A trademark is an important tool for any business. A trademark insures that a company’s name and logo are protected by the government and can’t be used against the company’s will. As the owner of a new company, trademarking your name and logo is an important step to ensuring those marketing tools remain exclusively yours. This could assist your company in having the best advertising capabilities. However, the application process might seem daunting, particularly since the government rules are complex. A few easy steps can lead you through though. Below are five steps for applying for a trademark.
Determine You Can Trademark
Before you apply for a trademark, you should first take time to determine that you can trademark your name or symbol. You cannot trademark words or images that have already been trademarked by someone else. The item you wish to trademark cannot seem generic. You cannot trademark a common symbol for instance. The government provides a database of all existing trademarks. You can check your idea against this database to ensure that you can trademark it.
Prepare You Trademark
As you put together your application, you’ll need to prepare drawings of you trade mark. These need to be hyper accurate to the trademark you are going use. Any mistakes now will be prat of the permanent trademark. You also need to include instructions about how you intend to display it in various circumstances. For example, if you are trademarking a name make sure that it includes how you will display it on a url. This stage is critical to ensuring that you have full use of the trademark.
Apply For Trademark
With your designs for a trademark ready, it is time to apply for it. Your application will outline other information about the trademark. You will need to identify what sort of industry your mark will be used in. You will also need to identify whether the mark is a name or a design and when you first used it. Additionally, you will have to pay a fee, usually between $275 and $325. If finance is a touchy subject for you, look into web banking. This is your last chance to make sure that everything related to your trademark is correct. If your application is denied, you will not get the money back.
The Evaluation Period
For the next 4 to 6 months, your trademark will be evaluated by government lawyers. They will go through it in minute detail and confirm that it is unique, and first concocted by your company. They will also check to confirm you are using it as you outlined. I this process the lawyers may contact you to ask questions or gain additional information. Answer them promptly and fully. This will seem like a long and cumbersome process but be patient. This is needed to make sure your trademark is valid.
At the end of this period you will be contacted with the results. If the lawyers reject the copyright they will include detailed explanations as to why. The lawyers may also ask for small changes to make it acceptable. Once this is done, the government will pass the trademark and send you a certificate of registration. Once you have this you need to periodically issue a statement of use, confirming that you are still using the trademark. Otherwise the trademark is yours to use and defend.
A trademark application is a straight forward application. It’s an essential part of marketing planning. You must first make sure your trademark isn’t used by anyone else. After that you should prepare drawing and examples of you will display and use the trademark. You can then put in an application and pay the fee to get the process going. The government then takes the trademark through an evaluation period. Finally you’ll receive approval which you need to periodically confirm. These steps completed, you’ll be free to use your trademark to market your company.