When is the right time to register my trademark?
Securing your brand’s trademark from the very beginning is a good idea. As soon as you know what you want to protect, whether it’s your company’s name, a slogan, or a product name, you want to consider getting a trademark application on file. The sooner you get your trademark application filed, the better. That’s because the United States Patent and Trademark Office, or USPTO for short, looks at when a trademark application was filed for registration purposes. Like filing for copyright protection, registering your trademark is like staking your claim in the business world, and it provides you with strong legal protection.
Also, waiting until something goes wrong to seek trademark protection can be more costly. If a competitor has infringed your trademark, or used your mark without permission or authorization, your reputation can suffer. If you have a registered trademark, stopping another business from using your trademark is an easier process.
What is the process for registering a trademark?
Registering a trademark can be a daunting and complicated process when you get into it. It requires searching for similar trademarks to make sure yours is unique, then completing an application that describes what your trademark legally encompasses. Using a Trademark Application Worksheet can help you get your information organized.
The trademark search and application process can be confusing. The search for similar trademarks, and interpreting your search results, can vary in difficulty. Completing the required description in the application can also vary in complexity based on how you plan to use your trademark. Applicants are required to say which “class” of goods or services their trademark covers. Fortunately, you may choose more than one “class” of goods or services to register your trademark under. This is helpful especially if you plan to offer new products or services.
Working with a trademark lawyer can help make sure you get your trademark done right. Rocket Legal+ members get HALF OFF trademark services.
How do I stop trademark infringement?
If you find someone using your trademark, the first thing you want to do is document the infringement. Then, it is often a good idea to talk with a lawyer to understand your rights. Once you know where you stand, you can send a Cease and Desist Letter to demand they stop using your trademark immediately.
A Cease and Desist Letter not only can notify the infringing party of the violation and request they stop using your trademark, it can initiate negotiations to resolve your potential legal claim. Often, these letters are effective at getting the infringement to stop. Remember to remain professional, however, and address the issue through the proper legal channels.
If a letter does not stop the infringement, you may want to discuss your next steps with a lawyer. After all, every trademark case is unique, and you have to go out there and protect what is yours.
What can I do with my trademark after it is registered?
One of the big reasons to get a trademark is so that you can protect your business’s reputation by preventing others from using the branding that you worked hard to develop. So once your trademark is registered, start using it. You can start using ™ next to your mark as soon as you know you want to protect it. This shows that you are claiming trademark protection. Once your trademark is registered, however, you can put the ® symbol next to your trademark to show that your mark is officially registered.
Legal protection isn’t the only benefit, however, you can also use your branding and trademarks to earn money on their own since you own the right to sell or license the use of your trademark.
Still thinking about registering your business’s trademark? Get started and get HALF OFF trademark services when you purchase a Rocket Legal+ membership.
This article contains general legal information and does not contain legal advice. Rocket Lawyer is not a law firm or a substitute for an attorney or law firm. The law is complex and changes often. For legal advice, please ask a lawyer.