Getting a trademark is an invaluable process. It protects your business identity from any kind of misuse. It could also prove to be crucial when you want your brand to stand out and further with success you would also want to fend off anyone who tries to copy your business identity. You are required to follow a full legal process to trademark your brand. Let us move forward and know how to trademark a business name while understanding the term, process, and other important details of the trademark.
What is a Trademark?
Trademark is a term used to protect your business’s identity. Trademarking can be done through the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Upon filing and acceptance of your trademark, your brand will be legally protected from any misuse or theft. USPTO trademark filling is eligible for 10 years. After which you are required to re-register your trademark or you will risk losing it. You should also know the eligibility to trademark a business name.
What Can Be Trademarked?
A business can trademark any phrase, word, symbol, device, or even colour. The main purpose is to give a distinction between your goods and others. You must also remember that you can only trademark something if you use it in a commercial setting.
What Can’t Be Trademarked?
There are a few things, you must remember before you file for a trademark. Foremost is the list of things you can not trademark.
- The likeness of a U.S. President, former or current
- Proper names or likenesses without consent from the person
- Generic phases or terms
- Government symbols
- Vulgar or disparaging words or phrases
- Immoral, deceptive, or scandalous words or symbols
- Sounds or short motifs.
What are the Types of Trademark?
There are mainly 4 types of trademarks and depending on what you want to trademark and how you want to trademark, these 4 types can be used.
- Trademarks – Businesses that sell products or goods can file for these marks
- Service Marks – Businesses that sell services can file for these marks
- Collective Marks – If members collectively want to distinguish any product or service from non-members then they can file for these marks
- Certification Marks – These marks satisfies certain standards for either a product or service.
How to Trademark a Business Name?
There are certain steps you must follow to trademark a business name legally. The main body formed for accepting or rejecting your trademark is the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Here is how you should approach the process.
1. Search the Federal Database
The foremost thing to ensure is to search your business name. This search will show you whether your business name or anything similar is already in the list of existing trademarks or not. You can do this search with their trademark database (TESS). It is also recommended to search names that are too similar to yours. USPTO may also reject your trademark if it is too similar to someone else.
2. Apply for Trademark with Application
If your search result was positive and you think you can move forward, then apply and fill out the USPTO application. You can file a name that you are already using or will use in the future. The application is lengthy and will consist of many questions.
3. File your Trademark
Coming on to your question of how much to trademark a business name? USPTO gives you two options to file your trademark, TEAS Plus which costs $250 and TEAS Standard costs $350. After your form submission, you will get a confirmation and a serial number. You can use the serial number to track your filing status.
Why Should You Get a Trademark?
There are many benefits when you trademark a business name. The process can be lengthy but it will be fruitful. Here are some of the main reasons you should go for a trademark.
- Protection across the US
- Protection from Counterfeit products
- Federal Law protection
- You can also use ® symbol with your logo
- Eases your way to trademark in other countries
- Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act allows you to sue same or similar domain names
It is always beneficial to trademark a business name. It will protect your brand but at the same time, it is also a lot of work. If you are small business selling locally, it is advised not to go for a trademark just yet. If your goals are bigger and willing to expand shortly then you should go for a trademark.