Starting a business involves a lot of complexities that need your attention. Therefore, many entrepreneurs make the mistake of neglecting one vital aspect – protecting their intellectual property.
Having a trademark gives you intellectual property rights that ensure long-term business success. It can protect color schemes, phrases, symbols and words associated with your brand. Below is an in-depth look at everything you need to know about trademarks.
Trademarks are not patents
Unlike patents that protect your business, trademarks protect your customers. A trademark eliminates the possibility of infringement by other businesses. Therefore, your consumers can trust the authenticity of your brand. All your products and services will be certifiably unique and only associated with your particular brand.
Trademarks are associated with product categories
Trademark rights do not cover different products and services categories. Therefore, your name trademark in a specific product category can be used by another business for a different product or service category. For instance, Delta Faucets and Delta Airlines share trademark names because they operate in different industries.
Try to find a unique and distinctive name
A professional trademark search with help you find a suitable name for your business. For starters, it shouldn’t be something generic because these are hard to protect. In addition, you should never pick a name already associated with a company operating within your industry. Instead, use the search to ensure your name is distinctive and unique. Doing this will help you to quickly establish your brand.
Trademarks have to be used in commerce
You can only have protection when your trademark plays a role in commerce. Using it to sell a product or service ensures it can identify your brand. Therefore, making it easier to pursue trademark protection. It will also help to protect your slogans and logos to avoid any cases of infringement. The more protection you have, the easier it is to build a long-lasting brand.
File an application with USPTO
Using your trademark will let the world know about your intentions to use the name. However, you need to file a federal trademark application with USPTO. This acts as a notice to other businesses of your intentions to use the name. It also helps protect your brand in case of any infringement in the future. Your application is also the first step toward growing your trademark internationally. Afterward, you will be listed on the USPTO database, which guarantees protection from infringement.