It seems pretty straightforward to register a trademark for your firm. Multiple businesses can file the application online and it won’t take more than 90 minutes. The easiest way to register with US Patent and Trademark Office is by clicking on their official website. Before completing the online registration form, remember to check the website’s TESS Database to ensure that none other company has registered using the same mark for goods or services you provide. This seems to be one of the most important tips for register a trademark first.
US Trademark protection is applicable to the first entity to use a mark in a geographical area, where the company operates. But if the mark is already registered by a competitive site, your registration has high chances of getting canceled. For that, you need a lawyer’s help to proceed. But first, let’s just dig deep into the other tips for protecting brand identity.
1. Selecting trademark you can protect:
Remember that not all names and words are easy to protect as trademarks. There are multiples types of them available with a selected level of protection. Get through the categories first.
- The first one is a generic one, which is not subjected to any trademark protection.
- Then you have descriptive one, which is protectable only after procuring “secondary meaning” in the market.
- Another one is a Suggestive trademark, which is protectable and slightly cerebral than descriptive.
- The next protectable trademark in the list is arbitrary, which is subject to greater protection scope than suggestive ones.
- The last one in the list is fanciful. It is given the great level of protection.
The type of trademark you can choose for your business deals with the services or goods you sell. You need to remember one more thing. If your trademarks become similar with other competitors, the identity strength will lessen even more.
2. Cost and information:
The field of online registration for company’s trademark will cost you something around $275 to $325. Furthermore, it requires mandatory information like categories or services or goods for which the trademark is used, design component to the mark and the date when this trademark was first used for your business.
- Internet business owners are asked to refrain registering their name with web extensions like .net or .com, unless they are trying to register mark both without and with.
- Procuring trademark without domain extension will prevent other businesses from registering under the same name by adding a different extension.
- Avoid designating specified design of trademark just for the sake of getting broad protection.
3. Use USPTO for early protection:
Common law trademarks can take place automatically, but registering a trademark with USPTO is important for securing rights to your brand. On the other hand, USPTO trademark registration can easily relate to the date when this application was first filed. If you file for the registration at the earliest, chances are high to get earlier priority date. It will prevent your competitors from procuring same trademarks for their own use.
- For protecting trademark as soon as you can, ensure to file “Intent to Use” application for developing “bonafide” to your company’s logo or name. This is a major tip for trademark registration services
- Apart from exclusive ownership benefits, such trademark registration can serve a practical purpose of notifying competitors on your claims to right.
- Not everyone is clever enough to go through clear trademark clearance research. Maximum time they just run few searches in USPTO database before selecting a result.
- In case your trademarks show in their USPTO database result, you don’t have to deal with issues.
4. Focus on your due diligence:
If you are planning to protect a trademark in the foreign country, you need to know how the system works in that place while in relation to the USA. You need to take some time to familiarize with foreign trademark rules when you seek registration. Some of your research includes WIPO, The International Trade Administration, and more.
5. Work with Madrid System:
Madrid System is primarily your best solution for not just registering but also for managing trademarks on a global basis. Under this agreement, the applicants are allowed to submit only one trademark application for protecting their work within collation of few countries. It comprises of a Madrid Union. The countries, recognizing international trademarks, fill up the Union Madrid.
- If you want, apply for international trademark protection by filling up the MM2 form. You can purchase this from at WIPO website. After that, you need to submit a hard copy to USA office.
- The Madrid Agreement protects around 113 countries. Some of them are France, China, Italy, the European Union and Australia.
- You have the right to select some favorable countries or choose to protect the trademark in all 113 of them. You need to pay a processing fee for registering with WIPO. However, the amount is less expensive than filling individual forms with each country.
6. Registration is just the beginning:
It is mandatory to engage active monitoring system for your trademark registration procedure. There are high chances of businesses moving forward without taking all mandatory precautionary steps. As a result, it falls on the business leader to ensure that the reputation and exclusivity are well-maintained. If you fail to follow the trademark rights properly, this can lead to brand degradation and loss of exclusive rights. On the other hand, if you are trying to expand business globally, you have to take necessary steps for protecting and clearing trademarks under foreign regulations too.
7. Help from a solicitor:
Some countries are not protected under Madrid Agreements, like Canada, Saudi Arabia, and South Africa. In case you want to register a trademark in those countries, you have to head towards an attorney. Look for the solicitor of the country not protected under Madrid agreement. USPTO highly recommends looking for an attorney through International Trademark Association. On the other hand, you have World Trade Review and The Legal 500 for help. These websites have compiled names of attorneys to help you with trademark registration in foreign lands.
These steps will definitely help you register your business trademark within a short span of time, and by following the legalized norms well.
George Dille has been working as an Expert Business Adviser at BusinessVenturesIndia Ltd, who provides trademark registration services online. He is a passionate blogger and loves to share his knowledge with a large community of Business.