There is a simple process to help small business owners create a trademark that protects their identity. Trademarking make your products and services distinct from the competition. You can trademark a company business logo, name, phrase, or any combination of these. Designing a small business trademark prohibit competitors from using the same or similar items on their own material. Luckily, you can create a trademark to safeguard the words and symbols that represent your company. This protects you from any potential infringement that can negatively impact your business identity. Continue reading to learn how to create a trademark to protect the identity of your small business.
Conduct A Trademark Search
Before you create a trademark, you must conduct a thorough search. A trademark search helps business owners ensure that no one else is already using a similar phrase or item. Use the Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS) on the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) official website. This tool will enable you to identify any potential conflicts within existing trademarks and those pending approval. Your trademark search is an essential step to protecting your business identity. If your logos and materials are too close to a competitor’s, this will enable you to take the necessary steps to mitigate this problem. If the USPTO identifies any “likelihood of confusion” with another trademark, they will reject your application. To create a trademark for your small business, you must first conduct a trademark search.
File An Application Using An Attorney
In order to properly create your small business trademark, file an application using a certified attorney. You can do this through the USPTO’s Trademark Electronic Application Service (TEAS.) There are several application options to choose from depending on your business type. Hiring a certified patent attorney will enable you to make the most informed decision. Within this application, you will need to identify the types of good and services your small business covers. You are also required to upload a picture of your trademark alone and as it will appear in your business material. A certified patent attorney will have the working knowledge to complete your application thoroughly. A thorough application ensures that you have the most comprehensive trademark protection. The date when you file this application will become your national priority date. This means that your competitors cannot register similar marks after this point. File an application as soon as you can to protect the materials related to your business identity.
Promptly Fix Any Problems
Once your trademark application is filed, you need to monitor and promptly fix any problems. Within six months, your application will receive an answer from an assigned USPTO attorney. Your application may be accepted without a contest. More likely, however, there will be small problems you need to fix. If there are questions or concerns with your application, your reviewer will send you what is called an “office action.” It is essential to take these actions seriously and respond by the deadline. If you do not, they USPTO will assume that your application has been abandoned. Consult with your patent attorney to make the necessary changes. Then, submit your response to the USPTO. Once all issues have been resolved, your trademark will be published officially. You can now officially put a trademark symbol next to your business material.
Monitor Competitor Filings
With your trademark created, you need to frequently analyze competitor filings. Monitoring your trademark ensures continuous protection of your company identity. Without it, you may not know when a competitor is infringing. Keep track of any USPTO filings and oppose any actions that seem similar to yours. Be assertive as you monitor your competitors. If you identify material similar to yours, send a “cease and desist letter” to this company. If this does not work, your federal trademark status gives you the grounds to file a lawsuit. Creating a trademark does necessarily protect from you from all potential infringement. Continue to monitor USPTO filings to preserve the identity of your trademarked assets.
Maintain Trademark Use
Lastly, after you create a trademark it is important to maintain its use. Continue to use your marks consistently. This means utilizing the same words, designs, and logos that were originally registered on your application. Inconsistent usage or changing your logos will weaken their protection. This will leave your company at a disadvantage if there is a trademark dispute. As long as you continue to use your material, your trademark will not expire. Keep in mind, however, you will need to renew your application. If your renewal deadline is missed, your trademark will be canceled. To protect your small business identity, maintain your trademark use and file all renewals on time.
Small business owners are interested in how to create a trademark that protects their company identity. The first step in this process is to use the TESS system to ensure that no one else is already using your items. Next, employ a patent attorney to file a thorough trademark application. If the USPTO finds any problems with your application, consult with this attorney to make the necessary changes. Furthermore, monitor competitor filings to ensure that other companies are not infringing on your marks. Lastly, maintain a consistent use of your trademark and file all renewals on time. Use this post to create a trademark that protects your small business identity.