The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is the federal agency responsible for protecting your brand name. The process of trademark registration can be overwhelming, but if you’re serious about protecting your business identity, it’s worth investing time and money into the process. Here are five steps you need to follow:
Trademarks are registered on a first come, first served basis.
In the same way that you don’t need to register a copyright for your business name, you also don’t have to register a trademark. A trademark is registered once it’s been used, so it only has value if someone else tries to infringe on the rights of your business.
However, if you do choose to register your trademark and file an application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), then you’ll have more control over how others can use your brand name or logo in their own businesses. You can also sue someone who uses a similar name or logo as yours; however, this can be difficult because it requires proving that there was actual confusion among consumers about which company they were supporting when they purchased goods or services from one of these businesses.
You must apply to the USPTO to protect your trademark at the federal level.
The USPTO is a federal agency and is responsible for registering trademarks and other intellectual property, as well as upholding the integrity of the trademark system.
It’s also important to note that not all countries allow businesses to register their business names as trademarks. If you plan on doing business internationally or in any country other than your own, be sure to research what rules apply before filing for trademark protection there.
File your application online with the USPTO.
Once you’ve gotten the necessary paperwork together, it’s time to file your trademark application with the USPTO. The first step is to go to their website, www.uspto.gov, and click on “Trademark Electronic Application System.” This will take you to a page where you can create a user account and begin the process of filing your trademark application electronically.
Once you’ve registered for an account and logged in, there are two steps: entering information about your business into an online form (including its name) and paying the fee for filing online (which costs $225). While paying online isn’t required by law, doing so expedites completion of this process; otherwise it could take up to three months before receiving confirmation from the USPTO that payment was received successfully if mailed in by postal mail instead of paid via credit card online as part of filing an electronic application (see Resources).
After submitting these forms electronically through TEAS or after having them printed out by hand then sending them via regular mail with payment enclosed per instructions on page 2-1a(ii), wait approximately two weeks before checking back here at [link]www[dot]uspto[dot]gov/trademarks[dash][slash]status_checker[period]. You’ll need this link later when we talk about how long trademarks last before they expire; if yours hasn’t been renewed yet or if it has expired entirely without being renewed within five years since registration date then follow these steps:
It may be helpful for you to hire an attorney to assist you in the process.
If you want to take matters into your own hands, it’s best to hire an attorney. An attorney will be able to:
- Assist you with the application process.
- Help perform a trademark search to ensure there are no conflicts.
- Assist with filing the trademark application.
- Help register the trademark and keep it up-to-date.
If you want to use a trademark in a visual or audio medium, such as television or radio, the quickest way to use it is by registering it with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). You can also register one or more trademarks through state level agencies, but this process is much slower than going through the USPTO.
The symbol for an unregistered trademark is TM and for registered trademarks is ®. You should always include these symbols when you refer to your company name as a brand and use them whenever possible in marketing materials and advertising campaigns.
There are no limitations on where or how many times you can use your business name as long as it’s not used in conjunction with another business’ product or service (i.e., if we create custom hats for dogs named Bobblehead USA and we wanted to put “Bobblehead USA” on our website at bobbleheadusa.com then we would likely run into trouble because someone else has already registered “Bobblehead® Hats” with their trademark).
Additionally, there are no restrictions on what language(s) you may use while using your business name: English only? Spanish only? Neither? Both? All options are open! The same goes for products — unless specifically limited by law such as alcohol content restrictions based upon age requirements then anything goes here too!
The USPTO can help you protect your brand name
If you want to protect or register brand name at the federal level, you can file for a trademark online. The application process is relatively simple, but it is best to hire an attorney to help you with it.
That’s it! You now have a great brand name, and you’re ready to start building your business. If you need help with any of the steps above, be sure to refer back to this guide or contact an attorney who can assist you in protecting your brand name.