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All You Need to Know About Trademark

The digital age has made it even more important to protect your intellectual property. Therefore, it is essential to register your trademark correctly. It puts the rest of the business world on notice that a particular name, word, symbol, and design they intend to use belongs to a registered company. This way, they will automatically know that copying anything that is out by your name will be considered a crime. In short, this will be included in their checklist for starting a business to avoid any inconvenience.

What Is A Trademark?

A trademark is any phrase, word, symbol, or logo representing a company or its services. It aims to protect the company’s intellectual property. If you want to qualify for a federal trademark that is registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO): then you have to use the mark in commerce and ensure that this mark should be distinctive to your business.

What Does A Trademark Do?

Trademark is important to protect multiple aspects of your business. Moreover, it distinguishes your company and business from other similar companies in the race. However, the following is the list of things you can trademark, as long as they relate to commerce:

  • Names of your company and products
  • Slogans or words that relate to marketing campaigns or brands
  • Symbols and logos that identify your brand
  • The aesthetic theme that is specific to your brand

Trademark name search is, however, a technical task and requires keen effort. It should not be identical to any other company’s name of your state. Otherwise, it will cancel the request for your business name’s trademark. 

Types of Trademarks

There are generally four types of trademarks that exist, including:

FANCIFUL

These marks include original logos or terms. For instance, Kodak is a fanciful mark.

ARBITRARY

This mark doesn’t suggest the company and the products it is offering. For example, Apple is an arbitrary mark.

SUGGESTIVE 

These kinds of trademarks directly suggest the company and describe the good. For instance, Coppertone is a suggestive mark.

DESCRIPTIVE

This type of trademark is only valid if a company has a secondary meaning in consumers’ minds. For example, the Holiday Inn is a descriptive mark.

How to Register A Company’s Name In USA?

In the United States, the Lanham Act governs trademarks. If you want to make sure your company’s name remains unique and free of infringement, you have to trademark its name. According to this law, the trademark has to be distinctive; you must use it in commerce or intend to use it in commerce.

After registering a name as a trademark, you gain legal protection for that mark. This means no other business can use your mark without paying the penalty. However, this facility or protection is not automatic; you have to file for it. Moreover, to protect your right, you have to monitor the use and look for companies that are either infringing your mark.

Why Are Trademarks Important?

Trademarks are important to distinguish a business and its products or name from others and help to prevent unfair competition. This distinguishing process helps businesses define their name and set itself apart from its competitors.

Moreover, it helps the consumers to identify a product or its brand. It prevents confusion and provides the consumers with confidence that they can rely on a company. Moreover, it reflects the standard of quality while customers purchase products or request services from a certain company.

In addition, trademarks also define the source of products, including:

  • The seller
  • The manufacturer
  • The sponsor

These trademarks have a life and validity of 10 years, but the company’s owners can renew them. Moreover, in the case of five years of continuous use, a company can also apply for incontestable status. In short, having a trademark will let you have a better claim to ownership and a stronger defense against infringers.

How A Trademark Facilitates You in Various Aspects of Your Business?

  • A trademark provides you the exclusive right to use the name, words, logo, and symbol as your unique entity in commerce. Trademark enables the owners to build and grow their businesses around their distinct trademarks. Moreover, the owners can also create a stronger protection level by creating a family of marks with like elements.
  • It provides you the right to use the registered trademark (®) symbol. Moreover, companies can also use the TM symbol to claim rights to a trademark. Similarly, they can use the symbol SM (service mark) symbol to show that they claim rights to a service mark.
  • Moreover, until a company has registered the trademark with the USPTO, it cannot use the ® symbol, which notifies that the company owns a federally registered trademark.
  • It enables you to get your intellectual property licensed at the time of company formation in USA. However, the owners of the trademark can license the use of the mark to other parties. If any company does so, then, in this case, the owner must keep a check on the quality of the goods made under license.
  • It enables you to defend your mark from dilution. Moreover, the company’s owners can also pursue legal action against infringers using the trademark in any commerce type. In addition, owners can also claim dilution.

Prior to company registration in USA, make sure the business name you are proposing is not in use by any other company within the state.

Once you receive approval for your application, your business name will receive protection within the state. This way, no other country will form an LLC and corporation within the same state with an identical name, which should be mentioned in your LLC operating agreement. However, it is only legal in the case of sole proprietorship and partnership.

If you register a name for your business in one state, you will be able to use that same name in other states as well. For example, if you own your business in Florida, New Jersey, and New York, you will be using the same name. 

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