A trademark is the registration of a word, name, symbol, device or any combination of those, adopted and used by a manufacturer or merchant to identify goods and distinguish them from those manufactured or sold by others or by another person on goods produced by his or her labor.

Trademarks vs. Trade Names

A trademark is any word, phrase, symbol, or design, or combination thereof, that identifies and distinguishes the goods of one party from those of others.

A Trade Name is a business name that an individual or business entity does business as.  If your are seeking to register a business name, please click here.

Trademarks vs. Service Marks

Although the term “trademark” is often used to refer to both trademarks and service marks, the two marks serve different purposes. A trademark is used to identify goods made or sold.

A service mark is used to identify services rendered. Vermont does not register service marks. Under Vermont law (9 V.S.A. Ch. 71) a trademark can only be registered to represent goods.

The proprietary name of a rendered service may be protected by registering the name as a trade name (DBA).

State vs. Federal Trademarks

Trademarks can be registered at both the state and federal level. Federal trademark law may preempt Vermont’s own law on trademarks in many cases; nevertheless, many legal experts believe that state registration of trademarks will serve to establish the date on which the mark’s use began more efficiently than other methods.  

For more information regarding state vs. federal trademark registration, please see

Use of the  and  Symbols

The symbols  for trademark, and ℠ for service mark, may be used to indicate that the owner claims rights to a mark, regardless of whether the mark is registered at the state or the federal level.

The use of the  or  designations only serve to inform the public that a word, logo, slogan, design, etc., is being used as a mark and reflects the owner’s intent to claim trademark rights in the mark. However, the use of these symbols themselves does not guarantee that the owner’s mark will be protected under trademark laws.  

For more information regarding trademark symbols, please see

Use of the ® Symbol

The owner of a federal or foreign national trademark registration may use the ® symbol. A state trademark registration does not confer the right to use the ® symbol. 

For more information regarding the ® symbol, please see

Trademark Law

Please visit 9 V.S.A. Ch.71 of the Vermont Statutes Online for more information.

Registration Fees

Please see “Fees & Filings” for the costs of trademark registration.

Duration of Registration

Once registered, you must renew your trade name registration every 10 years and may be renewed by filing a renewal application within the 6 months prior to the expiration of the 10-year period.

Please see “Trademark FAQs” for more information

Registering a Trademark: Online or by Mail

The application process consists of paying a fee and submitting the appropriate application below.  

We may decline to register a trademark for a number of reasons. Flags, coats of arms, or other insignia of the United States or any state, municipality, or foreign country may not be included in the trademark, nor may portraits of living individuals, except with their written consent.

A trademark will be rejected if it represents a service, it might cause confusion or mistake in the minds of the public, if they are scandalous or immoral, or if they merely contain the name of a person or words descriptive of merchandise.

For a complete list of reasons that we may decline to register your trademark, please see our Trademark Suitability Standards.

Trademark Search

Online Filing

Online filing normally takes less than one business day.

Online registration is the preferred method. There is no extra fee and turnaround times are much faster. To begin your online registration, please visit the Online Business Service Center:

Log In & File Online

Filings by Mail

Please allow 7-10 business days for the processing of any filings received by mail. If you require a form, please click here.

This page was last updated: 2019-07-18