How to Get a Trademark?

tony

How to Get a Trademark

You may already have a trademark if you are using a design, phrase, or symbol to identify your service or product to distinguish it from other companies.  Nevertheless, having a mark only provides you will little protection against infringement. To enforce the trademark against infringers using the same mark, you must register your trademark with the right state department.

Step One: Evaluate If You Need a Trademark

A trademark is a kind of intellectual property like a symbol, or word used to identify your goods and services from the rest. It protects logos and brand names. Define the geographic scope of protection you require depending on whether you only operate within your state or beyond.

In the United States, the federal government runs Centralized trademark registration agency through the PTO office.  Although you don’t register your trademark with this body, it comes with several advantages including providing public notice of your rights and allows you to file an infringement action in the federal court.

Register your trademark with your state to get protection within your country’s borders. Also, consider registering your trademark with the USPTO to use the registered trademark logo ® and you can list your mark in the PTO’s database for others to find it easily.

Step Two: Choosing the Trademark

To avoid the likelihood of confusion, search for existing marks. Check the PTO website to compare your trademark to others or pending applications. Keyword searches on the net and your state’s database will help avoid confusion

If Marks look or sound similar to yours, have the same meaning, or create the same general impressions, then look for another one as the PTO will establish whether your services and good are also related.

Find out if the marks cover related goods as consumers will confuse them as though they are from the same source and the PTO will deny your registration.

Step Three: Choosing the Best Trademark

Go for the strongest mark to prevent unauthorized third party infringement. Each trademark falls into one or more of the categories listed below:

Fanciful

Arbitrary

Suggestive

Descriptive

Generic

Your trademark must meet other registration qualifications, or the PTO may reject your application. Avoid offensive marks, a translation of a generic or descriptive word, a geographically descriptive of the source of the services or good, and a surname.

Analyze your business reasons for the trademark and make it easier for the public to pronounce, spell, and read the word. If possible, hire a trademark attorney to help you pick the right mark since they understand the law and the process.

Step Four: Filling the Application

The best and easiest way is to make an online submission. You need the following:

Identify of trademark owner

Application names and address

Depiction of the mark

Clusters of services and goods related to the mark

Reason for filing

Specimen

Signature

Application fees which is non-refundable

After submission, be sure to monitor your application status every three months by entering your serial number. The PTO reviews your request; if you receive an Office Action document, it means there were problems with your application. You are given six months to respond or they’ll deem your submission neglected.  Click here How Much Does a Trademark Cost?

If the evaluator approves your application, your mark will be published in the PTO’s Official Gazette printed online every week.  After the publication, you have a thirty-day period to object the registration of the mark which you may need to consult with your attorney.

The timing when you receive your application depends on your reasons for filing and whether there are any objections.  If your submission is fine, you will receive your registration certificate after eleven weeks after publication.

To maintain your trademark and keep it valid with the PTO, file a maintenance document within the first six years of your registration without which your mark will be canceled. Remember to submit a renewal application before the tenth year of your registration.

Monitor the use of your mark as if it is found to be compromised or being used by other parties without your consent, the third party can file an opposition, and you lose your mark.  Unless you reinforce the trademark, it may face cancellation without appeal.