What Your Business Needs To Know About Trademarks
Trademarks will prevent you from using someone else’s intellectual property. But more importantly, they will protect yours. To better protect yourself, understand what symbols such as ™ and ® mean and how to use them. Although both refer to trademarks, they don’t indicate the same things.
What Is A Trademark?
This is what separates or designates your product or brand from others. And it can do so in seconds. Examples:
- A slogan or expression
- A word, phrase, or symbol
- A picture or design
If your business creates a product, some specific processes and values go into creating it. Furthermore, your employees understand your company’s values and work under them. There’s even a sentiment that goes along with your products.
A picture or logo could tie the product to your business, your values, and your standards. A trademark could protect your brand. It prevents someone from using your logo, putting it on their substandard product, and ruining your reputation. After trademarking something, people can’t even use something that sounds like it.
How To Get a Trademark
When you successfully register any of the above things with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), you have a registered trademark. This is denoted with the ® symbol. A ™ symbol is for an unregistered trademark, and it does not come with federal protection. This may be a good starting point for your business, but you should seek a registered trademark.
A registered trademark is protected under federal law. It will apply throughout the United States. Because of its value, get an attorney to help you file with the USPTO. This is not a fill-in-the-blank process. To earn a registered trademark, you and your attorney will need to argue why your mark is eligible for registration. An attorney can help you assess how strong your chosen mark, logo, design, or symbol is. Will others be able to mimic it enough to leverage your brand? And will they be able to do this without violating any laws?
Revisions & Adjustments
When you apply for a registered trademark, it may be rejected. This is why you should seek out legal counsel. The USPTO is going to decide on your submission. They might conclude that it doesn’t meet the legal requirements for a registered trademark. Or they will claim it is too similar to something that has already been registered.
An attorney can draft responses and suggest corrections. Attorneys can also refute the conclusion the USPTO reached.
Bashirah Martin, PLLC
Protect your brand and your business. Don’t lose your ability to trademark your intellectual property by either failing to do it or filing it incorrectly. Contact us through our website to schedule a consultation. We can also be reached at (281)-747-1326.