How do you register a business trademark?
What exactly does a trademark protect, and when should you trademark your business name? How do you trademark a name and logo? What office of the federal government serves as a registry for trademarks and service marks?
Trademark is important as it protects a good or service offered by a company from infringement or damage of reputation by another company. With a trademark, you have legal recourse to sue another company that uses your name or logo for their own business ventures. This includes both registered and unregistered trademarks.
Filing a trademark as soon as possible also gives you a legitimate claim to the trademark before anyone else.
The process of trademark registration is as follows:
- Search the Trademark Records: Before you register a trademark or service mark, check to see if someone else is already using it, with the https://www.uspto.gov/trademarks-application-process/search-trademark-database
- Find the Correct Classification for Your Trademark: One of the most important parts of registering your trademark is to select the right category to best fit your mark.
NOTE: Don't neglect these first two steps - searching and finding the correct classification. The Trademark Office will reject your application (and won't refund your money) if you register a trademark that already exists or that doesn't fit the description.
- File Online: If you determine that no one else is using the trademark, you can file your application online using the https://www.uspto.gov/trademarks-application-process/filing-online
- Include a Specimen: A specimen (an example of your trademark in use) must be included with your registration. For example, you might include an advertisement or a label using the logo you want to trademark.
It may take a few months for your trademark to be approved. If approved, the registration is good for ten years. At the end of that time, you must file a renewal application to maintain the trademark.
Hope this helps!
Ryan offers some really good stuff there.
I just wanted to add a few things.
1) Cannot be descriptive. If your business name is "Clean Water" you wont get a trademark, at least not a strong one.
2) Geographic will also hurt you. If your business name is "Carolina Water" and you are located in the Carolinas, you will have a hard time getting that trademark too. You can do like a temporary soft trademark and after 5 years get a solid one but not worth the wait. However if you are in Nevada and you use "Carolina" in your name, you are OK. Weird.
3) Get a lawyer to do it for you. It's not a bad idea but they will try to make it a whole lot of back and forth instead of telling you what I told you above.
Hope that is helpful
What exactly does a trademark protect, and when should you trademark your business name?
Trademark is an intangible asset of your organization and an approved trademark can help you fight a legal claim if someone in future starts to use your trademarked name/symbol in your own industry in which you filed the trademark.
Although you can trademark any name (if it not already trademarked or very close to another trademarked name in your industry), you should trademark your business name if you believe it is a major part of your brand positioning. On the other hand, you should do a trademark search before picking up a name of your product to make sure no one else is using that name officially in your industry. Example - you don't want to start a new clothing company under the name "Nike" (accidentally).
How do you trademark a name and logo? What office of the federal government serves as a registry for trademarks and service marks?
Instead of giving you advice in bits and pieces will share an official link where you'll find a complete step by step process.
Hope this helps, Skye! Good luck filing your trademark.