Registering a trademark is an important step business owners can take to protect their sources of income from predatory competitors and would-be copycats who might try to steal their customers by copying elements of a brand. Following the registration of a trademark via the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), business owners benefit from a variety of protections — most specifically brand and mark protection
Here’s how to register a trademark:
- Decide whether registration is appropriate: By registering your brand, you can put an “®” symbol after your company’s moniker. You can also license and sell your brand to others. Furthermore, no one will be permitted to use your brand without your express permission.
- Search to see if your trademark is available: It’s vital to determine if someone else is already using your trademark. If it’s not already registered, then you can move forward with your own registration of your mark.
- File a Federal Trademark Application: Follow the guidelines to file your trademark application. The application may be completed online; however, there are important guidelines — in addition to fee requirements — to which you must adhere.
- Wait. There will be a waiting period before a clerk assigns a number to your trademark case. If someone tries to state that you’re infringing on their trademark in filing your application, you may require legal assistance.
- Maintain your registration: If you want to keep your trademark registration after approval, you’ll need to follow several steps approximately once every 10 years to keep the registration.
Do you have a brand you need to protect from would-be competitors or copycats? A trademark registration could be the right path for you. By speaking with a trademark litigation lawyer, you can determine whether or not registration is appropriate for your needs.
Source: FindLaw, “Registering a Trademark,” accessed Aug. 17, 2017