How to Trademark a Name - Tutorial from a Lawyer // Growing online business can be really difficult. Your trademark carries all the value – earned value and potential value – that the power of your name and brand has earned or will own in the future. Once you’ve registered it with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office, you have the legal protection of the government on your side should any competitor try to siphon off your business based on your success. Forming certain business entities, filing an assumed name, or registering a trademark can afford you business name protection. Be careful! At this point, you can legally use the trademarked name. The easiest names to trademark are made-up, or “coined,” names such as “Xerox.” Arbitrary names that use an existing word to identify an unrelated product or service, such as “Apple” for computers, also receive strong trademark protection. Accessing the trademarks database or registering a combination of words, sounds or designs. Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. If you want to learn more, like when you should hire a trademark attorney, keep reading! You cannot "trademark a company". It's important to monitor your trademark and act promptly if you believe someone is infringing on it. You can't register a generic or descriptive name. How to Check if a Trademark Is Already Registered, How to Find Out if a Business Name is Taken, The goods or services that you want to register your name for, The basis for your filing: either use "in commerce" (if you are already using your name in business) or "intent to use" (if you haven't started using it yet), A specimen such as a label or a package that shows your name in use if your filing is based on use in commerce (if you file on an intent to use basis, you will provide this later). Your trademark name has to be distinctive or unique in some way to be approved. Similarly, in the event of a court dispute over your name, common law ownership only offers limited protection. Afterwards, the USPTO will usually take at least 6-8 months to register a trademark. Once you have used it as a brand, under US law, it is a trademark and can also be optionally registered in one or more US states or in the federal US Patent and Trademark Office. One limitation of common law ownership is that your name is only protected in the geographic area where it is being used. Check how the new Brexit rules affect you. A trademark is a more significant step identified with establishing brand recognition in the marketplace. Can I do a sketch of my logo and make changes to it later, or does it have to be exact now? Want them protected individually? The following article is a small description of trademarks, and describes in brief the process of trademarking a particular name. A trademark search can help accomplish this goal. This gives other people an opportunity to oppose it. A patent protects an invention. A trademark is a symbol, word, or phrase that represents a product or a service. Can a name be trademarked for future use? Your trademark name has to be distinctive or unique in some way to be approved. That's why every trademark application must specify the type of goods or services where a trademark will be used. Here are some tips to help you understand trademark classes and pick the correct one. In order to obtain a trademark, you must come up with a unique mark that isn't already in use, then file an application and pay the filing fee. Getting trademark protection for your business name, logo or slogans is an important way to protect your work. A trademark can be associated with or it can be part of your trade name … If approved based on an intent to use the application, you would receive a Notice of Allowance, which means your mark has been allowed but won't be formally registered until you begin using it in business and file a Statement of Use and a specimen that shows your name in use. Avoid using ® or ™ on the company name when used to identify the company rather than the particular goods or services under your brand. Naming yourself as the owner, instead of the company may void your application if the company is a separate legal entity, such as an LLC or corporation. How to register a trademark for a company name: in a gist. Your application must be filed with the USPTO, and it must include: Once you apply, your trademark application is assigned to a USPTO examining attorney for review. If your application satisfies all requirements, your trademark will be approved for publication in the USPTO's Trademark Official Gazette. If there is opposition, you may need legal assistance to prevail. Filing for a trademark can protect your brand. United States Patent and Trademark Office, U.S. government agency responsible for registering and protecting patents and trademarks, {"smallUrl":"https:\/\/www.wikihow.com\/images\/thumb\/a\/af\/Trademark-a-Name-Step-1.jpg\/v4-460px-Trademark-a-Name-Step-1.jpg","bigUrl":"\/images\/thumb\/a\/af\/Trademark-a-Name-Step-1.jpg\/aid1967851-v4-728px-Trademark-a-Name-Step-1.jpg","smallWidth":460,"smallHeight":345,"bigWidth":728,"bigHeight":546,"licensing":"

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\n<\/p><\/div>"}. You can't register a generic or descriptive name. A trademark search is an invaluable first step because it can prevent potential trademark problems before you even file an application or invest time and money in your business name. Once approved, you are responsible for enforcing your trademark. USPTO releases additional information on the COVID-19 Trademark Prioritized Examination Program . A trademark can be a name, phrase, or logo used on a product or advertised for a service. You can only trademark a brand name that you're using in business or that you intend to use in business in the near future. Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 146,256 times. This can happen when your name is too similar to another registered mark or one that's pending. As a business owner, you have many options for paying yourself, but each comes with tax implications. Can I use a trademarked name if it says "deceased" under the registered name? The USPTO has a huge database of registered trademarks and pending applications. The application review process takes several months to complete, and the USPTO will send you a notice of any action it has taken on your application. You must respond to Office actions within that deadline, or your application will be denied. You may use TM or ™ when using your brand on other things not federally registered. 3 Can I obtain a trademark and file it later? Any material changes would require filing another application, perhaps losing your priority date to others having filed for registrations of similar brands in related fields. If you find no other company using your name as their own mark, you may still want to hire a trademark attorney to ensure that your search was accurate. Follow: Facebook; Twitter ; LinkedIn ; Youtube Trade name is also used in the pharmaceuticals industries, which has dissimilar chemical names. Should you? You will be notified when your application is "allowed" and then "published for opposition". Does it need to be a logo? Be sure to use the "circle-R" mark ® on your trademark, but only when used in association with the goods or services included in your registration. A more comprehensive search sorts through other platforms such as state trademark databases, business directories, and the internet to identify other names that are the same as—or similar to—your proposed trademark name. The information provided told us all we needed to know! We are not a law firm, or a substitute for an attorney or law firm. To create this article, 14 people, some anonymous, worked to edit and improve it over time. Can I trademark a name used for a 4-H project? You can avoid legal trouble and countless headaches by being proactive to ensure you don't infringe on another company's trademark. This name is a key feature of your brand, and it's smart to protect it with a registered trademark. You would need to submit a drawing and a sample of how it is being used on your goods, and that part of the application cannot be amended. In the U.S., trademark registration is handled on the federal level through the United States Patent and Trade Office (PTO). The name can't create a likelihood of confusion among consumers. You'd need to file two applications. If problems are flagged, you'll receive a letter known as an Office action that will explain the issue and generally give you 6 months to respond. You can register a logo that includes text, but then the design and the text together are considered one trademark. We're available Mon-Fri 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. PT and weekends 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. PT. Trademarks, patents, copyrights, domain names, and business name registrations all differ, so it is important to learn whether a trademark is appropriate for you. A trademark, in common parlance, is often defined as any name, symbol, design or a combination of any of the three. You should also monitor the TESS database, from time to time, to follow the progress on your application. The process for trademarking a business name is relatively simple and inexpensive, and well worth its weight in gold in terms of warding off unlawful use by competitors. You can only trademark a brand name that you're using in business or that you intend to use in business in the near future. You will need to make additional USPTO filings to maintain your registration, starting 5 years after issuance, then renewal at 10 years. You may register its business name, but that is not a trademark. Trademark infringement involves the use of a similar brand to create a likelihood of confusion with your existing brand on goods or services. Thank you. Technically, trademark protection is based on first use of a name – re… How to Register a Trademark for a Company Name. If you’re starting a new business, you’ll need to choose a name that’s available for use in your state and that doesn’t violate another business’ trademark. I'm grateful to have been informed of my. Search firms are often listed in the yellow page section of telephone directories under the heading "Trademark Search Services" or "Patent and Trademark Search Services." You should also have someone scan TESS and the Internet, from time to time, to spot possible infringements being filed or used before they get too far. How long is the process? This article has been viewed 146,256 times. min read. Unlike patents and copyrights, trademarks do not expire after a set term … The USPTO cannot aid in the selection of a search firm or an attorney. FBI estimates that businesses lose over $512 billion dollars every year due to intellectual property losses. To avoid delays in the trademark registration process, you need to know some key facts. A trademark can be any name, symbol, design, sound or any combination of these elements that describes your business and distinguishes it from others. Please help us continue to provide you with our trusted how-to guides and videos for free by whitelisting wikiHow on your ad blocker. Your state's filing office can tell you how to access their corporate name database. The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) welcomes Tricia McDermott Thompkins as a new interim member of. Can you trademark your personal and/or stage name? Find out more A trademark typically protects brand names and logos used on goods and services. It could also be a jingle, your registered business name painted on the side of your truck or even a scent. However, common law rights only go so far. Make sure nobody else has already registered the same business name you want to trademark by searching the Trademark Electronic Search System database. You can't register a trademark for non-business purposes. Under US laws, registration is completely optional, so the expiration of a trademark application or registration may be only one indicator of whether the owner of that brand is still using it and has the legal right to enforce it. Choosing a trademark class can be the most difficult and confusing part of filling out a trademark application. By using our site, you agree to our. When your registration is complete, you can begin using the registered trademark symbol, ®, next to your name. Enforcing your trademark rights is your responsibility. Last Updated: June 9, 2020 The name can't create a likelihood of confusion among consumers. Is enforcement of the singular plural implied? Note the type of product or service that any similar marks are used to represent. A trade mark is not limited to being a corporate logo. United States Patent and Trademark Office This article has been viewed 146,256 times. You cannot change your trade mark once you’ve applied, and the fees are non-refundable. Creating a unique business name is one of the most exciting parts of starting a new business. Terms of Use and We know ads can be annoying, but they’re what allow us to make all of wikiHow available for free.

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