June 25th, 2020
Are you getting the most benefit and protection possible for your goods or services? Have you considered using a trademark?
To help step up your game to get the most benefit and protection possible, read on!
First of all, What is a Trademark?
In simple terms, a trademark is a symbol, slogan, design, color, word or combination of elements that should identify goods or services.
The trademark helps distinguish your goods or services from someone else’s.
Examples of trademarks: Nike “swoosh” symbol, the McDonald’s “golden arches”, and T-Mobile’s vibrant pink color.
So how do you choose a trademark that provides you the protection you need, is memorable, strengthens your marketing strategy, and helps reduce the potential from legal disputes?
Here are a few of many trademark tips:
Conduct a Thorough Trademark Search
Before you apply for a trademark, search the USPTO’s trademark database (Trademark Electronic Search System, or TESS) to see if any trademark has already been registered by someone else or applied for that is similar to your trademark or used on related products or for related services.
Once you’ve identified a few names that sound interesting and memorable to you, go through the online registration records to ensure that those terms haven’t been trademarked already. This can get a bit tricky because someone with a similar sounding trade name might not be in the exact same industry as you.
Go for marks that are either fanciful or arbitrary
A trademark that actually describes the product that you’re selling can be extremely difficult to enforce so choosing arbitrary or fanciful marks should be the way to go. The former essentially has meaningless words that are in no way related to the goods that are being sold under the name. Xerox and Teflon would be a good example.
Another alternative would be to opt for arbitrary marks, which are mainly terms that have no relation to the goods they intend to describe. An example of this would be the word Apple for phones. Remember that the best brands out there have distinct names that have been well-thought-out and trademarked.
Finalize a domain name
A domain name can help you expand your reach to people around the world and expand your presence by registering your domain name with a .com extension so that people can actually find your brand online. Don’t overcomplicate or misspell it either!
And another pro tip: snatch the .org, .world extensions.
Get it registered
Once you’ve done all the preliminary work, consider contacting the USPTO or legal representation to protect your trademark as well as your brand through registration of all the marks that fit your specific needs. This will ensure that others can’t use the same marks that will become your identifiers!