When you have developed a unique trademark, it’s important to ensure that the use of your trademark is protected. Although you aren’t required to obtain trademark protection, failing to do so leaves you with few legal options if you fall victim to copycats. Registering your trademark ensures that no one else can legally use your trademark without your permission.
Steps to take when seeking trademark protection
Securing trademark protection involves several steps, including:
- Performing a review of trademark records: You don’t want to go through the trademark registration process only to find that your idea is already in use. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has a database of all registered trademarks on record. This should be your first stop before going any further.
- Find the proper trademark classification: There are various trademark categories. It’s essential to determine the proper classification of your trademark.
- File: Upon completion, you will want to file your application. It’s possible to do so online.
- Consider international registration: If you plan to use your trademark outside of the U.S., you should seek international registration. This will help you assert your ownership rights on foreign soil.
- Find out the registration fee: Trademark registration comes with a price. The fees for registering your trademark can vary depending on the type of protection you’re seeking. Determine the proper fee to avoid delays.
- Provide an example: It’s important to provide an example of your trademark along with your application. A written description will not be adequate.
This process can take several months. You will have to renew your protection every so often. It’s also important that you ensure the continued use of your trademark. A skilled legal professional can help guide you through this process and give your application the best shot at success.