A trademark identifies a product or service, and it is common for companies to have one. It is not a requirement for a business to register a trademark, but doing so gives the owner more rights and protections.
According to FindLaw, you can register a trademark online, and it is a fairly easy process. However, there are some things to be aware of.
Decide if you should register your mark
As stated earlier, businesses do not have to register their mark. However, there are advantages to doing so:
- Allows you to take legal action against anyone who uses the mark without your expressed permission
- Allows you to use the ® symbol
- Allows you to license and sell your brand
Conduct a trademark search
According to the United States Patent and Trademark Office, if you decide to register your mark, you should first conduct a search to make sure no one else is already using and has claimed trademark rights for a similar mark.
File the application
If everything is good, you can fill out the application online. Follow the instructions carefully and double-check your answers to prevent issues with the approval process. Keep in mind that there are strict guidelines as well as a processing fee. You will not get this fee back if the USPTO does not approve your registration.
The approval process may take a while. Check the progress status of your application to make sure you do not miss any necessary deadlines. If you do get trademark approval, you need to maintain it in order to keep it active. This is usually every 10 years, but check to make sure.