A business can remain competitive and profitable until its owner protects its intellectual properties. The trademark or logo of your business is one example of such IP. Your brand logo helps you to sell and promote your goods and services distinctively in the market. Thus, a customer can easily identify your brand in the market just by looking its logo. That’s why it’s very important to think of getting trademark for your business name. There are many benefits of it.
So if you want to know more about, trademark your business name, this article will help you a lot. This article answers all the FAQs that you have in your mind about registering trademark for your business. So keep reading till end.
Also read: How to get Trademark Name?
Most frequently asked question on trademark your business name?
How does a trademark, and a service mark different from each other?
As the name suggests, when you sought a trademark for your business, it protects the goods on your business name. On the contrary, a service mark is sought in case you don’t give goods, but the services to your customers. The significance of both of them, is, they limit your competitors from misleading your customers in the market with false claims.
Should I trademark my business name?
To be granted protected rights, you don’t have to register your trademark. The United States grants you “common-law” rights to a trademark if it is used in connection with your business. You could use the mark immediately and prove your ownership by submitting documentation proving that you were the first to commercially use it. However, common-law trademarks also have certain limitations.
There are many benefits of registering trademark. First, you are legally entitled to use the mark anywhere in the country as long as it is related to the goods and services that you have listed. Common-law rights are only valid in the immediate area where you operate, so registering your name with your state does not protect your rights beyond that region.
Your company’s name is what people see. Imagine another person using your company name to make offers that are contrary to your mission and values. A trademark will give your business maximum legal protection.
A trademark application only covers one class. Do include the additional classifications in your application. This will result in an additional fee. There are 45 trademark classes that your business name must take into consideration. You need to use a class 12 trademark if you are a vehicle manufacturer. And a Class 25 trademark if you want to sell clothing bearing the name of the same company. To determine the right class, think about how you’ll be using it.
Trademark your business name: Who all should do it?
A unique name can be trademarked if it’s not too similar to another trademarked name. It is unlikely that the name, such as The Ice Cream Shop, will be eligible for trademark eligibility. Iguana Ice Cream, for example, would be more likely than other names to be granted trademark protection because it combines common words in an unusual way.
You should also consider where you will be serving. Common-law trademark protection you get by using your name is only available to your immediate area. To protect your business, you will need to file for trademark protection if your business is located in multiple states.
You may also want to trademark product lines that are part of your business. Ford, for example, is a trademark that Ford Motor Company owns. It also owns trademarks on lines of vehicles like the F-150 and Mustang, Ranger, Explorer, and Explorer.
Did You Know? Common-law trademark protection for your business name is limited to your immediate geographical area. You should apply for trademarks if your business is located in more than one state.
Do I need to register a trademark first or an LLC?
It all depends on what your business goals are.
A limited liability company (LLC), is a U.S. business structure classification that defines a private limited company. Although it is typically issued by the state where the company is located, you can obtain an LLC from any other state. A trademark usually takes three months, but an LLC registration takes less than one day.
Registering for an LLC is a good idea if you are looking to start your business immediately. It is more practical to apply for the trademark before you start operating if you have plenty time and are more concerned about securing federal rights to your name than putting it out there.
Is your business in urgent need of a trademark registration?
You do not have to register a trademark for your business immediately.
You must be able show “use in commerce” to register a mark. This means you must be able prove that it was used before you can register it. You can apply for an intent to use ( ITU trademark).
You must still prove your use of an ITU trademark by filling out the documentation. At the same time, you also need to pay any additional fees within the timeframe before your register the mark.
Only three periods are allowed for you to claim commerce use:
- Before publication approval
- Within six months after the publication of the Notice of Allowance (NOA),
- Within the extension period
There are many ways to establish commerce use, including the following:
- Place the mark on any goods you sell or on your website.
- Use the mark to identify services that are being sold
Federal law allows for three types of commerce:
- Foreign commerce
Intrastate commerce is unacceptable. This means that you conduct your business is within your state’s borders.
There is no reason for your business to first apply for the trademark if it can’t prove that you’re using the trademark in commerce or if it won’t be possible to prove it within ICU.
Do I need to register trademarks if I register a business?
The state registers a business name. Federal protection is not provided. A trademark registration is not necessary if you will only be offering products or services within the state. You would need to register a trademark if you offer products or services in multiple states.
How do you know if another person has rights to the mark?
TESS allows you to search the federal trademark database in a variety of ways. You can search for names, words, and phrases that have been granted a federal trademark using the “basic keyword mark search”.
You can search the database using the “word/or design mark search”. This allows you to use words, designs, or combinations of both. To do this efficiently, however, you will need to be familiar with the design codes.
You can also browse the entire directory or specific fields of the database. You can search by publication or registration date if you’re not sure what trademarked.
How long does your registration remain valid if it is accepted?
A trademark registration will be valid as long as you maintain it and for as long as it is in use for its purpose. The trademark of your business name does not give you ownership of the word phrase, image, or phrase. It gives you the right that word phrase, image, or combination thereof, as long as you use the trademark to identify the goods or services you mention in the registration.
But, just using the trademark is not enough. The USPTO must be able to prove that the trademark is still in use by filing a Section 8 Declaration between the fifth anniversary and sixth anniversary of registration. This is a simple, sworn statement.
Actual proof must be provided upon the 10th anniversary of registration. This could be an image of the product or service that uses the trademark. The important thing is you should do it every ten years.
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.