Negosentro| How To Trademark Your Business Name|Trademarking your business name gives your business exclusive legal rights to use your trademarked name in connection with your business’s goods and services in the United States. Registering your trademark will allow you to prevent any other businesses from using your name by filing a lawsuit against them. The steps outlined below can help get you started on the process.
Before You Get Started
Before you begin the process, you should make sure you have a clear idea of the name you want to trademark, the goods and services you plan to register that trademark in connection with and whether you intend to file on a name you have already been using or one you intend to use in the future. Having this information will help you proceed through the rest of the application process.
Conducting a Name Search
You can’t trademark a name that has already been trademarked by someone else, and you could be sued by the trademark holder if you use their trademarked name. The United States Patent and Trademark Office provides a search tool for looking up trademarked names.
Meeting the Filing Requirements
In addition to making sure the name you want hasn’t already been trademarked by someone else, you will need to be able to properly identify your goods and services and the proper filing basis for your application. The USPTO provides a useful tutorial, that can help you make sure you meet all the requirements. The USPTO will not refund the processing fee if you submit an application and fail to meet the requirements for registration.
Before Submitting Your Application
Before you submit your electronic application, you should check the USPTO system’s status and availability. If you want to pay your filing fees by electronic funds transfer, you will need to set up an EFT profile on the USPTO site before you start your application. It takes approximately 8 business days to get an EFT profile approved. Add the USPTO to your “safe senders” list in your e-mail system so that you don’t miss any important e-mails from them about your application.
Choosing Your Filing Form
There are two filing forms, called TEAS Plus and TEAS Standard. TEAS Plus has a lower filing fee, but more requirements. You should use the TEAS Plus form if you can meet all the TEAS Plus filing requirements at the time of your application and you can select entries that accurately describe your goods and services from the Trademark ID Manual. If you don’t meet both of these requirements, you will need to file the TEAS Standard form and pay the higher fee.
Submitting Your Application
You can submit an online application on the U.S. Patent Office website. If you are a foreign-domiciled applicant, you are required to have a U.S. licensed trademark attorney represent you at the USPTO.
Applicants domiciled in the United States are not required to have an attorney, but the USPTO encourages them to. Foreign attorneys and non-attorneys are not allowed to provide legal advice, help fill out forms or otherwise assist with the application process.
Following Up On Your Application
Once you have submitted your application, you can track the status on the USPTO website. It takes about 5-7 business days for your application to begin showing up in the database.
Paying the Fee
The current filing fee is $225 per class of goods or services listed under the TEAS Plus option and $275 per class for the standard option. These fees must be submitted before your application can be approved. You can pay your fee by EFT, check or money order, credit card, debit card, deposit account, or wire payment.
The name you use for your business is your public identity and part of protecting that identity is ensuring that no one else is using your business name for their benefit. Trademarking your business name offers you legal protections that can be enforced through the court system when necessary.
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