Your company’s name is more than just a label; it’s a valuable asset that not only represents your brand but represents the legacy of your work in the world as well. It tells your clients, customers, and community who you are and what your business stands for. Protecting your business name through trademark registration can be a crucial step in securing your brand identity and preventing others from using a name you’ve invested in without your permission.
In this blog, we’ll walk you through the essential steps to trademark your business name – ensuring it remains uniquely yours and legally protected from others who may want to copy or imitate it.
The first step in trademarking your business name is to ensure it’s not already trademarked by someone else. This involves conducting a comprehensive trademark search.
To do this, go to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) website and run a search for existing trademarks that may conflict with your business name. If your business name is already registered as a trademark, consider a different name or consult with our office to assess the issue further.
When you submit an application to register a trademark, the application will ask you to choose the type of business category your company falls under, such as food services or building materials. To trademark your business name, you must identify one or more categories that best suit your business.
Selecting the appropriate category or categories ensures your trademark protection extends to the products or services you offer. Misclassifying your trademark under the wrong category could lead to limitations on the protection of your name, so be sure to contact us if you have any doubts about which category your business fits into best.
Once you’ve chosen the right category, it’s time to prepare and submit your trademark application. This can be done online through the USPTO website, where you’ll need to provide detailed information about your business, including a description of the goods or services you offer. Additionally, you’ll be required to pay a $250-$350 filing fee per class category depending on the type of application.
After submitting your trademark application, it can take several months, or even up to a year, for the USPTO to review and process it. During this time, it’s crucial to monitor the status of your application using the USPTO’s online tracking system.
If there are any issues or questions from the USPTO, it’s essential to respond promptly and accurately to keep the process moving forward.
In the meantime, it would be a good idea to take screenshots of your trademarked terms being used in the world, so you can submit proof of use of the name when the USPTO requests it.
Once your trademark is registered, it’s your responsibility to defend it against any potential infringements. This means keeping a watchful eye on the marketplace for any unauthorized use of your business name or similar names. If you come across any infringements, contact us right away so we can support you to prevent the unauthorized use of your trademark.
It’s also important to know that trademark protection doesn’t last forever – it must be renewed every ten years to maintain its legal standing. Be sure to keep track of your trademark’s renewal date and submit the necessary paperwork and fees on time to prevent it from expiring.
Trademarking your business name is an essential step in establishing and protecting your brand identity. With a registered trademark, you can confidently move forward in building your brand while protecting your business’s future and your personal legacy.