It is easy to register your brand name as a trademark. To protect your intellectual property against misuse, you can register your brand name at the USPTO. Although a trademark is not necessary immediately, it can be beneficial to your brand. This article was written for small business owners who want to trademark their brand name.
Registering a trademark to protect your brand identity against misuse and theft is an important step. Registering a trademark is a fairly simple process That you can accomplish in a few easy steps.
This guide will help you navigate each step of the process to register your trademark and trademark your brand name. Answer some commonly asked questions about trademark registration.
What is a trademark?
The United States Patent and Trademark Office states that a trademark can be defined as “a word, phrase or symbol.”This identifies and differentiates the source of goods from others.
Steps to trademark your company’s name
Trademarking the name of your company is more complicated than filing for an LLC. It may take longer than you think.
To ensure that the name you wish to trademark is not already protected, you will first need to search the federal databases. This can be done using the USPTO’s Trademark Electronic Search System (also known as TESS). Search not just for the name you are looking for, but also for similar names. If the name you are searching for is too similar to one already registered in the same class, your registration may be denied.
This may sound simple, but it can be complicated. For example, Iguana Ice Cream could be confused with Iguana’s Ice Cream. This could also indicate that a trademark registered may look or sound similar to your mark, or that the meanings are identical.
After you have searched for and cleared the name that you wish to trademark, you can begin to prepare your trademark application. A name can be filed for a trademark if it is already in commercial use, or with the intention to use it in the future.
There are 10 components to a trademark application:
- Name and address of the applicant
- The citizenship and legal status of the applicant
- An address and name for future correspondence. This does not need to be the same name as the applicant.
- Drawing of the desired mark. If you only apply for the name and don’t wish to include any design elements, simply type the name.
- The mark is described in detail
- A specific list of goods or services that are covered by the trademark application
- The type of goods or services being offered
- A sample of the mark as it is used, as well as the date when it was first used.
- You or an authorized representative must sign the document with a date
- The application fee will be adjusted to reflect the number and type of classes that are included.
After you’ve submitted the application, there are two options for filing: TEAS Plus or TEAS Standard. The Plus option is cheaper and easier to complete. It also has a lower rejection rate. If you have a custom description for your goods or services that isn’t on the pre-set list Plus, The Standard option might be less risky for you.
After you submit your application, you will be sent a confirmation receipt by the USPTO along with a serial number. This number can be used to verify the status of your application on the Trademark Status & Document Retrieval portal ( TSDR).