What Is Trademark And Why Is It Important: A Complete Guide

When people think about their brands, most of the time, the first thought goes to the signature image, slogans, or logo. For example, think about Amazon. You might first think about the arrow they use from A to Z.

Well, there is a reason why the users instantly think about that. The companies use their distant Trademark consistently across their marketing.

Along with legal protection, it helps the business to provide the visual tool by which they connect with their consumers.

As for the business, a trademark is an excellent visualization, but when you are going to trademark your company, there are some important things you should remember.

Here is this guide that can help you successfully create a trademark.

What Trademark Is And What You Should Know?

The business must understand the basis of the Trademark first. Well, as per the US Patent and Trademark Office, definition of Trademark is a word, symbol, phrase, or design that works as an identifier for goods and services.

It helps the brand to distinguish itself from its competitors in the market. The Trademark is also used for goods as well as services.

It gives the exclusive right to use the mark to the companies only. And helps prevent competitors from using the same or similar ones like your Trademark.

How To Protect A Brand Name?

When you have your Trademark, using the name, slogan, and logo helps provide some kind of protection from the common law that is difficult to enforce immediately. You can protect your Trademark by registering your Trademark with the state you live in.

However, you can get the strongest and most far-reaching protection for the Trademark by registering it with USPTO.

With the help of federal trademark registration, it can help:

  • Creating a public record of the Trademark you own and showing its ownership.
  • Helps in preventing other companies or people from using the Trademark which is similar to yours.
  • According to federal court, it gives you the right to sue when someone tries to infringe the mark.
  • It can be used for the importation of goods which can infringe the mark.
  • Also, it gives you the right to use your registered Trademark and the symbol ®
how to protect brand name

What Can Be Trademarked Or What Can’t?

While you have the copyright, which helps protect the originally authored work, including novels, songs, works of art, databases, etc.

However, there it’s important to know on which where you can trademark and where to not:

Here is where you can be trademarked :

But here are a few things where you can’t use the trademark option :

  • Any mark which is in use or too similar is used
  • Directly quotes or passages related to religious
  • Description words that are too generic
  • Commonly used messages and phrases.

What is the difference Between Trademark, Copyright, And Patent?

To understand the differences, it’s crucial to know how it works individually.

Trademarks and copyright are related closely, and a lot of time, they can overlap. However, it happens in different forms of intellectual property.

The logo used by the business in commerce can have both trademarks and the copyright in consideration.

But how is it different? Copyright is considered the tangible embodiment of creative work. For example, recording musical instruments or taking photos. The creative work, framing the scene, and playing can be considered tangible forms.

However, trademarks are also considered tangible embodiments of creative work.

Then how is it different? For this, the example might help. The logo design has the copyright for its creative work, whereas trademarks are in addition to rights on the use of goods and services.

The difference between Trademark and copyright can be divided into :

  • Different rights can be granted when it comes to Trademark and copyright.
  • The Trademark covers the use of the mark as it takes the source identifiers and helps prevent others from using it directly or similarly.
  • Copyright covers the rights of the underlying design and helps prevent others from copying, reproducing, or using the creative work.

Trademark Vs. Patent

difference between trademark patent

A patent is another form that comes with intellectual property. However, it’s less related to Trademark than to copyright.

A patent is a protection. However, it’s a form of the invention.

You can take the example of PillCo, a pharmaceutical company that develops new medication. The company protects its invention from replication with the help of a patent.

  • There are some situations where Trademark and patent can overlap. That’s what copyright does, for example, design patents. A design patent helps in protecting certain visual qualities of the manufactured item.
  • But it can overlap with trademark protection of the mark that is used on an item. But again, patents and Trademarks can be different forms of intellectual property where the right has been granted to the holder.

Why Is a Trademark Needed?

Trademark is an important decision that the business owner makes. Once you have registered your selected Trademark with USPTO, here you get a wide range of legal protection. This helps in protecting the business in the future.

Trademarks are useful regardless of what business you are doing. The logo trademark helps make it easier for the customer to know what a product or service is and who is manufacturing it.

If it works efficiently, it can help the company to defend its product and service against the impersonator’s infringement.

With the help of a trademark, the company is allowed to create, promote and invest in its brand as it protects the business in the market.

Along with that, it helps in adding value to the company and allows them to charge the price to its premium depending on what the company is selling to its customers.

With that, it also gives a peace of mind that no other company will use the logo for their branding and sell their products, damaging the reputation or undercutting the price.

why a trademark needed

What Are Different Trademark Symbols?

Well, you get three symbols that can be used for indicating the Trademark and includes :

This one is considered the most popular symbol when it comes to trademarks. And this can be used by anyone regardless of their status in registration. Adding the symbol shows other businesses that you have claimed your logo, name, or slogan as your own.

®

This Trademark is given only when the USPTO approves the use of this symbol. Well, this is considered as your Trademark is registered.

This shows a ‘service mark,’ as it suggests that it’s only used for the services, not for the products. And it’s similar to the ™, as you can use it even when your Trademark is not registered yet.

How To Get A Business Name Trademarked?

While you obtain your Trademark, there is a streamlined process that you can do online.

However, it’s important that you are reading for its lengthy wait as it takes time to get approval.

A series of stages are included, and USPTO tells the applicants to be ready for the decisions for at least 12 to 18 months.

Here are the steps that you need to take to get your Trademark:

Step 1: Find Your Trademark

Once you select the Trademark that has the potential, you need to do some research to decide how you want to be protected.

It includes :

  • Go to the USPTO database, where you need to search if there are similar words, designs, goods, or services that are already using it or not.
  • Then choose the mark format, which is either a design mark, standard character, or sound mark.
  • Now, you have to specify the product you want to trademark and use the list available on the ID Master List.
  • Choose the filing basis you need, and you are set to go.

Step 2: Get Ready To Submit Your Application

You have to create your USPTO account. Once you have done that, you have to submit the application online.

Also, note that it will require the initiating fees that can be either $250 or $350 per class of your goods and services. However, it depends on what you choose. Here you get TEAS Plus and TEAS standard.

Step 3: Wait For Getting The Approval

Once you have submitted your application, USPTO will determine if your application meets all the requirements. After it’s done, they will assign you a serial number and send an examining attorney for the review.

If you clear the application with the help of an attorney, as they find no issue, then you receive the letter to where you have to respond if you want to keep the application active.

Here you get the letter where you either receive approval or denial. If you get the approval, your mark will get published in the “Official Gazette,” it’s a weekly newsletter of USPTO,

After the publication is done, any party who believes that your mark will damage their business will have to file an opposition within 30 days. If no one files anything or the opposition resolves to end up in your favor, you successfully registered your mark.

Step 4: Get Done With All The Final Paperwork

USPTO trademark registration must be maintained as long as you wish the Trademark to be yours.

So make sure you complete all the needed documents. It includes the annual check done by the Trademark Status and Document Retrieval or TSDR system. This helps in making sure that your registration doesn’t expire.

Tips For Successful And Easy Trademark

When you are going for the registration of a trademark, the process can be lengthy and exhausting. However, you can use these tips to make the process a bit easier for yourself.

Choose Unique And Strong Marks

Choosing the marks, make sure you consider the Trademark easier to protect. So there are three ways that you can approach this. You can consider a name, logo, or other marks, such as slogans, to use for the business.

When you are using the descriptive name as a unique name, there will always be a tradeoff. If you choose the name, there will be little marketing on what you are selling. But it comes with little or no protection of trademarks.

Trademark strength which USPTO classifies from the weakest to strongest, includes:

  • Generic
  • Descriptive
  • Suggestive
  • Arbitrary
  • Fanciful or Coined

Make Sure You Are Evaluating The Competition

Another important tip is to make sure the market is not flooded with similar designs or names that you will use. This will increase the chance of infringing the rights of others. So the fewer similar marks exist, the easier it will be to protect trademark rights.

See how competitive your market landscape is, whether local, statewide, national, or global.

Use Your Marks As Consistently As You Can

In the United States, trademarks arise when you use them daily on what your services and goods are. These rights only continue as you are using the Trademark for active use.

That means if you are starting a business, make sure you use your mark as frequently as possible.

Think About Your Business’s Future

Don’t limit yourself when it comes to the next month or year thinking about the brand’s trademarks and overall protection strategy.

Think about where you want your business and the future. Where do you want your business to go, what hope do you have, and which direction do you want to take the business, etc.?

These are important things to consider when you are craving the scope of trademark protection.

Consider The Domains And Social Media

Depending on your business, you should have your social media account from the start. Social media might play a lesser role for others, but for you, it’s important for marketing.

But this tip can help you in promoting your business and the Trademark.

Even though it’s easy, it’s important to consider. Use it on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, etc., and on other social media platforms.

Registering for these social media sites is free, and the domains are cheap, so there is no reason why you should not use them.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How to protect a brand name?

To protect your brand name, the best way is to register your Trademark, as the brand considers it one of its biggest assets.

How to register a band name?

For the different bands, you can determine the mark with which you want to register your band name and process the registration process with USPTO.

To trademark a logo, you need to follow basic steps that include:
– Deciding on the logo concept
– Check if there is any trademark similar to what exists
– Ensure it’s distinctive enough
– Apply for the Trademark as soon as it’s possible
– Wait for the approval.

How Much Does It Cost to Trademark a Name?

Depending on the type, the set has its own cost, such as TEAS cost $225 per class, TEAS RF costs $275, and TEAS regular cost $400 per class.

Additional Sources

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