A trademark is a term, phrase, symbol, or design that identifies and differentiates one party’s goods from those of another. Trademark registration is available via state or federal governments and is subject to strict legal rules.
How to Register a Trademark for a Name
The process of trademarking a name differs from that of trademarking other forms of intellectual property, such as logos and phrases. You may trademark any English word or phrase, including slang, misspellings, and foreign expressions. If you have a unique concept for a name that isn’t yet registered but wish to prevent competitors from using it in the future, you should file an application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) as soon as feasible.
The USPTO provides trademarks for items (and services) under their authority; thus, if you are considering registering for a trademark for your product name, the following factors should be considered before filing a trademark application :
What is the identity of my brand? What do I want others to think of me? What emotion do I want my brand to evoke in people? Do these emotions correspond to what my logo represents? And how can they be made consistent throughout all elements of my business if they don’t line up now?
How Do I Register a Phrase as a Trademark?
To be able to trademark a term, you must be: Distinctive: The mark must be unique rather than descriptive or generic. The term “apple,” for example, cannot be trademarked since it is too general to distinguish from various apples. If, on the other hand, you use the word “apple” in conjunction with a design concept, such as an apple with stripes or an apple that resembles Mickey Mouse, you can register for a trademark on this novel combination of words and pictures. You could also think about getting a copyright instead of or in addition to registering your phrase as a trademark, because copyrights provide more broad protection than trademarks.
Trademarks are frequently utilised in commerce by merchants who offer products and services in interstate commerce (commerce between states). If there is no intention or desire to sell goods outside of one state at this time but there is a possibility of later expansion into other states (for example, online retailers), they should consider applying for trademarks now even if sales are only taking place within one state at this time so that their marks do not become vulnerable once they start selling across state lines.
How Long Does It Take to Apply for a Trademark?
If you utilise a simple word or phrase as a trademark, you may need to apply for trademark registration. Depending on the intricacy of your application and how quickly you respond to office activities, trademark applications can take 6-12 months. It might take 18-24 months to get registered if you do not reply to an official action.
Is it possible to trademark a word or phrase?
No, it does not. You cannot trademark a term or phrase that is already in general use, a generic word or phrase, or one that represents the goods or services you provide.
For example, claiming ownership of the phrase “iPhone” would be challenging because it is such an iconic brand name and has been extensively utilised by firms other than Apple (for example, Samsung has created its own version of the iPhone called the Galaxy). Similarly, there are several restaurants with the name “They may continue to operate under their present name without danger of being sued by Applebee’s International Inc., which holds trademarks on various permutations of terms including “apple,” “pie,” and “bees.”
Can You Register a Trademark for Your Company Name?
Your company name can be trademarked. However, a federal registration is required to prevent competitors from using the name. You don’t have to be able to register your trademark right away; even if you haven’t applied for federal registration, you may still file a US trademark application with the USPTO and request that they evaluate your claim of ownership over the name.
You can also trademark slogans and logos linked with your company. For example, if you were selling eyeglasses online and wanted to trademark “The Eyewear Store,” but didn’t want others to use it in their own advertising campaign (e.g., “The Eyewear Store: Get Your Glasses Today!”), filing for this protection would be useful for preventing others from doing so without first obtaining permission from yourself or company representatives. ”
Is it possible to trademark a slogan?
A slogan is a memorable phrase used to sell a product or service. It’s supposed to be memorable, but it doesn’t identify the source of the goods or services, unlike a trademarked term or phrase. As a result, slogans are ineligible for trademark protection in the United States and cannot be registered as trademarks on their own.
However, if you use your slogan in conjunction with an applied word mark (such as your company name), this combination can act as both an unregistered trademark and an applied word mark on its own—as long as no one else has claimed rights in each part individually.
How Do I Register a Company Name in the United States?
Now that you’ve decided on a firm name, it’s time to trademark it in the United States.
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) website allows you to apply for a trademark. This can be done by an individual or a business. If you are applying as a person and do not have a lawyer, there are a few things to keep in mind: You should nonetheless hire one; even if the procedure is very straightforward, errors can occur and will cost you time in the long run if left unchecked. Remember that once you submit your application, there is no turning back!
Finally, bear in mind that if someone else already holds rights to your company name, they may be able to prevent your application from being granted by submitting an objection within 30 days after the notice of intent to register’s publication (NTE).
With USPTO trademark filing, you may ensure that your company’s name and emblem are protected from being exploited by others. It also grants you the only right to use the words or phrases in commercial transactions.