If you want to do business beyond state or national borders, get a trademark. A trademark protects your business identity by preventing others from using a similar name, logo, or other distinguishing aspects of your brand.
Coming up with a consumer-friendly name and getting your trademark attorney’s permission is a difficult, unpleasant, and often traumatic task. Part of the problem is that customers like names made out of recognizable terms that generate an instant sense of connection and comprehension, whereas lawyers want strange and invented names that are as far removed from any word they’ve ever heard of as possible.
Here are a few tips on how to Trademark your business:
Decide if you need a trademark
According to Rick Crandon, Operations Manager at Nominus, the use of a business name immediately confers trademark protection, but only if the company can prove that it was the first to use the name in the industry (also called a class.) In most cases, these common-law restrictions only apply to the particular geographic region where the name is used.
Registering a trademark gives the owner exclusive rights to use the name in connection with the class of products or services for which it was registered, as well as establishing who the true owner of the name is on a national level. Trademark registration also allows you to initiate a case in federal court to enforce your trademark in foreign nations.
Search for existing trademarks
To identify existing trademarks of a comparable kind to a desired name or mark, use TESS, the patent office’s Trademark Electronic Search System. This should be done before submitting an application for a trademark, as the USPTO will not register your trademark if it is likely to be mistaken with another.
We urge that you search not only for the identical name but also for variants and similar names since any existing resemblance will very certainly result in your application being rejected. “Boeing Airplane Rental” and “Boeing Airplane Leasing,” for example, are similar names that may not appear in the same search yet may result in an application denial.
Preparing an application
Because an application takes a lot of time and work to create, making sure it’s as comprehensive as possible is almost as vital as making sure a name or phrase isn’t already used.
The following information is needed to prepare an application:
Name, location, and contact information for the entity filing the trademark application. This might be a person or a company. (Note that individuals and corporations based outside the United States will need to employ an attorney to complete this process.)
- The name you want to protect (also known as a “standard character mark”). You can also register a name in a certain colour, style, or typeface (a “special form mark”), but your trademark will only protect that specific portrayal of your name if you do so.
- The term will encompass a variety of products and services. You’ll need to describe your product and service, as well as the category in which it belongs. You can register your trademark in many classes, but you’ll have to pay extra costs.
Filing an application
The Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS) offers two filing options: TEAS Standard and TEAS Plus. TEAS Plus is a more cheap filing alternative, although it is not available to everyone. To utilise TEAS Plus, you must use a standard description for your commodity or service from the Trademark ID handbook. You must use the standard TEAS application if you write your own description.
If the application is granted, the USPTO will publish the trademark in an online journal so that anybody else can challenge it. This might take three months. Your trademark will be registered if there is no objection. If your mark is opposed, hiring a trademark lawyer to defend the trademark and proceed may be necessary.