Understanding state trademark filings

Glenn W. Peterson

If you are one of the many entrepreneurial and creative people in California, you may at some point find it important to protect some of your important work. There are many different types of protections for what may be classified as intellectual property. For marks or designs that identify a particular company or its products or its services, you may want to seek trademarks or service marks.

The United States Patent and Trademark Office oversees the granting of registrations for trademarks and service marks across the nation. However, for protections within the state specifically, your company may file for a trademark or a service mark directly with the California Secretary of State. Applications for these protections may be made online but should be complete if you wish them to be approved. It is also important to know that you may request a trademark or service mark for something that you were denied federal marks for. However, you will need to provide details to the state about your federal request and the nature of the denial.

There are multiple classifications that your mark may fall into and those used by the state are the same as the ones used federally.

If you would like to learn more about how to seek a trademark or a service mark for a product or service at the state level as well as or in addition to at the federal level, please feel free to visit the trademark and service mark page of our California intellectual property website.