Why trademark a name?
Your brand is important!
Trademarks work to protect your name, logo, slogans, and other identifying features.
Over time, these names, logos, or slogans start to accumulate some sort of goodwill or reputation that consumers or buyers associate. Some companies or people decide to invest in protecting that name by filing for trademark protection to prevent others from misusing the name.
What does filing for trademark protection do?
While using a name, logo, or slogan will grant your business a certain level of trademark protection, these protections only apply to your immediate geographic area and are difficult to enforce. Rather, a federal trademark registration with the USPTO provides the most extensive and strongest protection. The protections offered by a federal trademark registration is listed below:
- Right to use the registered trademark symbol, ®
- Helps prevent the importation of goods that infringe on your brand
- Right to sue in federal court for infringement on your brand
- Prevents confusingly similar registrations on the Federal Register
- Establishes your trademark ownership on the public record
Why is it important to file for trademark protection sooner rather than later?
Priority in use is important for protecting your brand. Registering your trademark earlier prevents a potentially lengthy process to prove your priority and rights in the brand down the road. For example, someone might use a similar name and file before you, leading to a lengthier examination process or, even worse, making it so you can’t use that name or expand beyond where you currently are.
Can you file for trademark protection before you have launched?
Even if a mark is not yet in use, intent-to-use applications exist as placeholders for your potential marks. Intent-to-use means that the mark is not yet in use but there is a good faith assumption that the applicant will use the mark within the next 3 years. This allows someone to start the trademark application process before launching their brand. There is a presumption that they will submit evidence of use down the road to finalize the trademark registration. The intent-to-use can be used to establish priority in the mark, even if someone haven’t started using it yet!
Author: Jacob Salit.
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