How To Trademark A Food Product?

How To Trademark A Food Product?

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In the competitive food industry, a unique food product can be a vital element of your brand’s identity. Trademarking your food product is an essential step to protect your creative work and ensure that it remains exclusively yours.

Here’s to learning how to trademark a food product.

Why Trademark Your Food Product?

Trademarking your food product grants you the exclusive right to use its name, logo, or distinctive packaging in connection with your goods. This legal protection helps prevent others from using a similar name or design that could cause confusion among your customers. For instance, if you create a unique snack called “Crunchy Delight,” trademarking the name ensures that no other company can legally use a similar name, safeguarding your brand identity.

By trademarking your food product, you ensure that you have exclusive rights to use its name, logo, or packaging design in commerce. This exclusivity is vital in a competitive market where brand differentiation is key. For example, the distinctive Coca-Cola bottle shape is trademarked, ensuring that no other beverage company can use a similar design, which helps maintain a strong and unique brand identity.

A registered trademark adds significant value to your brand. It is a tangible asset that enhances your overall business worth. This can be particularly important if you plan to license your product, sell your business, or seek investment. A trademarked product name or design adds credibility and can attract potential investors or partners.

Trademarking your food product acts as a deterrent to others who might consider using a similar name or design. When other businesses see that your product name or design is trademarked, they are less likely to use a similar one, knowing it could lead to legal repercussions. This helps protect your brand from infringement and maintains its uniqueness.

Registering a trademark for your food product demonstrates professionalism and a serious commitment to your brand. It shows that you are dedicated to protecting your creative work, which can enhance your reputation and build trust with your customers, partners, and investors.

Rebranding can be a costly and time-consuming process. By trademarking your food product early on, you can avoid the potential expenses associated with rebranding if another business claims your name or a similar one. This foresight can save you significant time and money in the long run.

If you plan to expand your business, having a trademark provides legal protection in other areas as well. Whether you’re launching new products, entering new markets, or creating a franchise, a trademark ensures your food product name or design is protected across various platforms and products.

How to Trademark a Food Product

Trademarking a food product involves several steps. Each step is crucial to ensure that your application is successful and that your product name or design is adequately protected.

Step 1: Decide How to File

Before starting the trademarking process, decide how you want to file your application. You have three main options:

Direct Filing with USPTO

File directly with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). This option is the most cost-effective but requires you to handle all aspects of the application yourself.

Online Legal Services

Use online legal services that specialize in trademark registrations. These websites can simplify the process and ensure that your application is correctly filed.

Hiring a Trademark Attorney

Hire a trademark attorney to handle the process for you. This option is the most expensive but provides expert guidance and increases the likelihood of a successful application.

Step 2: Review the Current Fee Schedule

The USPTO updates its fee schedule periodically. Before submitting your application, review the current fees to understand the costs involved. Being aware of the fees upfront helps you budget for the trademarking process and avoid surprises.

Step 3: Conduct a Thorough Search

Conduct a search in the USPTO’s Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS) to ensure that no similar trademarks are already registered. This step is crucial to avoid potential legal issues and application rejection.

Tips for a Comprehensive Search:

  • Search Variations: Look for different variations of your product name or design, including common elements and similar visual styles.
  • Related Classes: Check for similar names or designs in related classes of goods or services.
  • Review Abandoned Trademarks: Understand why previous trademarks were abandoned, as this can provide valuable insights.

Step 4: Prepare Your Application

File your trademark application through the USPTO’s Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS). Here’s what you’ll need to include in your application:

  • Statement of Use: A declaration that you are using the food product name or design in commerce.
  • Examples of Use: Evidence showing that you are using the product name or design, such as product labels, packaging, or promotional materials.
  • Trademark Drawing: A visual representation of the trademark. This should be a clear and precise image of your food product name or design as it appears on your product or marketing materials.
  • Specimen of Use: A sample showing how the trademark is used in the marketplace. This could be a label, packaging, or an advertisement.
  • Filing Fee: The cost associated with filing your application.

Step 5: Monitor and Enforce Your Trademark

Once you have successfully trademarked your food product, it is essential to actively monitor and enforce your trademark rights.

Regularly check the marketplace and online platforms to ensure that no one is using your trademarked product name or design without permission. Set up alerts and periodically review relevant sites to stay informed about potential infringements.

Take Action Against Infringement

If you discover unauthorized use of your food product name or design, take immediate action. Here’s how to handle infringement:

  • Cease and Desist Letter: Send a formal letter demanding that the infringer stop using your trademarked product name or design.
  • Negotiation: If the infringer responds, you may be able to reach a resolution, such as stopping use or agreeing to a licensing arrangement.
  • Legal Action: If necessary, consult with a trademark attorney and consider filing a lawsuit for trademark infringement.

Costs of Trademarking a Food Product

The cost to trademark a food product varies depending on the filing option you choose. Here are the three basic options provided by the USPTO:

Direct Filing Fees

When you file directly with the USPTO’s TEAS, you can choose from three basic options:


  • Basic Filing Fee: $250 per class of goods or services.
  • Additional Class Fee: $125 for each additional class.
  • Email Communications: Required for further communications.

TEAS Reduced Fee (TEAS RF)

  • Basic Filing Fee: $275 per class of goods or services.
  • Additional Class Fee: $125 for each additional class (payable later).
  • Email Communications: Required for further communications.

TEAS Regular

  • Basic Filing Fee: $350 per class of goods or services.
  • Additional Class Fee: Fees apply for adding classes of goods and services.

Additional Costs

Beyond the basic filing fees, you might incur additional costs if you hire a trademark attorney or use a legal website for assistance. These costs can vary widely, so choose the option that best fits your budget and needs.

Famous Trademarked Food Products


The Coca-Cola brand is synonymous with soft drinks globally. Its trademark protection helps prevent counterfeit products and maintains the brand’s reputation for quality. The iconic contour bottle design is instantly recognizable and has become a symbol of the brand’s heritage.

Big Mac

The Big Mac is one of the most well-known fast-food items in the world. Trademark protection ensures that only McDonald’s can use the name “Big Mac,” which helps maintain brand consistency and protects the company’s intellectual property.

Hershey’s Kisses

Hershey’s Kisses are iconic chocolate treats known for their unique shape and packaging. The trademark ensures that this beloved product remains exclusive to The Hershey Company, preventing other companies from producing similar-looking chocolates.


Tabasco sauce is a staple in kitchens worldwide, known for its unique taste and heat. Trademark protection helps preserve the brand’s identity and prevents imitation products from using similar branding or packaging.


Cheerios are a staple breakfast cereal recognized for their heart-healthy qualities and simplicity. The trademark ensures that the Cheerios name remains associated with General Mills, protecting the brand from potential copycats.


Oreo is one of the most popular and recognizable cookies globally. The trademark protection ensures that the brand’s unique design and name remain exclusive, helping to maintain its market dominance and brand loyalty.


SPAM is a well-known food product with a distinctive taste and texture. Trademark protection helps prevent other companies from using the SPAM name, ensuring that the product’s unique brand identity remains intact.


Lay’s is a leading brand in the snack food industry. The trademark ensures that the Lay’s name and logo are protected, preventing other companies from producing potato chips with a similar branding, thus maintaining consumer trust and brand loyalty.

Heinz Ketchup

Heinz ketchup is a household staple recognized for its quality and taste. Trademark protection ensures that the Heinz name and packaging remain unique, safeguarding the brand’s reputation and market position.


M&M’s are one of the most popular candy brands in the world. The trademark protection helps maintain the unique identity of M&M’s, ensuring that no other candy can mimic their distinct look and branding.

Contact Us:

Trademarking your food product is a vital step in protecting your brand and ensuring its uniqueness in the marketplace. Whether you choose to file directly, use online legal services, or hire an attorney, being informed about the trademarking process and its associated costs will help you make the best decision for your business. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you safeguard your food product and enhance your business.