My first trademark application was filed 20 years ago today. I was a young entrepreneur building a new firm based on flat fees, efficiency, and exceptional services, with a website coded myself in HTML, and with experience as a USPTO examiner.

In December of 1999, there was no online filing available I took the application a few miles down the road to the USPTO offices by hand to submit it and get it “stamped” with a filing date.

Somethings have changed — online filing is now nearly ubiquitous; government fees have changed; USPTO offices have moved; the number of applications filed annually has grown tremendously; I’ve gone from a simple website that I coded myself to a plethora of online video, audio, and blog content; my brand has evolved from TMarksman to tm4smallbiz® to Making trademarks bloom since 1999® — yet many things have stayed the same:

  • the application process still takes about 1 year on average;
  • the core USPTO examination rules and procedures are the same;
  • the USPTO’s database of pending and registered trademarks is the same;
  • I still charge flat fees for every single application that I file; and
  • the cost of trademark registration remains an incredibly valuable investment for any business.

In those 20 years, I have filed more than 4,000 trademark applications for clients. And my clients have received more than 3,000 USPTO registration certificates.

To all the clients along the way who have entrusted their brands to me, I am forever in gratitude. To help protect your brands as you build and grow your businesses gives me joy and pride every day. I am lucky enough to have made many friends and colleagues along the way too!

Some more thoughts on my 20 year milestone:

Below is what December 30, 1999 trademark application page looked like:

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