Trademarks are used to protect brands from copycats trying to infringe your products or services for their own profit. This article explains how trademark law helps to protect your business.
Choose a strong brand name
Many entrepreneurs might have chosen the perfect brand name and cannot imagine using any other. Your first choice might not be the best choice. A prudent entrepreneur will always research.
To ensure that your desired brand name isn’t being used by other businesses, the first step to executing a trademark strategy is to search the market. You can conduct a Google search or search the public database for the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Our blog post How to Conduct a Trademark Search is also available.
These searches can be quick and cheap, but they may not cover marks that the USPTO examiner may find confusingly similar to your brand name. This could lead to the rejection of your trademark application. A skilled trademark law attorney can conduct a thorough search to determine the risks associated with trying to register your preferred brand name federally. This search could include a risk assessment of all marks found in a common, state, or federal search.
This is a critical step in the initial stages of building your brand. It allows you to modify your preferred brand name, if it’s being used by another company. You should not wait until your brand is established to avoid costly problems in the future.
The Trademark Process
It doesn’t have to be expensive to trademark something. The United States considers the person who establishes priority over a mark the owner. To put it another way, if your company is the first to use a unique trademark to identify its products or services, then you don’t have to register your mark in order to obtain rights. However, you must add the trademark symbol, TM to the mark that you are claiming rights. However, it is not a substitute for registering a trademark through the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. This establishes ownership beyond any doubt.
All of this depends on the “uniqueness” of your mark. Start your trademark search online. You can visit free websites that offer trademark law information, such as those held by the USPTO, Secretaries of State, or Yellow Pages online. You can also search online for trademarks, but this will cost you a fee. For more detailed searches, including misspellings or alternate spellings, you can hire an attorney or private company. An attorney who is a specialist in intellectual Property law is best.
Trademarks may be registered at either the federal or state level. State registrations can be more expensive but offer less protection. Trademarks can be registered in one industry but could also be registered in another. The best choice depends on the location of your business and the scope of your operations. International protection can be more expensive and more difficult. It is also very difficult and costly to enforce.
You can file a trademark application at USPTO to ensure that no trademark similar to yours is already in existence. This process can take several months. This can take months.
Enforcement and Policing of Federally Registered Trademarks
After your federal trademark registration is granted, you can begin to implement your trademark strategy by policing your rights. You, the trademark owner are responsible for policing the market to make sure that your trademark is not being infringed by other businesses.
You can do this in many ways. One way is to conduct a Google search of your trademark that targets your market. Another way is to rely on an experienced trademark attorney for monitoring the USPTO trademark databases.
These strategies are often combined by trademark owners to ensure that they have a comprehensive approach to policing the mark. Neglecting to monitor your mark carefully can cause irreparable damage to your trademark. You could be affected by poor quality or services provided by a competitor with a similar name. Each third-party that uses a similar trademark to yours reduces your trademark’s strength, which can lead to a reduction in your brand’s protection and in some cases, limit your exclusive rights.
How Registered Trademarks Can Protect Your Brand
The United States Patent and Trademark Office enables people to register their trademarks and also ensures that others don’t take their choice of a trademark or if yours is similar to another already registered trademark.
Trademark law is prepared to prevent unfair competition in the marketplace by protecting the exclusive use of a logo, phrase, symbol, name, design, etc., that distinctly identifies the products or services of an enterprise.
The protection of trademarks extends to all words, slogans, designs, and signs and can be enforced through lawsuits under the Trademark infringement laws.
Each nation has its own trademark procedures, but the basic components of protection include registration of the trademark with the appropriate country’s intellectual property office, a covering letter explaining the name, address, and description of the product or service, the registrant’s signature, and a record of filed claims and counter-claims.
USPTO works under the Uniform Commercial Code in order to define the trademark classes of protected names and symbols used in connection with the sale of products or in the marketing of services.
In addition, there are some other common examples of signs and symbols used to identify products and services: trade lines, brand names, product or service names, and slogans. To protect these types of intangible assets, it is necessary for trademark owners to file the application for a trademark with the appropriate United States Trademark Office and to register the mark.
Now over to you
Since intellectual properties are such an important asset in your business matters, it is crucial to find the best establishment on the market to assist you in your intellectual property needs.
A prime example can be PatentPC a full service Intellectual Property Law Firm that deals with all matters regarding intellectual property, including patents, trade secrets, copyright cases, and trademarks, specifically specializing in obtaining trademarks and patents for its clients.
Moreover, the team working behind Patent Law Office are highly qualified individuals who have kept themselves knowledgeable on every intellectual property aspect and are also diligent in practicing new updates on intellectual property upgrades according to AI advancements.
They understand the need of implementing startups with intellectual property tactics and have hence, created a number of ways to help these new businesses prosper without having to compromise on the safety of their service or products.