Choosing a name for your company or product can be challenging, but when that name needs to be trademarked, the challenge becomes considerably more difficult. A trademark can be a term, symbol, phrase, or image that identifies the source of your product and distinguishes it from items created by other companies. Trademarks can be registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). You can find out whether or not someone else has already registered a mark that is similar to yours for their own usage by conducting a USPTO trademark search with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). This post will take you through the processes involved in completing this search yourself, as well as the steps involved in locating an attorney who can conduct this search for you.
Find the most appropriate moniker.
When beginning a new business, picking a name is one of the first and most crucial things to do. It is also one of the activities that has the potential to be the most challenging. You want your name to be distinctive, simple to pronounce, simple to remember and simple to spell, not connected to any celebrities or other trademarks, and not excessively similar to those of other products or services that are already available on the market.
Check to see that you do not lack the legal right to file.
There are a variety of forms of trademarks that can assist you in navigating the process apply for trademark with the USPTO and marks in general if you are not familiar with either.
Trademark: A trademark is a word, slogan, or symbol that identifies the source of goods or services and distinguishes them from those sold by others. Trademarks can be registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
Service mark: A word, slogan, or symbol that identifies and distinguishes the source of a service rather than a good is referred to as a service mark.
Collective mark: A collective mark, as contrast to an individual’s sole ownership, denotes membership in an organisation (for example, “a member of XYZ Association”).
Certification Mark: A certification mark may only be utilised on goods or services that are directly related to the field of certification practised by the certifying body ” (for instance, “certified organic). There is no other possible application for it (see limitations on use below). This category also goes by the names “certification trade dress” and “certification trade name,” amongst other names.
Avoid using names that are too similar to one another.
If the name of your product or service is something along the lines of “Sale: The Game,” for example, it is highly possible that it is too similar to the names of other goods and services, which may lead to confusion among customers. You will want to make sure that your trademark does not belong to any of the following categories in order to avoid not only this problem but also others like it:
Generic — Your brand name should be distinctive such that consumers can readily recognise it as being associated with only your company’s offering of goods or services. For instance, a large number of businesses have relied on umbrella phrases such as “Drink” or “Computer.” If someone searches for one of these terms while looking at other possibilities on Amazon or Google Shopping, it’s possible that they could accidently get confused about what product it is that they’re looking at because so many results are returned after putting just one word into their search field!
Descriptive – This category covers items like proper nouns, adjectives, and descriptive words like “sweet” and “red” (like Apple). It’s not that these kinds of phrases are necessarily terrible; it’s simply that they don’t offer anything to help customers differentiate between different brands when they’re searching online. For example, everybody knows what it means when something is described as tasty. If there aren’t any trademarks currently in existence that use those similar descriptors in their company names, then you are free to choose whatever you think will work best for your brand (but still keep an eye out for potential conflicts).
Make sure that your trademark falls within the appropriate classification.
You need to select the appropriate category for your company before attempting to register your trademark to increase the likelihood of its being accepted. This will aid with the process of filing for a trademark in the United States and will prevent any confusion regarding the type of service or product that your trademark represents.
There are three different types of categories that can be used to list trademarks, and they are as follows:
Product – This category relates to tangible commodities such as food or clothing; it also includes figurative marks (such as logos) that are used in connection with products. Service – This category refers to services such as advertising or consulting.
Service – The services that fall within this category are intangible in nature and include things like consulting, advertising, and financial services. Websites and apps for mobile devices that give information on a certain service might also count as services if they are considered comprehensive enough (e.g., an app dedicated to medical advice). Any word, name, symbol, or device that is used by a person or company can be considered a service mark as long as it is not used on its own without any accompanying words (for example, “Apple” would be acceptable but “Great Assumption University” would not be acceptable because there is no accompanying text). However, some countries only accept specific sorts of markings within this category while others don’t allow them at all.”
Think about getting legal representation.
Hiring a US trademark attorney could be a fantastic idea if you’re in a hurry to get things rolling with your business venture. Working with a lawyer can make the application process more efficient and less stressful for you. The expertise of a trademark attorney will be of great assistance in ensuring that your application satisfies all of the prerequisites set forth by the federal government for registration. You have the option of hiring an attorney who specialises in your field of work or who is based in your immediate neighbourhood.
The process of selecting a decent trademark name and deciding to file for trademark can involve a lot of stages. Even while you are capable of handling things on your own, it is strongly recommended that you have legal representation. Once you decide to go ahead with trademark registration, an attorney will be able to inform you on the laws and regulations that pertain to trademarks and assist you in selecting a name for your business that is less likely to be rejected or infringed upon by another company.