The trademark symbol is everywhere, but do you need to register one for your brand? In most cases, the answer is a resounding yes. Trademarking your brand will provide protections not otherwise offered. Without a trademark, it’s only a matter of time before someone else tries to profit off your brand name.
A trademark distinguishes and safeguards a brand’s intellectual property, such as the name, slogan, or logo. Getting a trademark is a relatively straightforward process. Working alongside a law firm, such as Cohn Legal, PLLC, will simplify the process even more. Follow these steps to trademark your brand.
1. Determine a Unique Name
Think of all the products in the world. The ones that probably stand out the most have unique brand and product names. Before you set out to trademark your brand, it’s best to develop a one-of-a-kind name that will help others quickly identify your brand.
Not just any name will do, however. Try avoiding overly descriptive or generic names. Instead, try mixing unrelated terms or create a coined word. Once you find the perfect choice, double-check to ensure it’s not already in use by another company.
Moreover, you don’t have to stick with the names that can determine your business in any way. Instead of that, try to create a combination of words that can be easily remembered and associated with your brand. If you’re wondering how much does it cost to trademark a name, not as much as you may expect. The prices vary but be sure to choose a unique name to avoid a potential lawsuit. Therefore, you will need a trademark attorney.
2. Locate a Trademark Attorney
Getting a trademark is a legal process, and it’s not wise to charter these waters without hiring an attorney. The first thing a lawyer will do is make sure your chosen name is viable and doesn’t pose a conflict of interest. This will ensure you don’t run into any issues with other companies down the road.
Next, a trademark attorney will help you fill out the trademark application. If there is a refusal to register your trademark, an attorney will do everything possible to get it overturned. Without legal representation, the application process can prove to be long and tedious.
By hiring an expert in this field, you can be sure that there will be no issues related to your selected name for a trademark. Also, the whole process will be done much faster since professional trademark attorneys use tools with the same efficiency as the Patent and Trademark Office.
3. Search for Any Similar Names
Before getting a trademark, it’s best to research your competition. You’ll want to perform an exhaustive search to guarantee no similar-sounding brands or products already exist. This means looking for alternate spellings and changes in formatting.
If you uncover a similar name along the way, you’ll want to come up with an alternative name. After all, many trademark applications are rejected because sound-alike brands already exist. Your attorney has access to the tools needed to perform this detailed name search.
In case you choose a name that is too similar to some other brand, that might lead to common misconceptions for users that might falsely visit that other site. Nevertheless, be sure to avoid any spellings mistakes or misleading phrases because most people are quite selective, and choosing the wrong domain and trademark could lead to decreased popularity of your business.
4. File the Necessary Paperwork
A trademark request can’t be processed until you file all the corresponding paperwork. All applications and supporting materials must be submitted to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The USPTO will then review the application and make its final decision.
There are many things the USPTO looks for in a trademark application. You’ll need to state the owner of the trademark and give a detailed description of the product that it will protect. If the USPTO finds any errors, they’ll return the application for clarification, but they can also choose to reject the application altogether.
5. Sit Back and Wait
As can be imagined, it takes a lot of time for the USPTO to review and approve trademark paperwork. After all, they receive countless applications each day. Furthermore, the USPTO will need to conduct its own search for similar names or products. Expect to wait about eight months before receiving a final registration approval. The fact that you must wait for so long should be a motivation to carefully decide about which trademark to choose for your brand.
Enjoy the Protections of a Trademark
Once the USPTO gives the final stamp of approval and registers your trademark, you can begin using the “circle R” trademark symbol. However, your work doesn’t end here. In addition to staying on top of any trademark renewals, you’ll also need to regularly search to ensure no other company is trying to profit from your name. After trademarking your brand, you can take legal action if anyone infringes on your trademark.
Advantages of Trademarking Your Business Name
There are many benefits that your company can get from trademarking its name. It can affect people to trust your company more when they see the ® symbol. Also, you will have exclusive rights to use the chosen name and the ability to sue anyone who might be using the same name. Moreover, this symbol can affect the status of your brand and bring more loyal customers. People will rather trust some brand with a trademark.
Furthermore, from the moment when you have a registered trademark in the system, any other companies that might be using your products in commercials, movies, and many other projects are obligated to pay you for that. On the other hand, if you notice that someone is using your products in their favor, you can file a lawsuit.
When looking from the aspect of marketing, having a trademark can significantly improve your business and bring more clients. On the other hand, even the potential employees will become more interested in your brand, which can affect the quality of the workflow, better strategies, advanced services, and much more.
With the fact that there are billions of websites today, and with the increasing number of people who would rather choose online stores and services, optimizing your site properly and choosing the right name that you can trademark can be crucial for success. You should never rush with your decision about the name that you want to trademark because of the high possibility that someone might be already using that or similar names. Knowing how long the process of getting a trademark approval can last, you should invest a lot of time in proper research. Owning a trademark for your brand is one of the most important factors that can assure the growth of your business and development in many ways. Therefore, learn more about all of the necessary factors for getting a trademark sign and try to create something attractive and unique.