Knowing how to apply for a trademark is an important part of starting your business. You can obtain a trademark for your business or nonprofit organization. This will guarantee that your brand identity is unique, which will help make your business or organization stand out in the marketplace.
Figure Out If You Really Need A Trademark
A trademark is just one form of intellectual property that the government guarantees. Before you attempt to obtain a trademark, you should become educated on your many options. In addition to trademarks, the US government issues service marks, patents and copyrights. You can visit the government's official Web site for the Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to see if your situation meets the requirements for a trademark.
Search To Be Sure You Are Unique
You can register the name of your business with a trademark if no one else has already used that business name and trademarked it. From the US Patent and Trademark office Web site, you can search to see if your name is unique. By searching the Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS), you can find out if your design and name can be trademarked. If there is indeed a trademark that is similar to the one that you want to use, you can click through to the Trademark Applications and Registrations Retrieval (TARR) database to see the status of the application.
Design Your Trademark
Once you've determined that you can indeed register your trademark, you should design the trademark. You'll need to identify the goods and services that will be associated with your trademark. The USPTO Web site can help you figure out exactly how you need to identify your trademark. You can choose from a stylized trademark, which includes logos and graphics, or you can choose a standard character format, which has only the words that stand for your business or organization. If you have both a name and a design to trademark, you'll need to file two separate applications.
File Your Application With The USPTO
Once you've figured out the correct trademark applications for your business or organization, you're ready to file your application. You can obtain the application from the USPTO's Web site and print the form out from your computer. Alternatively, you can obtain a paper form from the USPTO office by calling and requesting paperwork. The registration of your trademark will cost $375 per application. If you file your paperwork electronically, you'll pay only $325, and you'll immediately receive an e-mail with your serial number. If you file a paper application, it will take two to three weeks to receive your serial number.
What is the difference between a copyright and a trademark? Both confer legal protection, but the similarities end there. Do your circumstances warrant a copyright or a trademark, or neither?
This article contains valuable information about Trademarking and how to obtain more information. It also deals deeply with the common law trademark by explaining its need in order to create profit in business.