What are the Requirements for a Business Trademark?

Knowing how to trademark a business name is a significant step that will assist you in protecting your brand identification from abuse or theft. A company’s name is the most important thing in the business world. 

Trademark a Business Name

Therefore, the ownership and the right of a name an essential elements for entities that want to retain their identity exclusively.

Trademark registration is an intelligent move that protects the name or brand of a business as it grows by preventing others from misusing or stealing it.

Filing a trademark application is a simple process that can be done in a few easy steps. To know more, continue reading.

How to Trademark a Business Name

To trademark your business’s name, follow these steps:

1. Find Out if You Should Have a Trademark

The choice of a trademark for your company name is critical for ensuring the brand’s protection.

The mere use of your business name is a good starting point, particularly if you have been the first to use it in your local industry.

On the other hand, this protection is limited, and it doesn’t extend to your area.

Filing a trademark application provides a better shield and exclusive rights to use your name for the goods or services it has been registered for nationwide.

It also helps to determine ownership and to make the legal action possible if somebody else misuses your name.

Also, trademark registration enables you to take advantage of international registration and block infringing products from entering the US. On top of that, you can use the ® symbol once your trademark is registered.

2. Search

Before applying for a trademark, you must make sure that your trademark does not exist by following the TESS system, the Trademark Electronic Search System.

Therefore, it serves to avoid situations when one mark is mistaken for another. The query should not only be the exact name but also the variations and similar names.

Say, “Optimal Airplane Rental” and “Optimal Airplane Leasing” may be different, but they can still be rejected because of similarity.

3. Application Process

It is the next step after you have finished with the search and are sure that the trademark you have selected is clear that you should proceed with the trademark application.

The application comprises some essential components:

  • Applicant’s name and address.
  • The applicant of the company is a citizen and a legal entity.
  • Details of contact for future communication
  • The representation of the target mark
  • The mark description should be very specific.
  • The goods or services that are inseparably linked to the mark.
  • Kinds of goods or services.
  • The example of the mark use and the date of first use.
  • Dated signature of the applicant or an authorized representative.
  • Payment of appropriate fees based on the type and number of classes included in the application.

4. File the Application

After completing your application, you have two filing choices: TEAS Plus and TEAS Standard. 

TEAS Plus is cheaper, simpler, and has a lower rejection rate. 

However, if you need to customize your description of goods or services, consider the Standard option, despite its higher risk of rejection.

After submitting, you’ll get a confirmation receipt and a serial number from the USPTO. 

You can use this serial number to track your application status on the Trademark Status & Document Retrieval (TSDR) portal.

How Long is Trade Registration Valid?

Once your trademark registration is accepted, it stays valid for as long as you keep up with it. 

This means as long as you continue to use the trademark for the purposes you registered it for, it won’t expire.

Remember, having a trademark doesn’t mean you own the word, phrase, or image outright. It simply gives you the right to use it to identify your goods or services.

To maintain your registration, you’ll need to show the USPTO that you’re still using the trademark. 

Between the fifth and sixth year after registration, you’ll need to file a Section 8 declaration, which is just a sworn statement confirming you’re still using it.

Then, every ten years after the initial registration, you’ll need to provide actual proof of use. 

This could be a photo of your product or service with the trademark visibly displayed. Just keep up with these requirements, and your trademark will stay protected.

What a Trademark Does for a Business

Trademark registration gives the exclusive rights of a company or trademark owner. To use a national name for goods and services for which the name is registered.

This inhibits rivals from using the name. Or inventing similar names to deceive people and offer you a legal way of protecting you from unscrupulous and understated copycats.

Also, strong grounds are its credibility. Regarding possession of a mark and its legal usage of the ® sign next to a name.

An additional benefit is to restrict the import and sale of goods under the same name foreign producers by U.S. customs and border protection.

What are the Trademark Limitations?

There are several restrictions on trademarks. Significantly, while the USPTO does not enforce trademarks.

It is up to you, the proprietor of the mark, to seek and take action against the trademark violators.

A U.S. mark protects your name only in the United States. However, there are means to globally register marks. A mark will expire after 10 years if not renewed.

Marks cannot take the place of state business registration.

Also, they are not federal tax registrations.

Finally, only if used in the classes of goods and services shown on your application is a trademark protecting your name. 

Differences Between a Trademark, a Patent, and a Copyright

Differences Between a Trademark, a Patent, and a Copyright

All kinds of intellectual property. But are used in diverse manners in many marks, patents, and copyrights.

1. Trademark

Trademarks are used to distinguish one firm from another. They ensure consumers are never confused about who they are doing business with.

They do not subject those business owners to unfair competition from comparable firms that use the same or similar names. Or trademarks as theirs.

Trademarks do not have to be registered with the federal government, although they can be granted for a term of ten years.

2. Copyright

A copyright is a set of rights that automatically vest in the creator of an original piece of authorship. Such as a literary work, music, film, or software.

These rights include the ability to reproduce the work, create derivative works, and distribute copies. And also publicly perform and exhibit the work.

Works do not have to be registered with the United States Copyright Office. But doing so might be helpful. Copyrights are typically valid for the creator’s lifetime plus seventy years.

3. Patent

A patent is a federal government-granted privilege. It allows an inventor to prevent others from manufacturing, selling, or using their invention for a certain period.

They classify patents into three types. Utility patents, design patents, and plant patents. They are typically good for twenty years.

What’s the Cost to Trademark a Business Name?

You should budget between $250 and $750 when applying to trademark your business name with the USPTO on a federal level.

According to the USPTO website, the trademark fees paid may depend on:

  • The number of trademarks you’re looking for
  • The category of products and services for which you want to register a trademark

An applicant may seek only one trademark in an application. The fee to submit a request is usually $250-$350.

But you must file separate applications and pay separate filing costs for each of the products or services. Mostly regarding multi-class trademarks. This method can be costly.

What’s Off-limits for Trademarking?

Certain things are off-limits when it comes to trademarking. Here’s what you can’t register:

1. Names and surnames: Generally, you can’t trademark someone’s name unless it’s gained a unique public meaning.

2. Descriptive marks: If your trademark directly describes the qualities of your product or service, like “red tomatoes” for a tomato business, it won’t fly.

3. Deceptive or misleading marks: You can’t trick people with your trademark. For example, you can’t label non-organic products as “organic.”

4. Place of origin: You can’t claim a trademark based solely on where your goods or services come from. So, “India Cotton” wouldn’t cut.

5. Words in other languages: Translating your trademark into a different language won’t get it registered.

6. Confusingly similar trademarks: If your trademark is too similar to someone else’s, it’s a no-go. They’ll look at how they sound, look, and represent.

7. Prohibited marks: You can’t trademark certain things like official government symbols or offensive material. That includes using portraits or signatures of people without their permission.

Difference Between a Business Name and a Trademark

Your company name is just the name you choose for your company.

The crucial distinction between a company name and a brand name is that brand names can apply more than simply your company name.

Whereas both your state authorities and the USPTO can register your business name.

Your country will not protect the logo, slogan, or other distinguishing characteristics of your firm against being used by others.

This protection is provided by federal trademark laws directly.

Protecting your intellectual property when you run a business involves various steps, and trademarks are just one piece of the puzzle.

They’re not a magic solution, but they do provide some protection for the effort you’ve invested in creating a distinctive brand.

However, staying alert for potential infringement remains crucial, especially in your specific industry.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *