Imagine a world where any online business could use the Amazon logo, any sneaker factory could have a Nike check mark on its shoes, or 30 different schools call themselves Harvard.
That would be a really confusing world, wouldn’t it? Consumers wouldn’t be able to distinguish a brand of quality from one that isn’t if each one appeared the same.
Imagine putting all that hard work into your company, making investments that improve the quality of your goods and services, and pour money into advertising to gain visibility. Then after a time, your sales drop. You were doing so well.
You discover that another business that offers the same product and services as may have copied your brand. You invest in quality and advertising; they let you do all the work, and it’s not unintentional either. Your loyal customers stop coming because they bought a bad batch of a replica of your products that were bad, and they b; blame you for it.
How could they know it’s not from your own factory? Trademarks make sure stuff like this doesn’t happen.
Table of Contents Hide
- What Is A Trademark?
- How Does A Trademark Differ From Patents And Copyrights?
- How To Select A Strong Trademark
- What Should You Know Before Signing For The Trademark?
- Legal Requirements For Registering A Trademark
- How Much Does It Cost To Trademark A Company Name?
- How Long Is A Trademark Registration Valid?
- How To Trademark The Name Of The Company Faster In 2022.
What Is A Trademark?
A trademark is a unique certification that protects the visibility and viability of your company, it prevents competitors from using your style of branding.
A trademark is simply symbol, a word, phrase or name that represent a company and its products. In the United States the lanham act governs trademarks in the United States. It states that a trademark has to be used in commerce and must be distinctive.
When you have a company name trademarked it is illegal for other businesses to use that name in the same field of work.
How Does A Trademark Differ From Patents And Copyrights?
Trademarks, patents and copyrights are all forms of intellectual property (IP). All are done to prevent hijacking, duplicating, stealing and wrong for usage of original ideas.
To help you differentiate;
Trademarks: These are done to privatize certain elements of branding. Not just names and phrases but audio tunes, packaging and animation. As far as they are distinctive enough for the customer to rely on while discerning a brand.
Patents: These are done to protect new inventions. They make sure the inventor is rightly credited and earns from his inventions.
Copyright: This protects the original expression of published works.
How To Select A Strong Trademark
A trademark can be just as uplifting as it can be disastrous to your business when it comes to creating a brand. When selecting / creating a strong trademark here is what to consider.
1. Avoid Generic Trademarks.: Avoid trademarking names and logos that are too common. Especially when you are just starting out. Your brand needs to be different and stand out from the millions of items fighting for the attention of the consumer and the internet.
2. Avoid Complex Trademarks: Your company name, phrase or logo shouldn’t be commonplace yet it should not be too complex as to disable it from being easily recognisable.
3. Different colours, phrases and tones invoke different emotions in a consumer. Find which ones are best suited to your brand.
4. A company name should be formal. This gives a prospective customer a sense of professionalism.
What Should You Know Before Signing For The Trademark?
The protection of a trademark is not automatic. Scan the internet regularly to check if your trademarked item is being used without your consent.
- The item you want to trademark must be related to commerce.
- Trademarks last for as long as 10 years and can be renewed after the time frame has elapsed
- You must actively defend your trademark from infringement if you do decide to trademark.
- You can’t trademark a creative work only copyright them.
- Trademarking a company name is not the same as registering a company.
- A different company can use the same trademark as long as their products or services are not the same as yours.
Legal Requirements For Registering A Trademark
There are only a few legal requirements for registering a trademark.
- Your mark should not be already taken by prominent company in your line of commerce. To know if a mark has already been taken submit it to USPTO’s Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS) it will display similar or pre-existing marks.
- You should be able to prove that your mark is being used or associated with the commerce industry.
How Much Does It Cost To Trademark A Company Name?
Trademarking a company name can range anywhere from $250 to 350 dollars depending on the class of goods or services it offers in the commercial sector. This is through USPTO on a federal level in the US.
If a company is already using that trademark or for some reason you were denied, keep in mind that you will not be refunded by USPTO. This is why it is important to use their TESS to search for similar trademarks first.
The cost of filing for a trademark on the state level is lower ranging from $150 to as low as $50.
Most trademark agencies around the world have made it possible to apply for a trademark online. However, in enforcing your trademark (which is your responsibility) you might incur additional costs for a patent attorney this is my costume and extra $1500.
How Long Is A Trademark Registration Valid?
A trademarked item is valid for 10 years. After 10 years has elapsed you can apply for a renewal ($300). The more active your company is for a long period of time the easier it is to achieve ‘Uncontestable status’.
How To Trademark The Name Of The Company Faster In 2022.
No doubt the online method is the faster, more convenient method.
USPTO: in the United States Patent and Trademark Office is the absolute authority when it comes to the trademarking of company names. Formed almost 50 years ago in Washington D.C, it has since made trademarking easier and more comfortable for its clients.
To apply for a Trademark using USPTO Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS) to file online.
- Explain how your mark is associated with commerce.
- Indicate the class of commerce your company name is associated with e.g Healthcare, oil and gas, pharmacy e.t.c
- Confirm your company name and submit.
- At this stage, it is important to monitor your application status to immediately address any issues raised by the examiner.
If approved your Mark will be published in USPTO’S official gazette.
If no company contest your trademark with the Trademark Trial And Appeal Board (TTAB) Within 30 days of publishing, then your trademark is confirmed.
Trademarking with this method can be as short as 30 days.
Trademark.gov.uk: This is for this looking to trademark in the UK. This agency’s certification is valid anywhere in the UK. Click here to start
Here are the steps to trademark a name:
1. After going in the site, identify yourself and filling your details.
2. Enter your company name on the farm.
3. Confirm that your company name is in words.
4. Select the class of commerce your company specialises in. you can choose more than one class it costs €50 per class.
5.Write a disclaimer (optional).
6. Select trademark examination type, submit and wait for it to be confirmed.
Fire more on classifications of businesses in commerce click here
The name you choose for your business will be one of its most valuable attributes. By hacking your company name, you receive protection against competition businesses trying to take advantage of your hard work.
The best time to trademark that company name is now.