As a business owner, your name and the associations with your brand are some of the most critical components of your company.
Trademarks exist to protect the integrity and value of your business name and the symbols you’ve chosen to represent it. Your company name and logo become vital to your business as a whole, its reputation, and the customer loyalty you’ve worked so hard to build.
What is a Trademark?
It’s important first to understand exactly what a trademark is and how it can benefit your business. Officially, a trademark is a word, phrase, design, or a combination that identifies your goods and services, distinguishes them from others, and indicates the source of your goods or services. A trademark can be your business name, logo, symbol, or other design that represents your company.
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) grants federal protection by preventing other individuals from registering trademarks without your permission.
Registering your brand or storefront as a trademark is not required by law. However, doing so can protect you from others misusing your brand or creating a similar version that consumers can not tell the difference.
As a business owner, you spend hours perfecting your logo and business name, making it something creative and memorable that you’re proud of. How would you feel if a random competitor with an almost identical business name or logo entered the market? It could cause lasting damage to your brand, your credibility, and the trust and loyalty you’ve worked so hard to build with your customer base.
Without a registered trademark, you can’t do much legally to prevent this from happening. Now that you know the ramifications of not registering a trademark, let’s get into the details of how to trademark a name and logo for a business.
How to Trademark a Business Name and Logo
We want to prepare you — if you expect this process to be quick and easy, you may be disappointed. Registering a trademark takes some time to complete, but trust us when we say it’s completely worth it for your business’s longevity and legal protection. Here’s what you need to do.
1. Clear the name you want to trademark.
Using USPTO’s Electronic Trademark Search System, confirm the name or design you want to trademark is available within the federal database. Ensuring no one else uses your company’s logo will save you a lot of time and energy.
You can perform this step, but many businesses hire a trademark lawyer to do the work for them. Trademark law can get tricky; if you can afford it, it’s best to have a professional in your corner.
2. Fill out the trademark application.
Once you’ve determined the name and logo you’ll be registering, it’s time to apply! There are quite a few steps to the application process, and some of the information you’ll need to address includes the following:
- Your name and address
- A drawing of your logo design or the name
- A list of services and products provided by the logo/ name
- The class of services provided
- The date your logo or design was first used
- An example of the symbol used in a relevant,
Keep in mind that if you are registering a business name and a logo, these are two separate applications.
3. File your trademark application.
When filing your trademark application, you have two
The Plus filing option is the cheaper of the two; at $250, it involves more requirements than the Standard. TEAS Plus is generally used for Applicants who can use an ID Manual listing in their trademark application if the listing accurately reflects what they’re offering within their trademark.
The Standard filing option costs $350 but is a more streamlined process and typically sees fewer rejections than the Plus option. The Standard option is the best choice for applicants who don’t want to use entries from the Trademark ID Manual because they don’t accurately describe your goods or services.
Whichever route you choose, your trademark application will be submitted to a trademark attorney for review. When it’s all said and done, most trademarks are registered within 12 to 18 months. You will receive a tracking number with your application so you can keep an eye on your paperwork and know what stage it’s at in the process.
Get all your burning trademark registration questions answered here!
Where do I register a trademark?
If you’re wondering where to trademark a name and logo, that’s one pretty straightforward answer! All trademark applications are submitted through the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
How much is to trademark a name and logo?
There are quite a few costs and fees associated with registering a trademark. The application fee depends on which filing option you select and the number of classes of goods/ services per application.
If you opt to hire a trademark lawyer, they will also charge a fee. Depending on how you intend to use the trademark, particularly in commerce and foreign trademark scenarios, there may be additional fees throughout the application process.
Lastly, once your trademark is registered, you must pay occasional maintenance fees. It’s not cheap, but it’s worth it!
Power Up Your Ecommerce Business with Ecwid
Let’s face it
We understand the stress of these arduous tasks, so we provide helpful resources and tools for business owners on the Ecwid blog. From trademarks to content marketing, graphic design, and shipping logistics, we’re sharing our business knowledge with companies all over the globe. Plus, if you need an ecommerce site up and running quickly, we can help with that, too.
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