If you have built a business or are in the process of creating one, you may likely choose to obtain a trademark for it. You may pursue one for a word, phrase, or even a symbol because they represent and cue people to your brand.
When people see your logo, they associate the product (or service) with the distinct set of values that you have established. For instance, if you sell a product of exceptionally high quality, a logo, phrase, or symbol will become more than the thing in and of itself; it represents quality.
When people mimic or outright use your logo, they are piggybacking off your work. They may trick customers into believing they are purchasing a superior product when they are getting a watered-down imitation. This dilutes your brand and harms your business.
Other people and businesses have already protected their intellectual property. Trademarks prevent other people—and you—from using them. By doing so, you expose yourself and your company to legal risk.
If you establish a brand and build a reputation, you may have a name for your company. However, you may be using someone else’s intellectual property. Furthermore, you don’t want to invest the time and money to obtain a pre-existing trademark. Your trademark may even mimic an established name. Or perhaps it is too general to trademark. For example, a name like The Coffee Shop may be impossible to trademark simply because of how broad it is.
How To Conduct A Search
Not only is searching a simple task, but it can also save you time and money. The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) makes registered trademarks available to everyone. Trademarks are meant to protect intellectual property. And knowing what has been trademarked successfully works towards that.
You need to access the Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS) to see them. When you look something up, you will also see trademark classes. If you plan to trademark a design, you can search logos and designs through the USPTO Design Search Code Manual.
Bashirah Martin, PLLC
If you plan on trademarking a name, design, or logo, take the time to do it right. In addition to verifying the uniqueness of your idea, you need to convey that through your application. Don’t miss an opportunity to protect your intellectual property because you didn’t consult with legal counsel. Contact Bashirah Martin, PLLC, to schedule a consultation.