So, you’ve thought of a fantastic name for your company. Congratulations! The next step is to confirm that you can genuinely use that name without violating the USPTO trademark application of another person. This article will explain how to register a word or phrase so that you can use it right away.
You must first step back and comprehend what trademarks are.
The protection provided with US trademark registration extends to names, logos, slogans, and symbols in business endeavours. Trademarks safeguard the origin of products or services. According to the USPTO, a trademark is any term, phrase, tagline, slogan, device, design, sound symbol, colour, aroma, form, structure, taste, texture, or combination of those things that can be used to differentiate one person’s or organization’s goods or services from those of another.
You essentially have two choices for your trademark: a word mark or a logotype.
An example of a word mark might be “apple” or “google.” Typically, companies who sell things bearing their name, like Apple computers, will use this form of trademark. Typical character marks are images or logos, such the Google or Apple logos. This kind of trademark is typically used by corporations that sell services rather than tangible things (like accountants or attorneys), though other businesses can also use it.
Avoid using common keywords, descriptive words, or generic terms in your trademark.
A well-known word or phrase, like “software” or “computer,” cannot be trademarked. A word or phrase that just describes the products or services offered by your company cannot be trademarked.
For instance, if your company specialises in creating software for businesses with a lot of data to manage, you could not assert exclusive rights to the terms “databases” and “software” when describing your operation.
The enjoyable part will now begin: thinking of something original that won’t violate anyone else’s trademark.
You can’t just use anything, though. If you wanted to trademark the word “Phone,” for instance, you would have to choose something else because there is already a phone company by that name.
The fact that some things are prohibited when it comes to trademarks is another item to keep in mind. For instance, the USPTO is likely to reject your registration if your company name is too similar to or confusingly similar to another registered trademark (such as “Phone Co.”) and so infringes on their rights. Also keep in mind that, although what might seem obvious, refrain from calling yourself an insulting name or using words like “Cunt&Asshole.”
Don’t put off starting your search for too long; a fast initial search can tell you if your desired trademark is already being used by someone else.
A trademark cannot be confusingly similar to any other registered trademarks or pending applications in order to be granted. It is typical for business owners to submit an application and then wait months or years for the US Patent & Trademark Office to respond (USPTO). It may be difficult to resolve by starting an interference proceeding at the USPTO if another applicant submits a competing application during this period.
Given this information, we advise you to begin the application process as soon as you can. The longer you wait, the more probable it is that someone else will do so first. Use our quick trademark search tool below to start your search and find out if your intended mark is eligible for registration:
You can do as much research as you wish, but most individuals start with an online search engine like the Trademark Electronic Search System of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) (TESS).
Your first port of call should be the Trademark Electronic Search System of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) when you start your search (TESS). You can perform an in-depth study of related trademarks, names, and/or designs here. For instance, it might not be a good idea to include the exact word “Dog Training Co.” in your business plan if you’re looking for a name for your dog training firm and discover that someone else has already trademarked the phrase. But don’t worry! There are still a lot of different choices available.
Consider using an online trademark search service like LegalZoom or Name Pro Network if it seems like too much labour or if you need legal assistance. In their databases, which contain more than 2 million names, both services let you conduct free searches for up to two words. However, these databases aren’t sufficient for conducting in-depth trademark research on companies with multiple locations or clients or suppliers abroad, so we advise conducting some additional independent research before relying too heavily on these services alone.
Remember that this is just the beginning; whether or not the mark is protected ultimately depends on its use in commerce. If you don’t make use of your trademark, another party could be able to claim ownership of it and make use of it for their own purposes. Additionally, it’s crucial to confirm that your trademark doesn’t conflict with any already-registered trademarks (which may occur if you use a name that sounds similar to one of their products or services).
It’s time to employ your successful name now that you have one.
Verify that the name you want for your company is accessible. You can do this by conducting a search on the USPTO website or by hiring a trademark law attorney (or both).
Make sure you have a clear understanding of the nature and operations of your firm. You’ll be in a better position to make decisions about issues like where to locate and how much money you can set aside for startup fees if this information is more specific.
Make sure your potential clients can readily learn what they’ll receive when they make a purchase from you. Include samples of the core product or service of your company in any marketing materials, if at all possible. This will help potential customers who haven’t decided whether or not to buy from you yet develop trust in you.
Making the necessary preparations up front can help you avoid legal issues later on.
When trademarking a name, it’s crucial to conduct thorough research before filing. By doing this, you can help avoid future legal issues.
If you don’t exercise due diligence, you can find yourself needing to hire expensive attorneys and facing legal action.
Being proactive about brand protection is the best course of action. Make sure you’re utilizing USPTO trademark filing correctly by taking the time to complete your homework and, if necessary, seek legal counsel. You’ll be able to relax and save money by doing this.