Trademarks are an extremely popular way of protecting your business’ name slogans, logos, and overall brand. So far this year, over 180,000 trademarks have been issued by the U.S. Patent Office. You can only imagine how many trademarks have been established worldwide.
If you’re considering applying for a trademark, but don’t know, we’ll walk you through the trademark registration process.
The Trademark Registration Process in 4 Steps
A trademark is a patent-like protection of a business’ name, logo, symbol, or design, used separately or together, to differentiate that business from other businesses.
If your business has any of these properties, you may need a trademark. But first, you have to make sure this endeavor is truly worthwhile.
1. Decide If You Need a Registered Trademark
There are few different reasons, you’d need to register a trademark, but they don’t necessarily apply to all businesses. There are financial reasons you might want a trademark like if you’re looking for investment in your company, applying for a loan, or trying to sell your company.
You might also want a trademark to keep other businesses in your niche from copying your brand. If you’re working with a third party for advertising, you might also want a trademark to prevent them from stealing your likeness for other businesses.
If your business is facing any of these hurdles, read on.
2. Make Sure the Trademark is Available
Before applying for your trademark, you need to make sure that the patent office will actually accept your business’ name and brand.
Patent offices generally reject copycat brands or names that are too general. For example, if you’re running a shoe store called Adeedas, you probably won’t be able to get that trademarked, as it looks and sounds like the already established shoe company, Adidas.
They also won’t accept something like “Shoe Store” because it’s far too general. If you’re located in the U.S., you can check to see if your name is already taken via their Trademark Directory.
3. Create an Unregistered Trademark
Once you’ve determined that your brand’s name hasn’t been taken, you can start using an unregistered trademark immediately.
You do this simply by adding a small “TM” next to the name, logo, or slogan of your business on official documents, signs, business cards, websites, emails, and other things of that nature.
4. Create a Registered Trademark
Lastly, you need to apply for a trademark in your country of origin. If you’re int he U.S., you can use the Patent Office’s Trademark Application System. If you’re situated elsewhere, you can use a site like iGerent to register for a trademark.
These applications have numerous forms and can come with some pretty hefty application fees, so you want to make sure you have everything right. But once your application goes through, and it’s accepted, you’ll have successfully created an un-copyable brand!
Need More Business Advice?
Hopefully, this guide through the trademark registration process will prove useful to you in the near future.
If you need more advice about other aspects of the business world, we recommend checking out the business section of our website.
Whatever your business needs, we’ve got you covered.