Registering a trademark protects its distinctive name and identifies them as goods provided by your company. This is one of the most effective ways of ensuring that no other firm can sell similar products with your name on them. For that reason, your profits are safeguarded.
What can you register?
You are allowed to register names, symbols, or a combination of the two that you use in your business to distinguish your products and services. The trademark is for products, while the servicemark is for services; however, the two terms are the same.
You can also register trade dress or attributes such as product packaging and color. On the other hand, you can’t register functional features like the shape of the bottle that helps you to grasp it. Registering a mark is an investment is that it’s less expensive as compared to the cost of not registering your brand.
This article highlights some of the advantages of registering your brand and the step of doing so.
Advantages of Registering Your Trademark
1. Increases Your Business Value
The technology has increased competition in the business world. However, using a trademark differentiate your brand from others, and customers can recognize it within seconds. Further, a trademark is a valuable intangible asset to your business. It increases the value of your business, and in case you decide to sell it, the company will be worth more than an unregistered business. More so, using the ® symbol adds legitimacy to your company.
2. Provides a Constructive Notice
When you register your company name, slogan, or logo with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, you send out a public legal notice that you’re it’s own. You can now take to court any person that uses that particular mark or a confusingly similar mark in business. A cease and desist letter with reference to the registration of your trademark is enough evidence to prove that the company infringed on what was legally yours. For that reason, other firms can’t steal or dilute your brand or use an internet domain similar to yours.
3. Guarantees Stronger Protection
You can apply for your mark to be declared uncontestable after years of registration. This implies that your use of this mark is established in court conclusively. The federal court will accept any infringement claim you register with them since a trademark automatically becomes subject to the federal jurisdiction.
5 Steps of Registering a Trademark of Your Product
The following is a step by step process of registering the trademark of your product name.
Step 1. Create a unique brand name for your product. When coming up with a name, avoid generic or descriptive names for your products. Avoid such names, for they are too obvious. Thus, invent a new name or coined name that has no other meaning besides your product. For example, Kleenex or Kodak has no different meaning other than the brands they represent.
These words were coined only to sell those products, and for that reason, they have created brand equity and distinctiveness. You can go for words or phrases that are unrelated, like Apple Computers or those that are suggestive, such as Energizer batteries. After creating a unique name, ensure that you’re the only one using it, or no other business has registered it as its trademark.
Step 2. Recruit a trademark attorney. A trademark attorney is a valuable asset for both the first-timer or subsequent registration process. These experts have unlimited access to trademark research tools. Given that, the attorney is in a better position to determine the viability and uniqueness of the name that you have created. They are also able to navigate the entire process of trademark registration, which requires accuracy and efficiency.
Step 3. Conduct a search on the name you have coined. This is an ordinary query on the search engine. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office provides a search tool that helps you to gather more insight. The search will ensure that there is no other name similar to yours is out there. Similarity refers to alternate spellings, formatting of a name, or sound alike. Such resemblances will cause your application to be rejected.
Step 4. Submit your trademark application to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. You can file your paperwork and provide supporting materials. Some of the information that you need to provide is the name of the trademark owner, the legal description of the product you’re trying to protect, the claim for intent-to-use, or the commencement date of the trademark and the address of the trademark attorney. Your application will be delayed if it has errors and will be rejected if it’s incomplete and poorly filled.
Step 5. Follow up with the trademark office. The examining attorney at this office will conduct their own review, and once satisfied with the findings, your application will be approved. Thus, you will receive a registered trademark with the ® symbol. However, you have to protect your trademark or watch out for similarity with other companies. You want to protect the name of your product from entering into a generic usage. You will also be required to perform periodic trademark registration renewals as required by the law.
A trademark protects your brand because it distinguishes your products and services form those of your competitors. It also increases the worth of your company and protects your earnings since there is no other company that sells their products under that name. However, your name or logo that you intend to protect must be unique.
You can come up with a distinctive name, and with the help of a trademark attorney, you can query the existence of a similar name in the search engine. Once it is clear that that name is exceptional, then you can file your application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
You will receive a registered trademark with ® symbol once your application is approved. Then it’s your duty to ensure that there is no other company that uses that name in the future.