Table of Contents Hide
- How to Trademark a Business Name
- Cost to Trademark Business Name
- Other costs
- Benefits of Business Trademark
- Copyright vs Trademark
- Should I Trademark My Business Name or Logo First?
- How Long Does a Trademark Last?
- How Long Does It Take To Trademark a Name?
- Should I Trademark My LLC Name?
- Can I Trademark My Business Name for Free?
- Related Posts
People widely use trademarking as a method to safeguard their intellectual property (IP) and commercial interests. Businesses can apply trademarks to a variety of assets such as brand names, logos, services, and labels. In other words, trademarking your business name can provide several advantages, such as legal protection against infringement and the ability to establish brand recognition. This article explains how to trademark a business name and logo including its cost and benefits.
How to Trademark a Business Name
You can accomplish the process of applying for a trademark in four straightforward steps. However, it is important to note that the entire approval process may take six months or longer. While the paperwork for a trademark application may appear to be uncomplicated, it is crucial to allocate sufficient time and conduct thorough research. Also, the act of submitting a trademark application does not ensure its approval, as the application undergoes a comprehensive evaluation process. In the event of an application denial, it is important to note that filing fees are nonrefundable. The following steps outline the initial process.
#1. Determine If You Need a Trademark
When a business relies on a name, it has a right to brand protection. But this protection has limits and depends on the business being able to prove that it was the first in its industry or class to use the name. Most of the time, these common law rules only apply to the area where the name is being used. In addition, it is important to note that pursuing legal action for federal trademark infringement is only feasible if a business has registered its trademark. This means that if someone were to misuse or steal a business name, legal recourse would only be available if the business had taken the necessary steps to register its trademark.
The owner of a trademark has exclusive use of the name for the goods or services it was put forward for. This not only establishes the owner’s ownership of the name but also provides national-level recognition. Registering your trademark offers several benefits, including simplified application processes for trademark registration in other countries. Additionally, it grants you the right to file a lawsuit in federal court to protect your trademark. The process of registering a trademark makes it possible to use the ® sign next to a name.
#2. Explore Existing Trademarks
We recommend utilizing TESS, the Trademark Electronic Search System provided by the patent office, to ensure that that name or mark is not already in use. This system allows you to search for existing trademarks that may be similar in nature to your desired name or mark. Conducting a thorough trademark search before submitting a trademark application is crucial, as the USPTO will reject a trademark that it deems too similar to an existing one.
Furthermore, we highly recommend conducting a thorough search for any potential trademark conflicts before submitting an application. This includes searching for not only the exact name but also any variations or similar names that may exist. Failure to do so may result in the rejection of the application. When selecting a name for your airplane rental or leasing business, it’s important to choose a name that is distinct and easily searchable. Similar names, such as “Star Airplane Rental” and “Stars’ Airplane Leasing,” may not appear in the same search results and could potentially result in a rejected application.
#3. Set up an Application
Developing an application demands a substantial amount of effort, hence it is crucial to ensure that the application is comprehensive. This is almost as crucial as ensuring that the brand name or slogan of the application is not already in use. So, if you want to fill out an application, you’ll need to get the following information: Personal information about the trademark applicant, like their name, location, and other relevant information, is essential for filing. The entity in question could either be an individual or a business. It is also important to remember that people or companies outside of the United States will need to hire a lawyer to finish this process.
#4. File the Application
The Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS) offers two distinct filing options: TEAS Standard and TEAS Plus. The TEAS Plus option is a cost-effective filing alternative; however, it is not available to all applicants. In order to utilize TEAS Plus, it is imperative to employ a typical description from the Trademark ID manual that corresponds to your particular good or service. When crafting your own description, it is essential to adhere to the standard TEAS application guidelines. Upon submission, the system will generate a filing receipt that will contain a unique serial number. The applicant can use this number for future reference of the application.
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) sends the application sent by an individual to a government patent attorney for a thorough review. A USPTO patent attorney may issue an official communication, commonly referred to as an “office action,” to the applicant if they identify any issues during the review process. In general, they grant applicants a period of six months to address any concerns or difficulties that may arise. If the applicant fails to address these concerns or difficulties, the application filing will lapse.
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) will publish a valid trademark application in an online journal. They take this step to give others an equal opportunity to oppose the trademark if they choose to do so. The estimated duration for this task is approximately three months. If there is no opposition, the registration process of your trademark will successfully complete. In the event that your trademark encounters opposition, it may be necessary to enlist the services of a trademark attorney to safeguard and pursue your trademark.
Cost to Trademark Business Name
Although people widely prefer and recommend using the TEAS method for filing a trademark registration application, it is worth noting that you can also submit a “paper” application form to the USPTO under specific circumstances. Typically, the cost of offering a paper trademark application is $750 per category of goods or services.
Note that regardless of the filing method you choose, the USPTO will not refund the filing fee if they reject your application for trademarking a business name. Once the 10-year period of trademark registration has lapsed, the cost of renewing your mark can be substantial, with electronic filing fees reaching up to $300 and paper applications costing as much as $500.
It is important to note that when filing for a trademark, there are other several costs to consider. One of the most significant expenses is the filing fee, which can vary depending on the type of application and the number of classes of goods or services you wish to register. However, it is also worth considering the cost of hiring a trademark attorney to assist you with the application process. While this is not a requirement, it can be beneficial to have a legal professional guide you through the process and ensure that your application is complete and accurate. It is also important to keep in mind that the cost of hiring an attorney can range from $600 to $3,000, depending on the complexity of your case and the attorney’s experience level. Therefore, it is essential to factor in these additional costs when budgeting for your trademark application.
Benefits of Business Trademark
When you successfully get the legal rights to your protected business name, you own the mark in its entirety and can use it to talk about your goods or services anywhere in the United States. It’s important to remember that this formal ownership gives you the only right to use the trademarked name. If someone else uses it without your permission, they could be sued. So, it’s very important to protect your business’s protected name and make sure it isn’t being used by anyone else. Trademarking your business name can provide a multitude of benefits that can help your business thrive. Thus, they include the following:
#1. Attracts Potential Investors
If you have a trademarked business name, you may show evidence of ownership to potential investors, which increases the likelihood that they will make a financial contribution to your company.
#2. Promote Your Brand
The process of creating a trademark involves aligning logos, fonts, and colors with the trademarked term in order to create a brand identity. Developing a powerful brand by obtaining a trademark for your business name allows you to control the emotions that your target audience experiences in response to your brand.
#3. Clarify the Situation
By registering your company name as a trademark, you prevent your customers from confusing your company with another, which could have a negative impact on your sales.
#4. Avoid Legal Action
If you don’t have a trademark, another company in your sector could sue you or take legal action against you if they use a name that is the same as or similar to yours. After you have registered, you will have the ability to take legal action if another company uses the same name as your company.
In general, if you do not register a trademark for your business, you put yourself in danger of getting into legal difficulty if another company uses a name that is similar to yours. This is especially true if the other company has registered their name as a trademark. You may need to change the name of your company completely if this occurs. Without obtaining a trademark, your company’s name cannot achieve national recognition and will not have protection against misappropriation.
Copyright vs Trademark
Copyright is a legal protection that safeguards various forms of creative works, such as literature, films, music, visual art, and software. This law protects a work that exists in a tangible medium perceptible to the audience’s senses. Consumers must be able to see, hear, or use the work. To deem the concept or phrase acceptable, one must ensure that it has proper documentation and is not overly familiar. In contrast, a trademark is a distinctive phrase, word, symbol, or design that serves as a representation of a company or brand offering goods or services. Marketing materials and product labeling are the usual contexts where this term is employed.
Copyrights serve as a legal safeguard for the original design, preventing any unauthorized copying or reproduction. On the other hand, trademarks are designed to protect a business’s logo or brand identity from being used by competitors. Upon the creation of a work in a material form, copyrights are automatically earned. However, registering the copyright can provide additional benefits. When commissioning a logo design, it is important to ensure that a written agreement is in place, granting your business the copyright to the logo. Also, by having control over the usage and reproduction, you can determine the extent to which it can be utilized.
Should I Trademark My Business Name or Logo First?
If you need to pick one application to submit immediately due to financial constraints, it is recommended that trademark protection come first. Word marks often offer broader protection than design marks, and brand names are the least likely to alter over time.
How Long Does a Trademark Last?
Trademarks, in contrast to patents and copyrights, do not have a finite lifespan. As long as the owner maintains consistent trademark use, the trademark will remain in effect. When the USPTO approves a trademark for use in commerce, the owner is obligated to keep employing the mark in everyday situations.
How Long Does It Take To Trademark a Name?
To be precise, your trademark registration may be denied for numerous legal reasons at any time. The average time frame is between 12 and 18 months. The process of getting your trademark registered is lengthy and comprises multiple steps.
Should I Trademark My LLC Name?
Your company name and logo need more than just an LLC for protection. To do so, trademark registration is also required.
Can I Trademark My Business Name for Free?
No, you can’t. The United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) requires an irrevocable filing fee in order to register a trademark.
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