Trademarks are an essential tool for any business, small or large. A trademark is any word, slogan or symbol that identifies your unique business offering, and distinguishes it from everyone else. It’s part of what makes your business special.
In order to secure your trademark as uniquely yours, you will need to register with the United States Patent & Trade Office. If granted, a registration gives you the exclusive right to use your trademark in association with your goods and services throughout the United States, and can even be used as the basis for foreign trademark filing should your business expand outside the U.S.
Why is this important? And what should you consider trademarking?
Consider trademarking your business name, any slogan, catchphrase, jingle, and logo you use for your business to prevent other businesses from capitalizing on your name. It is also an important way to build business assets if your goal is to eventually sell your business.
Even if you are registered to do business in a particular state, your business name is not protected as a trademark. Only registering with the United States Patent & Trade Office can give you that protection. And purchasing a domain name for your business’s name and website is no protection, either. Again, you must register your information with the United States Patent & Trade Office.
Still not convinced? Years from now, after you’ve invested your time and money into your business, someone else who *did* register your business name, slogan or logo may take legal action against, and force you to stop using their trademark, even if they registered the trademark years after you started using it. Not registering a trademark can cost a lot of money down the road!
The United State Patent and Trade office will not provide any legal advice to you, so it’s important to consider hiring an experienced trademark attorney to navigate the process on your behalf. An attorney can conduct a pre-application clearance search (to make sure no one else is using your proposed trademark already), file the correct applications, and advise you advise you on the best way to maintain and enforce your rights to your trademark once it is registered.
We can make the process as painless as possible. Give us a call.