What is a Trademark?
A trademark is known as a symbol, design, phrase or word that recognizes the source or existence of your products or services. A trademark is also said to be a sign used to tell apart a trader’s goods/services from the goods/services of other traders. This sign can be in the form of a portrayed expression or words, smell, a device or symbol, a label, a particular type of color, a sound, a shape, or any two of these elements combined together.
Why are Trademarks important?
Trademarks may be the most significant asset of any business, whether big or small, specifically for those providing services. An excellent trademark boosts the credibility as time passes and can quantify the worthiness of an ongoing business.
When a business successfully registers a Trademark, they are allowed to make use of the (R) symbol next to whatever the company trademarked. (TM) can also be considered as another common symbol associated with a trademark— this signifies to both customers and other businesses that the trademarked item has been officially registered and is the property of the business entity using that symbol, letting others know that they have no right to make use of it.
Why might someone register for one?
Stop Others from Using Your Mark
One of the key reasons to trademark is to let other businesses both locally and internationally, know that your mark is under the protection of the law. This means that you have the capability to sue anyone found to be violating your protection under the law. In case any local/international body uses your trademark without your consent, you may easily consult the best legal action in a federal court.
This is one of the most important parts about trademark registration. Nationwide priority provides trademark protection more extensively, and you will get exclusive nationwide ownership of the trademark. The filing of the trademark application also secures an important priority date for the future security of your Trademarks. The priority day is the time of first use of the mark in a trade that delivers you with nationwide priority, with the exception to companies that filed and registered a trademark before you did.
Domain Name Trademark
Registering your trademark offers you almost complete control over your company’s domain names and allows you to successfully modify similar Web address registrations. This also boosts your potential for requiring others to abstain from using the standard ” world wide web” domain names if they are relevant enough to your trademark (& if your trademark qualifies for this.) It is also very important to always know that despite getting or having a registered domain/website name and a business name, trademarking is still critical.
Increase Business Reputation
Promoting your business brand at an early on stage is vital to the development and success of your business. An exceptional and powerful brand that is guaranteed by the trademark registration is a trusted legal foundation which you can build the reputation of your business in the marketplace. Any businesses can create a better brand awareness campaign in every country that the trademark is listed or registered in. Registering your mark also reduces the vulnerability of your business as well as escalates the lifetime of your business, which can quickly and consequently increase the trust customers have in your company.
Exclusive Rights to the Mark
Another great benefit of registering your trademark is the exclusivity. This is the principal way of safeguarding your brand privileges and rights in a company logo/name. Trademark registration will verify your official ownership of the brand preventing others from utilizing a matching/confusingly similar mark or related product and services. In essence, you are entitled to infinite protection/safety from situations of breach and misrepresentation of property rights.
What is trademark worthy?
Generally speaking, the registration of marks, covers, logos, names, brief phrases, slogans and other similarities that describe your services. To become qualified to receive trademark protection, the mark must serve to recognize a particular good or service. Although these are the most frequent items that are registered with the USPTO, (United States Patent and Trademark Office), additionally it is possible to acquire trademark security for some “non-conventional” identifiers such as sounds, colors, smells, and shapes.
What can’t Be Trademarked?
The USPTO (United States Patent and Trademark Office) models several items which can’t be trademarked, for example, needless to say, marks that are already previously registered, markings that are descriptive and marks that are generic. Also, the USPTO will never register people without their prior agreement, words/symbols that are disparaging and words/symbols that or immoral, scandalous or deceptive, federal/local government insignias, or any name/likeness of any late USA president without permission.
How long is the process?
The overall processing time of a Trademark application to be prepared and processed may be anywhere from a few months to a few years— It all depends on the main reason/basis for filing and also the legal issues which could come up while the application is reviewed.
What happens when someone infringes you?
In the event that you believe your trademark has been infringed, you will need to act fast. First and foremost, always seek professional advice from an experienced trademark attorney or lawyer. They’ll usually advise sending a cease and desist letter to the infringing business. If this does not bring about the required outcome, the next phase is to pursue legal action. The main reason for carrying out legal proceedings or pursuing legal action is to avoid the further unauthorized use of the trademark by the infringer.
How long does a Trademark last and does it expire?
When a trademark is federally/legally registered, the privileges and rights accompanied with trademarking can last indefinitely if the owner continues steadily to use the mark on products or services, so long as the business has submitted all the necessary documents to the USPTO (United States Patent and Trademark Office) at the appropriate times.
Alas, many business owners disregard the value of trademark registration and protection until it is too overdue. The best and most important step in safeguarding your trademark is to quickly register it, to begin with. If you delay with the registration of your brand/mark, there is a good possibility that your competitors might do it before you. After the registration of your mark, you have a much more dominant position when it comes to avoiding others from infringing your brand. Bear in mind, your trademark is a paramount business property so it is advised to be as proactive as you can be. Once you’ve obtained that legal protection for your business property you should do everything within your power to protect it.
Examples of Well Known Legally Registered Trademarks
Some examples of some well-known trademarks are below:
- “McDonalds,” the McDonalds Arches and the catch phrase “I’m lovin’ it” are all property of the McDonalds corporation and their individually, legally registered trademarks.
- “Starbucks Coffee” and Starbucks Coffee logo, these are the protection of the Starbucks corporation.
- “Nike” and the Nike swoosh logo are the legal property of the Nike corporation.
All of the above logos are legally protected. If either of the above corporations were to discover an outside person or company using any of their trademarked material, they would have the ability to pursue legal action for trademark infringement.
What is the difference between a Trademark and a Copyright?
Trademarks and copyrights are similar in the sense that they both provide valuable protection for the registered owner, however they differ in the specified items that they protect. A trademark protects symbols, designs, phrases or words that recognize the source or existence of your products or services. Trademarks are usually registered by business owners and entrepreneurs. A copyright protects creative work (like novels, plays, movies, songs, etc.), architecture and software. These are usually registered by someone who has created an original work of art or a specialized software program.