Are you in the process of launching a new business? One of the first things you will need to do is register all of your various trademarks and other intellectual property. This will keep it from being stolen or encroached upon by any other entity. Here are a few handy things you will need to know about creating the perfect trademark.
File Your Trademark with the USPTO
The trademark process is a relatively easy one. First, go to the official website of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Run your choice of trademark name through their Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS). This will tell you if your choice is already taken.
If the name you want to use is free, you can then prepare to apply to the USPTO for your trademark. You need to identify what type of trademark you wish to apply for. This may be a specific character, design, or sound. Each element must be trademarked separately.
You will then need to determine under which statutory basis of the Trademark Act you want to file your trademark under. There are 5 separate filing bases for you to choose from. Each has distinctive features that make it the best choice for a particular kind of trademark. You will need to get familiar with them in order to make your decision.
After you have chosen your basis, you can then submit your application. The USPTO has a total of three initial trademark application forms for you to select from. The price of filing will vary depending on which one you choose. The cost will range from $225 to $400. You can submit your application and check its progress at the USPTO site.
What Happens After You File?
At this point, an attorney representing the USPTO will review the trademark application that you have chosen to submit. They will let you know if there are issues of any kind. If they should find one, they will inform you in writing. You will then have a period of six months to respond to it. You can then work with them to fix it.
If there are no issues with the trademark application that you have submitted, you can count on being approved. At this point, it will be officially recognized and published by the USPTO.
Keep in mind that, even after your trademark has been officially approved, this will still be very much an ongoing process. You will still need to maintain your trademark registration in order to ensure that it remains up to date and legally binding. You can do so by filing forms to this effect in the time granted to you by the USPTO.
Hire a Trademark Attorney
After all of your trademarks are duly recognized by law, you will still need to retain the services of a trademark lawyer. This is the person that you will keep on retainer in order to protect your intellectual property and trademarks. Your lawyer will file a case in court if you feel that they are being infringed on.
You may also wish to hire a trademark lawyer as you begin the process of filing for this type of legal protection. The process of getting your trademarks officially recognized, registered, and protected can take anywhere from a few months to over a year. A trademark lawyer can help you cut down the waiting time.
There is also the fact that the USPTO has very strict deadlines for both interactive correspondence and the filing of claims. If you miss any of these deadlines, your claim could be thrown out.
Hiring a trademark lawyer is the best way to make sure that you meet all of these deadlines. This move will allow you to save a great deal of time, effort, and money in the long run.
The Time to Trademark Your Business is Now
There is no better protection for your trademarks and other intellectual property than a full legal recognition of your rights. The best way for you to obtain this level of protection is to file with the USPTO. The sooner your rights are recognized by state and federal laws, the sooner you can safely and profitably conduct your business.