Hi guys. A trademark is a brand for a good or service. There are “word only” and a “design mark” trademark. They protect Intellectual property. In this post, I’ll cover: How to Trademark, Trademark Search, Trade Mark Registration. – RYAN
There is a lot you can do both before and after you file your trademark application to improve your chances of securing the protection you need. Follow these three steps to get your trademark registration right—the first time. A pre-application search is critical even if you don’t plan on getting a trademark.
A word logo, symbol, design, color or smell. Anything can be a trademark. A trademark identifies the sources of good. A service mark represents a service. A trademark is a brand for goods or services.
A trademark is a word, phrase, symbol, and design that identifies and distinguishes the source of the goods of one party from those of others. A service mark is a word, phrase, symbol, and design that identifies and distinguishes the source of a service rather than goods.
Trademark fees range from for $250-$400 US – https://www.uspto.gov/trademark
The video below is a must for anyone interested in starting a business to sell a product or offer a service.
Common Application Trademark Pitfalls:
Applying with Confusing and Similar Trademarks
Not doing a free search
Not doing your research before you design your trademark.
It highlights the critical role of trademarks in that process, including a discussion of how trademarks, patents, copyrights, domain names, and business name registrations all differ. It also gives guidelines on how to select the right mark. A trademark that is both federally registrable and legally protectable. Contact me directly if you want to learn more, but it also explains the benefits of federal registration. It suggests resources if you need help with your application. By the end of the video, you’ll understand why having a trademark component of your business plan is critical to your success.
For an explanation of the federal trademark application process from beginning to end, watch the USPTO’s news broadcast-style video series, the Trademark Information Network (TMIN): https://www.uspto.gov/trademarks-gett….
Trademark registrations can last as long as you keep them active and in use, and it’s best to register right from the start.
Unlike copyrights, which can be easy and inexpensive to register, registering a trademark can be a complicated process that requires legal expertise and greater financial investment. It’s common for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to refuse applications and argue: that a similar trademark already exists, that the trademark protection being sought is too broad, or that the mark is too generic.
Conduct a thorough search.
The first thing to do is conduct a comprehensive trademark search. It is important to know all the uses of marks like the one you want to protect—whether used by your competitors or by businesses outside your field—because they all can influence the trademark protection available to you.
You can conduct an initial search of registered trademarks online for free. TESS, the USPTO’s Trademark Electronic Search System, has multiple functions that allow you to search all registered trademarks, by word or by design. Though possible to conduct a search yourself, the results are not likely to be as thorough as those from an attorney or trademark search company that specializes in such services.
Remember that a trademark protects the use of a word, phrase, or logo for a particular class of goods or services. It does not grant universal ownership of the mark. 2 different companies may be able to use the same word, image, or logo if they are engaged in different kinds of businesses.
Guess what? Even if another company is using a trademark close to the one that you want to protect, you still may be able to use it.
TESS is a start and it’s important to conduct a comprehensive search at the state level. Even unregistered trademarks can impact your ability to register your trademark, and it’s vital to search such common law trademarks for conflicts. If another business is using an unregistered trademark that is the one you want to protect, then you may have a problem.
Once a comprehensive search has been completed, it is often very helpful to have a trademark attorney analyze the results and provide an availability opinion. Conflicting marks may not always be obvious—they may not be identical, and they may not be in the same class of goods and services.
If you get the search and analysis right, you will save yourself the expense of surprises during trademark registration and beyond. With a better strategy, your application will be better, your mark will be stronger, and you’re likely to spend less money overall.
Get beyond descriptions.
Trademarks offer stronger protection when they are less descriptive of the goods or services they are associated with. It may seem counterintuitive, but words that describe your product tend to be harder to protect. Registration of a descriptive mark is often denied, because of the mark’s inability to identify the source of a good or service.
Stronger marks consist of those that are truly distinctive and do not merely describe an inherent property of a product or service. Generic descriptions are not distinctive, making them hard to get approved, and harder to protect. Your trademark must identify what you sell as coming from you.
A good trademark strategy quickly goes beyond describing a product or service and focuses on distinctiveness. The more distinctive, the stronger the mark.
3. Align your goals.
The expense of registering a trademark has to be justified by its value. Consider the trademark’s scope. When you register your trademark, are you protecting the mark for textiles—class 024, leather goods—class 018, or for both? The more classes you register, the more you will spend. Got it?
Getting your strategy wrong can compromise the value of the trademark registration. Your registration could be too narrow and not cover all the things you sell or want to sell in the future. Or your registration could be too broad and balloon your legal fees.
To get it right, you need to make sure that your brand and business strategy is informed by your business goals. The closer the fit, the more appropriate your protection—and your expenses—will be.
Note: Patents and copyrights have set expiration dates. 20 from a utility patent’s filing or 70 years from the death of an author, a patent or copyright registration is no longer enforceable.
Ready to register a trademark? This page offers DIY trademark registration advice that will enable you to register a trademark easily and affordable. If necessary and you’re a student I’ll work with you to assemble your application, and conduct a trademark search to reveal any potential conflicts. Then, we’ll file your completed application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
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