In order to trademark your business, you need to fully understand the process of trademarking. Much of this process will need you to understand your product as well as understand the legal aspects of trademarking.
Throughout this ebook we will show you and explain to you each step of the process. We’ll give you some excellent ideas to help you to get started. Most importantly, you’ll have everything that you need to know, starting with learning what trademarking is and what it does for your business.
A trademark is a distinctive signature, sign or saying that in some way depicts a specific company. It is used to identify a product, a service, or an event for a specific organization. It is used to help that organization stand out from others.
In legal terms, a trademark is also a type of industry property of that organization that can not be used by any other organization for their needs. Legally, this would be a violation of trademark law.
Usually, a trademark is a symbol, a logo, or some type of design that is used in some way by the organization. It can be an image, a phrase, or just a single word. Sometimes it is a combination of these things, such as in a company name’s design.
In some cases a trademark can even be something that is used to help a person to stand out. You could easily see this in some celebrities. Who can forget Elvis’s hair? Other celebrities have used trademarks to help them to stand out as well.
In short, a trademark is a brand name because it helps to identify your product with your name. While people don’t remember names well, most will remember symbols especially when they are designed in such a way as to create a memorable image! That’s something you’ll want to insure your trademark does.
According to the United States Patent Trademark Office, a service mark is, “A service mark is any work, name, symbol, device, or any combination, used, or intended to be used, in commerce, to identify and distinguish the services of one provider from the services provided by others, and to indicate the source of the services.” From this, you can clearly see what a service mark can mean to your business.
This is in comparison to a trademark, which is defined by the United States Patent Trade Office as, “a trademark includes any word, name, symbol, or device, or any combination used, or intended to be used, in commerce to identify and distinguish the goods of one manufacturer or seller from the goods manufactured or sold by others, and to indicate the source of the goods. In short, a trademark is a brand name.”
Why give you these definitions used by the USPTO? It’s simple. These are the legalities of the process. You need to understand that a trademark is something that you own, not something that can be shared with other businesses or even borrowed because you think it fits your business better than the owners.
As you will see later in this book, the legality of the trademark has caused countless companies to be fined, sued and in turn to lose not only their trademark but also their funds from it. Therefore, when considering a trademark or service mark, you need to clearly understand the legalities that are defined in these statements by the United States’ governing body.
A trademark does come with rights. If you are going to be using a good trademark, you don’t want others to take that trademark from your hands and to profit from it. Trademarks do come with rights.
The main right of a trademark is that they can not be used by others to help sell their product. In some cases, trademarks that are similar can often be confusing so a trademark’s rights also protect you from someone that has something that is similar to your own.
Don’t be confused, though. A trademark does not prevent someone from making a product or offering a product that is similar to your own. This is considered a patent. Even those that offer services that are like your own with a clearly different mark are not infringing on your trademark rights as owner.
So, how do you tell the world that you have the rights to this trademark?
In the next chapters we will go into more detail on this but a trademark will need to be registered to tell others that it is yours.
This is commonly done with those trademarks that will be used for both interstate and foreign commerce. You will register them with the United States Patent Trade Office. The process of doing so is rather straight forward. The hardest part is coming up with your own trademark to have registered!
Once you have registered your trademark you can forget about it, right?
That’s not completely true. The fact is that your rights for that trademark will go on indefinitely as long as you do a few things. Most federally registered trademarks, such as those registered with the United States Patent Trade Office are going to last you as long as you continue to use them in relation to your goods and services.
You’ll also need to have all of the necessary documentation filed with the USPTO at the right time to make this happen. You’ll need to file two things.
For your use later, you can find these forms right on the website of the USPTO to use. But, remember this is only the steps for renewing your application for trademark rights, not to establish them in the first place!
You can clearly see what a trademark is and how the process works. But, what is trademarking? Trademarking is the process of establishing your trademark, which we’ll teach you here.
The process of doing this is a bit more complex than just determining what your product is, what’s a good way to show it off and then signing on the dotted line.
Remember, your trademark defines you and therefore the process of creating a trademark is one that has to be unique and somehow significant to your concept, product or service. An effective trademarking process helps to identify the right trademark for your business.