It’s critical to think about the name you wish to use when beginning a business. Do you wish to apply a trademark or just register brand name ? The answer may depend on whether you believe it will be used by someone else. A trademark is an identification that allows one firm to be distinguished from another.
A company name registration is not the same as a trademark registration.
If you’re beginning a business, you’ve probably heard that you should register your name as a trademark. First and foremost: A trademark is an identifier used by businesses to differentiate their goods or services from those of others, whereas a company name is what individuals use to refer to the entity delivering those goods or services when chatting casually about them. For example, if I say “I love Apple’s computer,” I’m referring to the firm; if I say “I love Apple computers,” I’m talking to the company’s goods (specifically laptops).
Although trademarks and brands are frequently used interchangeably in discussions about how consumers identify companies through visual cues like logos and slogans, they are actually different types of intellectual property that serve different purposes and require different registrations with individual government agencies like the US Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO).
If you just register a business name without registering a trademark, you will have no legal protection for it other than what comes with operating a business under that name.
This implies that if someone starts using a name that is similar to yours, they can do so without violating your rights because they are not utilising it for commercial purposes. They are merely utilising the brand on their own initiative, with no intention of imitating your product or service. However, trademarks come into play here since they protect something specific about what you make or sell under said brand.
When you register a trademark, you have exclusive rights to use the trademark.
Trademarks are used to establish the origin of a product or service. The owner of a trademark has exclusive rights to the mark, which may be enforced by legal action against anybody who uses it in a way that could lead to misunderstanding about the source of products or services.
When you register your trademark with IP Australia, you get legal ownership of it. For example, if someone else uses your trademark without your permission, you can sue for damages (or they use it in “passing off” situations). You may also be able to recoup any profits they gained from utilising the mark, as well as their expenditures.
You can prevent others from using a similar mark if it is likely to confuse customers about who is delivering their products or services.
If you see someone else using a similar business name, or if you see your business name being used by others, you should consider registering your trademark.
When you apply for trademark registration with the USPTO, keep in mind that “likely of confusion” is one of the numerous criteria evaluated to assess whether an application will be successful. The USPTO will consider whether your products or services are likely to be confused with those sold by other firms, as well as the strength (or weakness) of each party’s marks in connection to their respective fields of usage. If they determine that there is no possibility of consumer misunderstanding between your mark and the mark of another party based on these grounds, they may dismiss your application—even if it was the first! To prevent this scenario and instead gain enforceable trademark rights, it is preferable to apply early in order to get precedence over any existing marks before anybody else does!
It would be difficult to secure your business name from others if you do not register it.
You will have no legal protection if you do not file for a trademark. This implies that anybody else can use your name and logo. If someone else uses a similar name and emblem to yours, people may believe they are purchasing from you. They may also use the same name as you, making it more difficult for clients to locate your business through web searches.
You can sue someone who infringes on your trademark in court. You can seek an injunction to restrict them from using their mark, as well as any other action necessary to defend your brand’s identity. You may also be compensated for lost sales or earnings as a result of the infringement (sometimes known as “unregistered rights”).
Similar names registered at the state level will not preclude you from registering with the federal government. For example, despite having other names registered at the state level, McDonald’s was able to get federal registration for its mark.
The amount of times you may use your company name is limitless. The number of times a mark can be used is not limited by the PTO. However, if you have numerous marks that are confusingly similar to another registered or unregistered mark, you may need to modify your business name before submitting a trademark registration to remedy any disputes.
A federal registration will not prevent someone else from using your business name in another location or state; however, if someone else uses their version first and then files for federal registration later (or vice versa), they may receive rights to all variations as long as they were using them at the time of filing. For example, despite having other names registered at the state level, McDonald’s was able to get federal registration of its mark since it had been using “McDonald’s” for more than 10 years prior to filing an application with the PTO (and still owns rights to those previous versions).
TESS allows users to search all of the PTO’s trademark databases online (Trademark Electronic Search System).
TESS (Trademark Electronic Search System) is a free search engine for all forms of trademarks, not only business names. TESS may be used to determine whether a trademark has been registered by someone else and whether the trademark’s owner is prepared to sell it.
Do I need to file a trademark if I register a business name? If so, how should I go about doing so? TESS allows users to search all of the PTO’s trademark databases online (Trademark Electronic Search System).
If you file an application with the PTO, depending on how distinctive your mark is, it may be denied since comparable marks already exist.
If you file an application with the PTO, depending on how distinctive your mark is, it may be denied since comparable marks already exist. The examiner will look through the database for comparable marks.
If there are, you may have to come up with a new name. It is advisable to examine the USPTO database before applying for registration of your business name or logo. This service is free and just takes a few minutes!
If you’re serious about safeguarding your company, it’s worth doing some study and considering the idea of obtaining a US trademark. It should not be handled lightly and may be highly difficult, but if done correctly, it can protect you from infringement by others.