Whenever you make something that is unique to you and you want to name it uniquely so that your identity can be easily established, you protect the name. A unique name helps a lot in brand building and keeping your products or services exclusive in the marketplace. Although you cannot patent a name, you can only trademark a name. Trademark registration is not that easy as compared to trademarking a word.
Before you go on with the trademark registration, it is important to be sure that your name is unique and is not already registered. A unique name that has the capability to stand out in the market with its unique features can be protected.
Also read: Importance of Patent and Patent Search
Steps to protect a name
Trademark protects the brand name or any name that should give you a unique identity. Having a unique identity helps your business to grow and promotes good health. There are certain steps involved in protecting name through trademark:
Select a Name
Before going to the patent and trademark office, it is important to select a name that is unique and represents your brand. It is important to choose your name wisely. A name that is not good enough will not take your business to heights. A potential trademark name will get approval and will help your business to grow.
Search the trademark database
Giving a unique name to your business is important to give it trademark protection. But there might be a possibility that the name that you have chosen for your business is already taken and is in use. So, you might infringe someone unknowingly if you don’t consider going for a trademark search which will attract legal actions.
You can go for USPTO’s trademark search database, that is, Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS) to search for relevant pre-existing trademarks. It is optional to find professional help for the service, but you can conduct the search yourself. Although a professional will be able to search widely across the databases and come up with better search results with his/her expertise. It is important to search for different databases for better results.
It is wise to move to the next step only when the trademark search is done successfully, and no data is found.
Apply for Trademark
You can apply for a trademark using Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS). There are various steps involved in the process like, identity verification, filling various application forms, response forms, etc.
Checking application status
After you are done with filing the application, you can check the status of the application online. You can check the status using the online portal of USPTO, Trademark Status and Document Retrieval (TSDR). You should check the status every 3-6 months from the date of filing of an application. You will get approval if your application is right and doesn’t require any changes.
You can apply for trademarking your name at USPTO. The steps involved in the process are searching for the right name for your business, searching the relevant databases, applying at TESS, checking the status of the trademark, and working on the office action.
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