What is a trademark and do I need one? A trademark is a brand name. A trademark or service mark
includes any word, name, symbol, device, or any combination, used or intended to be used to identify and
distinguish the goods/services of one seller or provider from those of others, and to indicate the source of
the goods/services. Although federal registration of a mark is not mandatory, it has several advantages,
including notice to the public of the registrant's claim of ownership of the mark, legal presumption of
ownership nationwide, and exclusive right to use the mark on or in connection with the goods/services listed
in the registration.
Once you think of an amazing name for your company, you should trademark the name.
Why? Because, as you grow you do not want others using the same name and confusing your customers! Don't waste money by using a service or a lawyer to do this for you! It's quite easy to do and I will walk you through the steps now:
- Before you trademark, you need to do a search for similar marks: http://tmsearch.uspto.gov/bin/gate.exe?f=tess&state=4806:jl62kr.1.1
- You will need to decide how you want your mark format. 1. Standard character format (If you are trademarking your brand name, this is the one you should choose.) 2. Stylized mark format (This is if you have a design or logo to protect but you still would trademark using standard format your brand name separately to be protected).
- Know your classification of good you intent on (or already are) selling.
- What is the difference between a "TM" or ® symbol? You can use "TM" without filing for trademark to make people aware you are claiming rights to that mark, although it does not give you all the rights that a federal registration mark would. A ® can be used only after the USPS actually registers your mark. You can only use the mark for the goods you registered with.
- Ready? You can file online here for $275 (per class of goods- $50 extra if you want to add another class of goods): http://www.uspto.gov/teas/teasplus.htm
And there you have it! The online form is pretty self explanatory and very easy to do yourself :)