What’s in a Name?

imagesName recognition is a value thing.  Just ask Google or Apple.  Although your business may not be quite the size of these behemoths, you still could benefit from protecting your business name, logo, or tag lines by registering them as a trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”).

A trademark can be a word, phrase, symbol, color, or shape that distinguishes your products from those of other businesses.   A trademark can even be a sound or a smell.  The key component is that the mark must be able to identify your business as the source of origin for your products or services.

Trademarks do not need to be registered with the USPTO to be protected.  Some protection is granted merely by being the first to use the trademark in commerce, so long as the use remains continual.  Owners of unregistered marks can use the symbol ™ next to their mark to put others on notice that the item is considered a trademark.  However, federal registration provides more comprehensive protection.  For example, federal registration establishes nationwide protection from the date of the application.  Without registration, your protection may be limited to the geographical area in which you are currently using your mark.   Federal registration provides more comprehensive notice to others, thus discouraging the introduction of confusingly similar marks.  Also, federal registration allows you to use the more prestigious ® symbol next to your mark.

If you think federal registration is right for you and your company, please contact us.  We can help you determine if your application is likely to be approved and, if so, help you through the application process!

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