Selecting a trademark is an important step towards building a brand. This mark is often the first connection between your business and the consumer. Business owners and entrepreneurs can strengthen their trademark by registering it with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). This federal registration results in the ability to have nationwide protection.
Before beginning the application process, it is important to ask yourself these two questions:
#1: Is the mark federally registerable?
One thing the USPTO will consider when reviewing your application for trademark registration is whether or not there is a likelihood that your requested trademark could get confused with another existing trademark. If your mark is similar to another registered mark, the feds are likely to reject the request for trademark protections. You can reduce the risk of a rejection based on the possibility of likelihood of confusion by searching currently registered marks.
#2: Is the mark something I can protect?
A trademark is little to no good if you cannot enforce it. The easier it is to protect, the better. You can increase the risk of a strong trademark by avoiding generic or descriptive terms. Instead, focus on marks that are more suggestive or fanciful marks. These are more distinctive. They are often creative and unusual. They are commonly invented words like the word Zillow, the word used to serve as the name of the online real estate application.
It is important to note that a mark that begins strong can become weak over time. As a result, it is important to regularly review the strength of the mark and take steps to help better ensure your trademark remains a strong mark.