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Trademarks

Protect your branding and intellectual property with a trademark.

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Manage your trademarks FAQs

  • Do I need to register a trademark?

    You may not. If you are a small, local company that doesn't sell in multiple states, you may only benefit from applying for a state trademark and a local "Doing Business As" (DBA). You can operate with an unregistered trademark by simply adding "™" to your business name, slogan and website.

    When you register with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), it lets others know about your trademark and that you sell goods or services across state lines. If you have an online company that provides services to those residing in other states or you sell products from your website, you may benefit from applying for a trademark since you sell products and services across state lines. You may also benefit from registering your trademark if your business is expanding, you are seeking funding, or you want to sell your business.

  • How do I research a trademark?

    Before filing your trademark, you'll want to thoroughly research existing trademarks to ensure that your branding is unique. You can research existing trademarks online and there are a few websites available for researching foreign trademarks as well. If you do not research your trademark well, your application may not be granted if a similar mark already exists.

  • Why might a trademark be refused?

    You'll want to research trademarks and compare them to yours, not just by spelling but also by sound, appearance, and meaning. Trademarks cannot usually be a descriptive phrase such as "hats sold online" or a surname such as "Smith's Hats." Your trademark may also be rejected if it is geographically misleading or falsely suggests an association that may appear like an endorsement. You'll want to attempt to create a unique mark that is difficult to be mistaken for another trademark.

  • Can a trademark protect my company globally?

    It might, but it might not. Generally, your company may be protected if the other company is attempting to or is invading your market. If the company operates out of another country, their website is in another language, and they are not operating in your market, you may have a difficult time proving damage.

    To help avoid potential issues, you should diligently research your brand before filing your trademark. While performing your research, you may find companies that already exist in other countries with similar branding. If you are planning to market in other countries, you'll want to hire a legal team that can help you navigate foreign Intellectual Property laws.

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Legal guides

  1. How to Stop a Business from Using Your Trademark or Intellectual Property
    2 min read
  2. When Do Small Businesses Need Trademark Protection?
    2 min read
  3. What Are the Limitations of Trademark Law?
    3 min read
  4. What Is the Difference between a Registered and Unregistered Trademark?
    2 min read
  5. How to Register a Trademark
    3 min read
  6. What Can Be Trademarked? Names, Phrases and Even Colors
    3 min read
  7. How Long Does a Trademark Last?
    2 min read
  8. Trademark Filing Process: How Much Does a Trademark Application Cost?
    3 min read
  9. What Is a Trademark and What Are the Types?
    2 min read
  10. Trademark Search: How Do I Check if My Trademark Is Unique?
    3 min read
  11. What's the Lanham (Trademark) Act?
    2 min read
  12. How To Do a Trademark Search
    3 min read
  13. Understanding Trademarks
    5 min read
  14. How to Trademark Your Business Name or Logo
    2 min read

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