues are overcome, proceed the application to publication. This can go on for several cycles.


Approximately 1-2 months after all issues are resolved, the application will publish for a 30-day opposition period during which third parties may oppose registration.

For use applications, after approximately 1-2 months the USPTO will issue the registration certificate.

For intent-to-use applications, approximately 1-2 months after the opposition period (provided no oppositions are filed), the USPTO will issue a Notice of Allowance which will set a 6-month deadline by which the Applicant must show use in commerce or request a 6-month extension. This deadline may be extended in 6-month increments for up to 3 years from the date of the Notice of Allowance.

After use in commerce has been shown for intent-to-use applications, after approximately 1-2 months the UPSTO will issue the registration.


Congratulations! Your mark is now registered and you may begin using the ® after your mark when used in connection with the goods or services identified!

Exhausting, right? We hate the wait, too.

General information and education only. NOT legal advice.

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