Mark Briggs Phoenix Lawyer Answers: How do I get a trademark?
In today’s business environment, a trademark is one of the most important tools for organization to distinguish itself from the competition. A trademark is more than just a legally registered name, logo or phrase. It’s a feeling. It’s an emotion. It’s a brand. A good logo, name or phrase immediately calls to mind images of your company every time someone sees it. Creating this powerful symbol of your company is one thing, and protecting it is another. That is where the trademark legal process comes into play, and needs to be handled correctly. Although there is no requirement that you use a lawyer to help you acquire a registered trademark for your company’s logo, name or motto, I recommend you do so.
- Visit the United States Patent and Trademark Office Online
To begin the process of registering your trademark, start by visiting the official website of the US Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”). To help make sure that another organization hasn’t applied for a trademark that is very similar to yours, use the “Electronic Search System” feature to search for the competition. Remember that a trademark will always be granted to the first company who applies in a particular area. If there is already a company with your name in your area that has been granted a trademark, your application will be denied. This is a large part of why the research is so important. Sometimes the database at the USPTO is not completely up to date, or you cannot refine your search enough to be certain that you have looked at everything relevant to your search – especially when it comes to logos. Lawyers who practice in the trademarks area usually have subscribed to powerful databases that are more easily searched and come up with more complete results than you can do on your own. Also, interpreting those results and determining whether your mark is distinct enough to warrant a trademark registration is difficult to do on your own.
- Fill Out the Online Application
Once you’re sure that you’re applying for a trademark that nobody else has, fill out the online registration form on the USPTO’s website. You will be asked to provide detailed information about the trademark that you’re applying for, the type of business that you run and more. This is a relatively simple process on its face, but how you choose to describe your area of business and the use of your mark can dramatically impact the registration process. Again, this is something an experienced attorney could be helpful in doing for you.
- Pay the Appropriate Fees
Once you finish the online application form, you will need to pay the appropriate registration fees before you can continue. This will cost between $275 and $325 depending on the type of business you’re running, when you plan on using your trademark for work and the complexity of the application that you’re filing. Once the fee is paid, you can submit the application.
Once you’ve registered for your trademark, you have the legal protection necessary to help make sure that nobody can infringe on your brand in the future. That logo, name, phrase or other identifying information is now yours and yours alone. Thanks to your trademark, you can now get to work building the brand that you’ve always dreamed of and experiencing the soaring heights in the world of business that you truly deserve. It’s an opportunity waiting to be seized in every sense of the word. However, because this can be a critical element to building your brand, I recommend hiring a trademark lawyer to help you out. This is too important to fumble because you want to save a few bucks.
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