So you think you have a great idea for a business name and logo and are ready to file a trademark. Consider the following before you do:
1. Make sure your mark is distinctive
To make a “distinctive” mark means that customers will be able to identify clearly that the mark is representing your goods and services. For example, don’t choose to try and trademark “ice cream” for the name of an ice cream shop. This brand name wouldn’t be clearly identifying your ice cream shop as the term is too generic. Customers will likely confuse your ice cream shop with all other ice cream shops.
2. Retain experienced trademark counsel
You never know when trouble may come or when you might have a burning question, so it is a good idea to establish a relationship with a lawyer you trust early on. LegalForce offers a free 15-minute legal consultation. A quick legal consultation is a great place to start to answer any immediate trademark registration questions and also to explore your options in retaining legal counsel.
3. Make sure you have all the pieces
Don’t worry if you haven’t posted your brand name in shiny lights above your shop. Some may think you have to be using your brand name and or logo already in order to register it, but that isn’t necessarily true. In the U.S., you just need the word and or logo design handy with intent to use one or both in commerce – that’s all you will need.
4. Think global
Even if you are not immediately using your brand name or logo in another country, it’s a good idea to think ahead. Make a list of all the countries you plan to work in and bring that to the table when you are ready to register.
5. Register BOTH a domain name AND a trademark
Trademarks and domain names require separate registration processes and provide you with different rights.
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