FAQ - Trademarks

What is a Trademark?

Definition: “Trademark” or “mark” refers to any word, name, symbol, or device, or any combination thereof, adopted and used by a person to identify goods made or sold by persons and to distinguish them from goods made or sold by others. Acceptable Trademarks: Any word, name, symbol, or device or any combination thereof, and any title, designation, slogan, character name, and distinctive feature of radio or television programs, used by a person in the sale or advertising of services to identify the services provided by persons and to distinguish them from the services of others.

How do I file a Trademark Registration?

See RCW 19.77 for guidance and what is required to register a Trademark in the State of Washington. Use the Corporations and Charities Filing System to check for any similar marks that may already be in use and on record with the State of Washington. The electronically fillable Trademark Registration application form with instructions is available for download on our website under Trademarks. The Trademark Registration form is electronically fillable however it must be saved, printed, and mailed to our office for review of filing. We recommend registrars seek legal advice for any assistance with registering and/or maintaining the registered Trademark.

Can I submit a Trademark online?

Trademark filings must be submitted by postal mail at the address indicated below.

Washington Secretary of State - Corporations and Trademarks
Physical/Overnight address:

801 Capitol Way South
Olympia WA 98501
Mailing Address:
PO BOX 40234
Olympia, WA 98504-0234

What kind of samples are needed with a Trademark Registration and how many samples are required?

At least one electronic or photographic sample is required showing the mark in use in commerce within the Classification(s) selected in order to complete the filing submission. Business cards, letterhead and envelopes may be accepted if they correspond with the Classification(s) as selected. Acceptable samples MUST:

  • Demonstrate use in Commerce
  • Show the Trademark exactly as described
  • Correspond to the Classification Number(s) selected/chosen
  • Do not provide original merchandise; please provide a high quality photo instead.
How long does it take to process a Trademark?

There are two processing timeframes. Routine processing is typically 5 to 7 business days from receipt. Expedited Service is typically 1 to 2 business days from receipt. Expedited Service requires an additional fee of $100.00.

When do Trademark Reservations expire? Can they be renewed and are samples required for Reservations?

Trademark Reservations provide 180 days (six months) of protection from the date of filing. The cost is $30 per Classification number selected. The reservation is limited to one filing and they cannot be renewed. One electronic or photographic sample displaying the Trademark artwork is required and it may be preliminary design artwork.

How do we record a change in ownership for our Trademark(s)?

Submit a Trademark Assignment form along with a required notarized signature of the present trademark owner. Filing fee is $10.00 and if a new certificate is requested in addition to the filing, the filing fee is $15.00.

Once registered, can I use the TM or the R symbol on my products?
  • If a trademark is federally registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), the owner of the trademark may use the registered trademark symbol ®. It is unlawful for unregistered companies to use this symbol.
  • If the trademark or service mark is not federally registered, then the appropriate symbol for a trademark would be ™, whereas the appropriate symbol for a service mark would be ℠.
How do I add or change classifications to my Trademark?

Submit a Trademark Amendment form in order to change or add Classifications to the registered Trademark. Filing fee is $50.00 per additional Classification and requires at least one electronic or photographic sample showing the use in commerce within each classification added. Per statue, a Trademark Amendment may not change the mark itself. See RCW 19.77.030(6)

How do I change or update the Applicant Information or an Address?

Please submit a written request, with a filing fee of $10.00. The following information must be included with your request: The trademark registration number, which address is changing (trademark owner OR trademark applicant), the new address, and the contact name, phone number and email address of the requestor.

Please mail the completed address change request and payment to:

Office of the Secretary of State
Corporation & Charities Division
Trademark Program
801 Capitol Way S
PO Box 40234
Olympia, WA 98504

How often do I need to renew my Trademark?

Trademark registrations are effective for a term of five years from the date of registration. The registration may be renewed for successive terms of five years for the goods and services still in use in the State of Washington. Trademarks may be renewed six months prior to the expiration date of such term.

How do I cancel my Trademark?
  • There are two methods by which a Trademark can be cancelled: Voluntary cancellations or Court-ordered cancellations. In order to cancel a Trademark, the trademark owner must submit a written request including the following requirements:
  • Trademark Registration number,
  • Description, and
  • A Statement requesting for the Trademark to be cancelled.
  • Provide the Name and Mailing Address to whom confirmation of the Cancellation filing should be sent. Cancellation requests can be mailed to our office.
  • There is not a filing fee for a voluntary cancellation for routine processing. If Expedited Service is requested, a $100.00 fee must be provided with the statement.
  • A Cancellation is effective the day that our office filed the statement record. There is no option for a future effective date of a Trademark Cancellation.
  • Once a Trademark has been canceled, it cannot be reinstated. A new registration must be submitted for filing and a new registration number will be issued.
What can I do if someone else is using a mark very similar to mine?
  • RCW 19.77 sets forth the legal remedies available. OSOS cannot provide legal advice. We recommend customers seek legal counsel to enforce Trademark rights.
Is a Trademark the same as a Tradename?
  • The office of the Secretary of State does not record tradenames. However, if a tradename also functions as a Trademark, it can be registered as a Trademark. Tradenames may be trademarked if the trade name is used to identify goods and services in commerce.
  • Corporate names versus Trademarks: Trademark logos and Trademarked words are recorded separately form the corporate naming conventions and would not prohibit other entities from filing a new business with a name that is also registered as a trademark in our office.
  • Tradenames or “doing business as” names are registered at the Business Licensing Services (BLS) within the Department of Revenue. Here is the link to their website: http://bls.dor.wa.gov/tradename.aspx

Contact Information:
State of Washington
Business Licensing Services
PO Box 9034
Olympia WA 98507-9034

Phone: 1-800-451-7985
Email: [email protected]
Fax: 360-705-6699

How do I file my Trademark federally?

The United States Patent and Trademark Office files trademarks federally. Please visit their website at: www.uspto.gov . Website provides resources and general information about Trademarks and what customers should know before filing.

Have additional questions?

Please email us at [email protected]