A trademark will be any word, phrase, symbol, design, or mixture of these things that identifies your goods or services. It’s how customers recognize you within the marketplace and distinguish you from your competitors.
The word “trademark” can talk over with both trademarks and service marks. A trademark is meant for goods, while a service mark is used for services. Patent and Trademark Office so as to assert protection from copycats, however. The actual fact that we so easily associate symbols and words with companies and their brands are one of the largest advantages of their use. When a customer sees a familiar logo or phrase, they have instant recognition, which may drive preference and, ultimately, sales.
- Identifies the source of your goods or services.
- Provides legal protection for your brand.
- Helps you guard against counterfeiting and fraud.
A common misconception is that having a trademark means you legally own a selected word or phrase and might others from using it. However, you don’t have rights to the word or phrase in general, only to how that word or phrase is employed along with your specific goods or services.
For example, as an instance, you use a logo as a trademark for your small wooden interior business to spot and distinguish your goods or services from others within the wooden interior field. This does not mean you’ll be able to stop others from using a similar logo for non-woodworking-related goods or services.
Another common misunderstanding is trusting that picking a trademark that simply describes your goods or services is effective. Creative and unique trademarks are more effective and easier to safeguard. Read more about strong trademarks.
How Long Does a Trademark Last?
Unlike patents, which are granted for a period of twenty years, trademarks never end. Companies do have to apply for them and acquire ownership validation with the U.S. A common law trademark may last for as long as you continue to use the mark, though you may lose your protection if you fail to enforce your rights.
A federal trademark registration lasts for 10 years and is renewable for an additional 10-year period. State trademark registrations are governed by state law, and therefore the requirements vary from state to state.
What Can Be Trademarked?
You can trademark many of the things that you use to differentiate your business from further businesses. You might have a trademark for:
- Business names
- A product names
- Logo or label
- A symbol or design
- A sound
- A product packages
Using the trademark symbols TM, SM, and ®
Every time you use your trademark, you’ll use a symbol with it. The symbol lets customers and competitors know you’re claiming the trademark as yours. You’ll use “TM” for goods or “SM” for services whether or not you haven’t filed an application to register your trademark.
When you register your trademark with us, use an ® with the trademark. You can use the registration symbol anywhere around the trademark, although most trademark owners use the symbol in a very superscript or subscript manner to the right of the trademark. You can only use the registration symbol with the trademark for the goods or services listed within the federal trademark registration.
Owning a trademark vs. having a registered trademark
You become a trademark owner as soon as you begin using your trademark together with your goods or services. You determine rights in your trademark by using it, but those rights are limited, and they only apply to the geographic area within which you’re providing your goods or services. If you wish for stronger, nationwide rights, you’ll have to apply to register your trademark with us.
You’re not required to register your trademark. Though, a registered trademark offers wider rights and protections than an unregistered one.
For example, you use a logo as a trademark for the handmade clothes you sell at a neighbourhood market. As your business grows and you expand online, you would possibly want more protection for your trademark and decide to apply for federal registration. Registering your trademark with us means you create nationwide rights in your trademark.
Why register a trademark?
Though it’s not mandatory to register a trademark so as to use it, trademark registration adds great value to a business. The goodwill and reputation of a business can be reduced or tarnished if others try and misrepresent their own goods and services as yours by adopting a brand that is similar or just like your business. a number of the key benefits of registering a trademark include:
- The trademark owner has the right to prevent others from using a similar or identical mark without his approval as soon as the trademark is registered.
- Makes a rightful awareness among the public about the authentic ownership and quality of the product.
- Prevents others to copy and use the trademark because the owner of a registered trademark can sue and collect damages from organizations that infringe upon the trademark.
- A trademark registration reduces the possibility of another party claiming that your trademark infringes upon their trademark.
- Grants the owner the right to use the ® symbol.