In today’s highly competitive global market, protecting your corporate identity has become one of the most important steps you can take. A world accessible via the Internet means more free information is available to the public. It’s very easy to use your hard-won reputation to compete. Protecting your business with a brand is essential to building a brand and making investments. Otherwise, another company can create a logo similar to yours and benefit from your hard work.
But copyright theft is not the only problem. If you don’t have a brand, the infringement may occur. Even if you or your company owns natural copyrights, taking legal action to prevent so-called infringements can be expensive and time-consuming.
So how do to avoid mistakes while choosing a trademark?
Trademarks and service marks are valuable commodities. Brand protection is essential for companies who are selling their products nationally or internationally, and even for small businesses in the early stages of branding. Trademark protection may be lost due to no utilizing, and may allow third parties to use the trademark without verifying its use, improper transfer of ownership, trademark abuse, rather than the trademark police stopping to list the source of the product or service.
Before and after applying for a trademark, you can do many things to increase your chances of getting the protection you need. Follow the following steps to register your trademark correctly for the first time and avoid mistakes:
Select a distinctive mark
The first thing to do is to thoroughly research the trademark. It is important to understand all uses of a trademark which you want to protect, whether it is a trademark used by a competitor or a company outside the professional field – because any of them will affect the protection of the trademark.
In order to distinguish your products and services from other products, your brand must be unique, that is, not to be confused with other people’s brands for similar goods or services. If your brand misleads consumers in terms of the source of products or services, you may lose your brand or even sue them for infringement. Therefore, before using your mark, make sure that your brand is unique.
Check Domain Name Availability
In today’s world where technology is everything, you need to make sure that the .com extension is available for your brand. Do not use hyphens in the domain name, as this will redirect your traffic and customers to another site. Also, don’t use general spelling errors, as they will mistakenly redirect your traffic and customers to another site. You should also get the .net and .org trademark extensions registered to reduce the possibility of Internet users using these extensions to register your domain name.
Moreover, there are online trademark search services that would allow you to check the domain name availability easily. Considering such services definitely makes it easy for you to continue with your trademark registration process.
Do a Trademark Search
Don’t do fake assumptions that a name that you’ve came up with is a name that no one else would thought of. So even if they work in a different industry, you are unlikely to use it. You can also innocently come up with a name similar to another company. You don’t want to harm someone else’s brand, especially if you’ve already invested in advertising. Imagine a scenario where you launch your branded product and face legal action because your brand violates the other party’s brand. In this case, make sure to do a thorough research about the marks.
Properly mark your trademark
Remember this distinction: a trademark that is not a registered trademark of USPTO is marked with ™, and it is registered trademark of USPTO is always marked with ®. Use the ™ symbol before filing a trademark application with the USPTO and when processing federal trademark applications. If you have obtained federal registration, replace the ™ symbol with the ® symbol.
Consult With a Trademark Attorney
In the early stages of this process, it is very important that you consult a trademark attorney with extensive trademark registration experience. Don’t assume that lawyers have experience in trademark law. You can also visit the PTO website www.uspto.gov to ensure that they have many pre-registered brands already.
The wrong strategy may reduce the value of a registered trademark. Your registration may be very limited and may not cover all the items you sell or plan to sell in the future. Your registration may be very large and increase the attorney’s fee. For this, you need to ensure that your legal strategy is based on your business goals. The better you file an application, the better your protection and expense will be. Quickly establish good brand awareness not only to define products or services, but to focus on differentiation. The more unique and distinctive, the stronger the trademark.