Many people ask how to trademark a name.

Trademarking a business name is quite common. First, it’s important to understand what a trademark is. Please see our discussion of trademark basics here. Ideally, businesses should trademark their names before or shortly after launching. If you launch a business and later determine that someone already has your trademark, you may have an issue.

First, a business looking to trademark its name should contact an attorney to begin the process. Trademark To Go makes this process easy and affordable. A good attorney will take the time to discuss your proposed trademark. Certain names cannot be trademarked — purely generic names, purely descriptive names, and trademarks that are too similar to existing trademarks, for example.

The attorney should then do a trademark search. This process entails searching government trademark databases and the internet to ensure that no one has an identical or similar trademark. If a similar trademark exists, a competent attorney should analyze whether it’s “confusingly similar.” This standard is used by the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to determine whether to reject applications. Beware: online document filing services (like the ones you see advertising on TV) cannot do this for you. They are not attorneys and cannot practice law or analyze legal arguments.

If the attorney believes the mark is likely available and strong enough to be registered, he will complete the application with the USPTO. The application is long and a bit confusing, and requires certain specific information. Any flaws in the application can result in a rejection. Trademark To Go was founded by an attorney to help make this process easier.

If the government approves your application, it is open to challenge by competitors with similar trademarks for 30 days. After that period, assuming there have been no successful challenges and you are currently using the name, your trademark will register! If you haven’t used the name yet, you will then have 6 months to provide proof to the government that you’re using it. After providing proof, your mark will register.

Ready to file your trademark and protect your business?

We may it easy with our five-step process. Call us at (888) 421-0589 or click here to get started!

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