Registering a trademark for a company name can help secure your brand and make sure that your rivals don’t use a similar name. State trademark registration is basic, fairly affordable, and offers some security within your state. Federal trademark registration is more complex and costly, but it helps you protect and enforce your trademark nationwide, and provides many other advantages including the capability to use the ® symbol and protect your mark in federal court.
What Are Trademarks?
Trademarks consist of styles, symbols, words or phrases that identify the source of service or products and distinguish them from rivals’ offerings. Company names, logo designs, and item labels can all be safeguarded by trademark law.
Contrary to common belief, you don’t have to register your trademark to get trademark security. Merely using your trademark in commerce supplies typical law protections. But a typical law trademark may just secure you in your instant region. State trademark registration can assist secure your service name throughout your state. Federal trademark registration with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) safeguards your trademark nationwide, and in addition to a host of additional defenses, enables you to register your trademark in other countries and sue for trademark violation in federal court.
Registering a Business Name in Your State
If you have formed a minimal liability company, corporation or other formal organisation entity, you have currently registered your service name in your state. Forming a service entity locations other people on notice that you are using your organisation name, and no other company entity can be formed in your state using the very same name. Business entity formation charges differ from one state to another, but are frequently $150 or less.
If you run as a sole proprietorship or partnership, you can register your business name as a brand name, likewise called a fictitious business name, a “doing business as” name, or a DBA. In some states, you can register your name statewide by filing a kind and paying a charge that typically ranges from $50–$ 150. Other states don’t have statewide registration of trade names, and you must sign up the name with your city or county. Charges can differ.
Trademark a Business Name with the USPTO
Registering a trademark for a company name is pretty simple. Numerous businesses can submit an application online in less than 90 minutes, without a legal representative’s help. The most basic way to register is on the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s Web site, www.uspto.gov.
Prior to finishing the online registration type, examine the site’s Trademark Electronic Search System (“TESS”) database to make sure another company hasn’t already signed up a similar or comparable mark for the very same classifications of goods or services you provide. U.S. trademark protection is granted to the first entity to use a specific mark in the geographic area where it runs, no matter whether the mark is registered. But if your chosen mark is currently signed up by another company– even if you used it first– your registration will be rejected and you’ll most likely desire an attorney to help you continue.
Online trademark registration costs in between $275 and $325 and needs information such as the categories of goods and services for which the mark will be used, date of the mark’s first use in commerce and whether there’s a style part to the mark you’re seeking. Internet organisations registering their names must generally refrain from registering their Web extension, such as.com or.net, with their name, unless they’re preparing to sign up the mark both with and without. Getting a trademark without the domain extension will help prevent other services from registering the exact same name by simply including a different extension. Do not designate a specific style of your trademark in order to get the broadest security.
You should get a reaction to your application within six months of filing, inning accordance with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Web site. There are some situations where registering through an intellectual-property lawyer– or a minimum of seeking legal guidance ahead of time– makes sense. If your desired mark is similar to another signed up mark, or similar enough to confuse people, there’s a good possibility your registration will be contested.
What’s more, it’s difficult to register names deemed too generic or descriptive (believe “The Ice Cream Shop” or “We Sell Plants”). A trademark legal representative perhaps can assist you find a method to get at least some security.
If you choose to work with a lawyer to conduct a trademark search or help you with the trademark registration procedure, you will likewise sustain legal charges. Numerous legal representatives charge by the hour, with rates usually ranging from about $125 to a few hundred dollars. Some attorneys will manage trademark registrations for a flat fee.
Every 10 years, you should submit an application to restore your trademark registration. The USPTO’s charges for trademark registration renewals are around $300 for an electronic application and about $400 for a paper application.
Trademarking a company name can provide important security. You might be able to obtain state trademark registration for $100-$200. Federal trademark registration extends your defense nationwide and offers other essential benefits, but it normally costs more: $275-$375 for each class of goods and services that you want to secure.