Trademark Tips For Registering Trademark In The United States
Trademark is that fancy little symbol, tag line or phrase, word or device that you attach to your business or any of its products. It is that thing that identifies your company or any of its products and separates it from the rest.
It is, to say the least, a critical component of any business. After all, it is that little piece of information that makes your company, your products, or your services distinct. It is protected by the law and is therefore subject to registration. Below are some tips that could be helpful in the registration process of your own trademark in the United States.
Search for the mark.
Begin with researching the trademark's availability. There are literally millions of registered trademarks out there. To ensure that you will not get in trouble for using a particular symbol, word, brand name, packaging, or phrase, it is advisable to first ensure that no other company or individual has the rights for the mark you are seeking to use.
A good place to start is the USPTO or the United States Patent and Trademark office's website. This is a free tool that can make searching for the availability of the 'mark' you are after.
Please take note that in the process of using the USPTO website, you will have to follow the various TESS or Trademark Electronic Search System's links in order to secure the availability of the mark. This search system has a database for abandoned marks, registered marks and marks whose applications are in progress. Note, however, that not only trademarks in use in the United States are registered here. Only those that have been registered with the federal registration are listed here. So further researching is still needed. Nevertheless, USPTO's website trims down the possibility of you running into trouble with the mark you are planning to use for your company.
Understand that similar names can be used by different companies.
Not because a name is already in use does it mean that you can no longer use it for your own product, company or service. You are mistaken if you think so.
Names that are used as trademarks by other companies can still be used by several other different companies so long as these companies do not compete in the same industry. No wonder, a name can be used for an upscale car, an alcoholic beverage and a pesticide.
At the first sign of danger, run.
If the name you are considering seems to have been used and is used by many other different companies in many other different fields, it is advisable to just consider using another name. This is because registering a trademark that is quite popular in other businesses is a potential source of conflict and legal battles. This can also potentially limit the number of investors that would be willing to dole out their money on your business. Experienced investors typically dont fancy companies that can potentially meet trademark litigations in the future.
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