In business, names have weight. Therefore, securing ownership and rights to a company name is crucial for organizations that wish to guarantee a unique identity. Registering a trademark protects an expression or brand against intellectual property theft or abuse as a firm expands.
Filing a trademark is not a straightforward procedure, but the brand protection it provides is well worth the effort. Although it may not be clear, there are techniques to simplify things when you file a trademark. Here are the four simplest methods to register a trademark for your company.
Consider Whether You Need a Trademark
The use of a company name immediately confers some trademark protection, but often only if the firm can present proof that it was the first in its industry to use the name (also called a class.) Generally, these common-law requirements are limited to the immediate geographic region where the name is employed.
In addition, only if a firm has registered a trademark may it file a federal trademark infringement action if someone steals or misappropriates its name.
On a national level, registering a trademark grants the owner exclusive rights to use the name in connection with the class of products or services for which the name is registered and identifies the name’s owner.
Additionally, trademark registration enables you to bring a lawsuit in federal court to enforce your brand and makes it simpler to apply for trademark registration in other nations. A trademark may prevent the entry of counterfeit goods into the United States if it is entered into the Customs and Border Protection database. When a trademark is registered, the ® symbol may be placed next to its name.
Investigate Existing Trademarks
Utilize TESS, the Trademark Electronic Search System of the United States Patent and Trademark Office, to locate comparable existing trademarks. This must be done before submitting a trademark application since the USPTO will not register your mark if it is likely to be mistaken with a current mark.
We advise looking not just for the identical name but also for variants and similar names since any existing resemblance will undoubtedly result in application denial. For example, “Banana Airplane Rental” and “Banana’s Airplane Leasing” are similar business names that may not appear in the same search results but may result in application rejection.
Prepare a Submission
A substantial amount of work is required to prepare an application; therefore, ensuring that the application is as thorough as possible is almost as crucial as confirming that a name or phrase is not already in use. The preparation of a trademark application involves the following information: the applicant’s name, address, and personal information. This might be a human or a company.
The Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS) offers two filing options: TEAS Standard and TEAS Plus. TEAS Plus provides a more economical filing alternative; however, not all taxpayers qualify. To utilize TEAS Plus, you must use a standard product or service description from the Trademark ID documentation. You must utilize the standard TEAS application when writing your description.
Applicants should get a filing receipt with a serial number that may be used to reference the application after it has been submitted. Government patent attorneys analyze applications submitted to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). A letter from a USPTO patent attorney may be sent to the applicant if faults are found (an “office action”). In most cases, an applicant has six months from receipt of a complaint or concern to respond.
If the application is granted, the USPTO will publish the trademark in an online journal so that others may challenge it. This might take three months. If no resistance is received, your trademark will be registered. If your trademark is contested, it may be essential to retain a trademark attorney to protect it further.