Don’t Let Your Brand Get Stolen By Someone Else
Here are some quick tips for obtaining A Trademark. Obtaining a trade mark for your brand name or business is a serious business and must not be treated with kid’s gloves. Many have tried to achieve this without being guided and often times, they fail. This article is aimed at guiding you in navigating the path with respect to trademark and patents in the United States.
The Importance of Trademark To Building A Brand
Make Sure Your Trademark Is Available:
Ensure your trademark is not in violation of the rights of others before you begin investing in it. This will help avoid being sued for trademark infringement and being compelled to change the trademark after the trade name has been recognized by clients.
Create Legal Ownership Rights:
As a business person, national ownership of a trademark is achieved when you obtain a federal trademark registration. This prevents others from making use of a similar trademark as you could lose potential and existing customers. For Example, “Linanity” trademark was filed for by Jeremy Lin. Others filed for the same trade name at the same time leading to “Linsanity” becoming a significant term in the description of Lin’s outstanding rise within the NBA.
Obtaining Intangible Property Rights:
Trademarks are intangible and are useful in attracting investors and selling your business. It can be licensed, bought or sold, just like any other form of property. As your brand increases in popularity and reputation over time, its price increases also.
Easier Enforcement of Trademark Rights:
Litigation is not cheap, when you own a trademark, it becomes inexpensive to enforce. This is reflected by the fact that majority of internet based companies have a trademark policy. If there is any infringement on your trademark, a simple letter to the appropriate authority will take care of it.
All these are easily achieved only if it is a Federal Trademark. For search engines, Google will block adverts that infringes on registered trademarks while apple will prevent similar names from appearing in its apple store.
The Process of Registering a Federal Trademark
Here is the process involved in the registration of a registered trade mark.
Choose A Trademark:
Select one that is presentable and globally accepted especially if you are planning on running an international business.
Hire An Attorney:
An attorney that specializes in trademark is necessary for this because registering a trademark requires legal processes that could be
tricky. It is safer to hire an attorney who specializes in this area to guide you through the process. This is worth it in the long and short run. Attorneys charge a flat and competitive rate.
Make sure that your attorney performs an in-depth search for common Federal and state trademarks. The following are useful notes:
1. Do not perform this search for yourself as you may not know what could lead to conflicts.
2. Make sure searches are comprehensive, do not settle for limited searches, there must be no legal conflicts.
3. Improper search is the reason many applications are rejected by the United States Government.
Your application is filed with the USPTO by your trademark attorney upon payment of a $325 filing charge per class of goods and/or services. If your application is successful, you will be issued a trademark certificate in less than a year, (approximately 8 months after filing). If it is denied, you will be notified also in less than four months after filing.
Monitor and Protect Your Trademark:
The following must be done to protect your trade mark.
1. Your trade mark needs to be renewed five years after registration.
2. It should be renewed five years after and every ten years thereafter.
3. Monitor your trademark to prevent infringements.
4. Enforce your trademark right, that is your responsibility.
5. Failure to do the above can lead to complete loss of your rights irrespective of the fact that you have a federal registration.
It is a wise investment to spend a few dollars that will save you from expensive court cases in the future, make wise investments today.