Filing a Trademark Application? Follow These Do's and Don'ts [INFOGRAPHIC]

Business.com / Legal / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

If you're considering applying for a trademark, congratulations! Now, make sure you do it correctly with these do's and don'ts.

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If you’re considering applying for a trademark, congratulations! You have created something pretty special.

Unfortunately, your genius has a potential downfall—that brilliant business idea could be subject to a competitor copying it and capitalizing on your hard work.

The best way to protect yourself is the law, and more specifically, a trademark. Before you apply, you first need to determine if a trademark is right for you. As defined by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, “A trademark identifies goods or services as being from a particular source.”

They go on to break it down as follows:

A trademark typically protects brand names and logos used on goods and services. A patent protects an invention. A copyright protects an original artistic or literary work. For example, if you invent a new kind of vacuum cleaner, you would apply for a patent to protect the invention itself. You would apply to register a trademark to protect the brand name of the vacuum cleaner. And you might register a copyright for the TV commercial that you use to market the product.

Now that you know whether you need a trademark or not, you need to know the do’s and don’ts of applying. Since the process is an investment or both time and money, you want to be sure you’re doing it right. 

Related Article: The In-N-Out Effect: Trademark Mistakes You Need to Avoid

According to the USPTO, you’ll want to make sure of a few things before you file. They suggest considering the following before filing an application:

  1. Whether the mark you want to register is registrable, and
  2. How difficult it will be to protect your mark based on the strength of the mark selected.

Once you’ve answered those questions, download our latest infographic below for more do’s and don’ts.

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