Whether you are an artist, a business person or someone who has an idea that has a monetary value, you need to trademark your business name. Trademarking is one of the essentials when starting a business. It clearly defines who you are, what you do and ensures you are the sole owner of that brand. 

A trademark is the intellectual property of any business. It helps to protect your business from many things, including the malicious use of your name. If you need a trademark or need to know more about it, this article is here to guide you through. Let’s start with its definition.

What is a Trademark?

A trademark can be a sign, phrase, logo, name, symbol, or even sound representing a particular entity with monetary value. It is a unique symbol that represents your business and distinguishes it from your competitors. To understand how to apply for it, please follow this process. What are the things you can trademark? You can do so to a business name, packaging, or even the logo. For example, the Coca-Cola Company has trademarked so many things in its line, including the name, shape of the bottle, stripes, and other additions that make it unique in the market.

Why are trademarks important?

There are various reasons which make it necessary to trademark your business name or logo. First, it legally keeps off other businesses from using your name to promote their products. They will not come up with a similar name, logo, or another thing you have trademarked. Secondly, it helps to differentiate your brand in the market from your competitors. You can create a niche for yourself by coming up with a unique product.

You can create a trademark locally or internationally to safeguard your brand. A local trademark is a weak one since someone in other regions can develop your logo and trademark it internationally. If possible, you should register your trademark with both local and international trademark agencies. 

Here are some facts about trademarks you need to know.

Forming a business is not registering a trademark 

You have read it right. Just because you have registered and started a business, it doesn’t mean you own its trademark. Opening up a business and registering a trademark are two distinctive things. You don’t gain trademark rights when you open up a business unless you do the trademark registration as an individual process. While no state can register a business with your name, you will require stamping the name and symbol ownership. It is essential to own your business’s trademark by registering its details to organizations such as USPTO.

  • Not all Business Names are Created Equal

Your business name may not have the same trademark rights as the internationally recognized brand. Why is it so? Some businesses will get a stronger trademark as compared to others. Your business name or logo may also fail to get registered as a trademark if it’s too generic. Businesses with made-up names get the strongest trademark protection as compared to others. For example, Xerox, Apple, and others are the strongest names that get the best protection ever. Names that describe a thing or a location may fail to get trademarked since everyone uses them to refer to that thing or location. For example, you can’t trademark the name ‘Car Cleaners.’ You will require choosing a name that will directly get trademarked for your business.

  • Do Some Name search Before Naming your Business

Did you know that another business might trademark the name you use for your business in other parts of the world? That’s a common practice, and that’s why it’s important to do a name search before registering and running any business. If possible, search for the name and trademark it first before running your business. The name you will find free today may not be available for trademarking tomorrow. Using an already trademarked name can get you a court summons since the person who registered it might sue you for infringement. Before registering any name and opening doors to your clients, search for the name and ensure you register it. 

  • The Trademark Class Matters

Do trademarks have classes? The registering organization will require classifying business according to the trademark classes given. There are approximately 45 classes that define different goods and services, and you must choose one depending on what you are selling. The trademark given will stand according to the class of goods or services you chose. Making a mistake on the same will make your trademark null and void. You won’t amend the mistake later, and you may lose the name to someone else. The whole process can be confusing, and it’s important to seek guidance from an expert to come up with the right trademark for your business. 

  • It’s you to enforce your Trademarks

This suggestion might sound ridiculous after following all the processes to have your trademarks registered, but it’s true. You will need to enforce and monitor your trademarks since no other organization does so. What they do is register and make you the owner of that trademark. What happens when you don’t enforce or maintain your trademark? The chances are that you might lose the name to another person. It is simple to enforce your trademark. Here are some things to do:

  • Use the trademark symbol, ®, on your name or products to alert others that you have trademarked the name or idea. If there is pending registration, you can use the TM mark.
  • Use the approved trademark monitoring services to check on individuals infringing your rights and take legal action on the culprits.
  • Act fast if you have evidence that someone is using your trademarks illegally. You will need a trademark lawyer to take over your case.
  • File the trademark maintenance documents on time. This procedure is one after some years, and your trademark can get abandoned if you fail to do so.

There you have them: Some simple trademark facts you may want to know before registering the same for your business. As you can see, the procedure of applying and maintaining your trademarks isn’t complicated. You only need to register, monitor, and take precautions for anyone using your marks to give your brand a strong reputation in the market.

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