You’ve made it! You’ve come up with the perfect name for your business, and you’re ready to go out and do it all on your own! But before you get too far ahead of yourself, you need to make sure that your business name doesn’t violate any trademarks that might already exist. To protect your business name, this article will walk you through the process of how to trademark your business name in the United States. Keep reading to learn how!
How to Trademark a Business Name?
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office offers an online trademark search tool that can help you see if your business name is available before you do anything else. You will need to fill out some information about your company and what you want to use for a trademark before running the search, but it should take less than five minutes from start to finish. In addition to searching for similar names, the USPTO will also check your proposed trademark against their database of previously registered trademarks. If there’s a match, it’s possible that someone has already taken ownership of the mark and could potentially send you a cease-and-desist letter or file a lawsuit against you for using their intellectual property without permission. This means that it is important to conduct this type of search as early as possible in order to avoid any unnecessary disputes down the line.
What is an incontestable mark?
An incontestable mark is a trademark that has been registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for at least five years without being opposed or declared fraudulent by anyone during that time period. These types of marks are deemed incontestable. This means that the USPTO has recognized that there is no chance of this mark ever being found invalid. It also means that you can use it as you please, even if someone else has a trademark on a similar name. The only way to get an incontestable mark is through registering your business’s name, logo, slogan, etc., with the USPTO.
How do I trademark my business name?
- Find out if your company’s proposed name is available by searching the USPTO database of registered trademarks
- If you’re interested in using a company’s federally-registered mark, contact them directly and ask permission
- File application to register a new mark with USPTO within six months of first use; include sketches or pictures; specify what goods/services the new mark will be used for; pay the application fee
The Marks Must be Non-Generic.
There are several types of trademark protection. To Trademark Process In USA for your business name, you will need to file an application with the USPTO and pay a fee. Applications can be filed online.
The marks must be non-generic which means that it cannot just include common words like technology or sports. They must also have either acquired distinctiveness through extensive use or secondary meaning because of their association with an entity. In order for your mark to be granted trademark status, it must not only be distinctive but distinctive enough to distinguish goods and services from others.
Applications should also not violate any other trademarks registered before yours.
Once the application is submitted, there is typically a waiting period between 6 months and 1 year before registration takes place help you to know about Entrepreneurship: What’s Really Important
Trademarks are Geographically Limited.
Since trademarks are geographically limited, you should register your business name as a trademark before using it. In order to do this, you will need to file for trademark protection at both the state and federal level. Registering for trademark protection can be costly, so it is often done concurrently with filing for copyright protection or other intellectual property rights. Filing first with the state of registration can reduce costs and waiting time later on in the process. State registrations typically cost less than $150 per class of goods and services. Registration fees vary from state to state, but they usually range from $200-$300 per class of goods or services.
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There Must be Evidence of use.
The trademark process involves filling out an application and paying a fee. If you are able to show proof of use for the business name, it is more likely that your application will be accepted. If you intend on filing an intent-to-use application, show proof of non-public use prior to when you submit your official trademark application.
Do I Have to Register My Trademark With the State?
It is not mandatory to register your trademark with the state, but it is highly recommended. If you do choose to register your trademark with the state, make sure you have registered your company name and assumed business name before registering your trademark with the Secretary of State’s office. It should also be noted that once registered with the state, it will be more difficult (or impossible) for another person or business to file for a similar mark for their own use. If I’m an individual starting my own business, what type of registration do I need? You can start by filing for an assumed business name using form SB-100 available on the Arizona Corporation Commission website. Once you receive this form from them, it must be filed with the County Recorder where your principal place of business is located.
There are four basic types of trademarks:
- Word marks;
- Designs; and sound marks.
Is a registered mark better than an unregistered mark?
It is important to note that not all business names need trademarking. If you are starting your business as an individual and plan on doing mainly freelance work, for example, trademarking your name may not be necessary. If you do decide to register your name, it can be done through the USPTO website.
The filing fee is $275 for most applicants who have at least one class of goods or services to list with their application. There are additional fees for each class of goods or services if there are more than one listed. For those applying from outside the U.S., there is a $100 international processing fee per mark per country submitted.
Consider using an attorney.
In order to protect your business name, you will need to file an application with the USPTO. The application process for a trademark is tedious and expensive. It may be worth it for some businesses, but if you have no plans on expanding nationally or internationally, you might want to pass on this option. The next step in how to trademark a business name is to consider using an attorney. When filing for a trademark, the person submitting it must have use of that mark and there are strict rules governing what constitutes use of a mark. A company cannot simply hold onto its rights by registering its trademarks without actually using them; it must also show that they are actively trying to promote its products under that mark as well.
To trademark your business name, you will need to follow these three steps: you will need to file an application, which can be done with the help of a lawyer or some other legal representative. You will also need to pay a fee for your filing and publication, which could differ depending on what kind of trademark you are applying for. Lastly, you will have to make sure that nobody else already has your trademark.
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