A business remains competitive and successful till the time its owner protects its intellectual property. One such IP is the logo or trademark of your business. If you won’t protect the trademark of your company, someone else can use your trademark logo. He will sell and promote his goods and services on your brand name using your logo. Thus, the first step towards protecting your brand name is to know, “how to trademark a business name?”
This article will tell you step by step process to register trademark for your business name with the USPTO. So keep reading till end.
A brief idea of registering trademark for your business name
Before we move on and dig into core process of registering a trademark, here we want you to give a brief idea. It is regarding, the things you need to understand before getting trademark for your business name.
You must be thinking, “Do I need to trademark my business name?” Yes, it is important to do, because it protects business name from misuse by your competitors. Registering the trademark for your business name requires three simple steps to follow. Thus, if you are new business owner, you need to secure a trademark for your business as soon as you can.
This article will serve the needs, of small or large both type of business owners. So, if you are ready to register and want to know steps, or thinking, whether should I trademark my business name or not? This article will answer all your queries.
But before proceeding we just want to clear that, registering a trademark for your business name is an important though a very simple and straightforward process. You can do it in a few easy steps, so don’t stress out yourself much, and keep reading till end. By the time you end this article, you will have a good insight about trademark, and process to acquire it.
What is a trademark for a business name?
As per the definition of USPTO, the trademark is “a word, phrase, symbol, and/or design that identifies and distinguishes the source of the goods of one party from those of the others.” Thus, to make your brand stand unique in the market you need to provide a symbol, logo, phrase, design, etc. to it.
Hence, when customers buy your product in the market, they easily distinguish it from other brands, by seeing the logo of your business name on it. And once your logo is legally registered with the USPTO, it is called as trademark of your business name. Wondering, how to trademark a business name? Read the next paragraph to know it.
How to trademark my business name?
By the time you finish this section, you will understand how to register a trademark for your business. So as told earlier, registering trademark is a combination of three simple processes:
Search for available trademark:
You can’t secure a trademark which is already available in the market, i.e. a logo which is already a trademark of some other brand. Hence, you need to search the databases of USPTO, to ensure, the trademark you are going to register is unique and novel. For this you can take the help of TESS (Trademark electronic search system) of USPTO.
If you don’t, select a unique TM name, USPTO could reject your trademark application citing a prior art reference to it. Wondering what is a similar trademark? Here is you answer.
Similar TM doesn’t means, similarity from word to word, your trademark will be treated as similar to other trademark, if it phonetically sounds same, its design is same, looks similar, etc. Thus, do a proper research before finalizing and registering the trademark for your business name. However, for such things you might require a legal help for trademark filing. So don’t refrain from doing that and hire a trademark filing professional who can help you with this.
Preparing the trademark application:
Since, you have come to a conclusion on which trademark you want to proceed with, now is the time to prepare a trademark application for it. Your trademark name application consists of following important components:
- Name and address of yours, i.e. applicant applying for TM
- Your citizenship and legal entity
- Don’t forget to mention, correspondence address, it can be different from the first point.
- Add the drawing of your business logo you want to register as trademark. If you just want the trademark business name and not the logo, simply type the name of trademark.
- Give a complete description of the trademark you want to register.
- Your trademark must belong to a specific category of goods or services. Hence, mention it in a particular class of goods or services.
- Must to put a signature with date on the application. It can be of your, or the authority who is representing you at USPTO.
Last but now the least, most important step is to, pay an appropriate fee for filing the application as per the class of trademark.
Filing the trademark application with the USPTO:
Once your application is ready, you can now file it the USPTO. USPTO in return issues you a confirmation receipt with a serial number. You can use it to later check the status of your application on Trademark status and document retrieval portal (TSDR portal).
USPTO Examination and grant of Trademark for your business name:
Before filing the final application for registering a trademark, always carry out the proofreading of application. It is because, USPTO will carry out in-depth examination of application, and if it doesn’t meet the criteria of USPTO, you receive an office action/rejection from them. Thus, proofreading will help you eliminate all such mistakes that can later hand you office action during examination.
However, even if you receive the office action, you don’t need to worry. Just, read the full report, find the reasons for office action or rejection. If necessary arrange a telephonic interview with the examiner to understand the office action reasons clearly.
You can then file the office action response, mentioning arguments that reject the examiners objections. However, if you don’t get enough valid arguments for it, you can simply amend the objections of examiner and refile the application. This process keeps iterating till your application is finally accepted and you get the trademark for your business name.
Also read: Office Action on Patent: Reasons & Solutions
Registering a trademark is a simple process, yet a process that requires specific skills. It is because, a single mistake during the trademark prosecution, will hand you the consequences that can become very serious in future. Hence, if you are experienced and know the nooks and corners related to trademark prosecution, then file it yourself. However, if you are a new business owner thinking of acquiring the trademark for your brand name, hire a professional trademark filing expert. For this purpose you can hire us, “Patent Paralegal Force”.
Our client centric approach has given us clients from over 45+ countries in past ten years. We work with fully functional team of experienced trademark paralegals. They assist you at every point till you get the trademark for your business name. Read more about us here.