How To: Register a Trademark for Your Business
If your answer to that question is yes, you've come to the right place. Here's a quick guide on how to register a business trademark.
Use It or Lose It
Common law trademarks often carry symbols ("TM" for goods; "SM" for services) and protections extend to anywhere you use the mark in commerce. So if you only conduct business locally, your trademark rights may be confined to that region.
Make It Official
On the other hand, you can register your trademark by filing a federal trademark application with the U.S. Patent Trademark Office (USPTO). The application process is fairly straightforward, and you can even file your trademark application online.
Registering your trademark with the USPTO can extend your trademark protections nationwide, even if you don't do business all over the country. U.S. Customs can even use the registration to prevent the importation of potentially infringing products. You can also then register your trademark in other countries.
Registration means you can use the federal trademark symbol, the "R" in a circle, which can impart an image of quality to your product or business. And official registration puts other people and businesses on constructive notice that the mark is already in use and help you protect your trademark rights.
If you'd like legal assistance with trademark registration issues, you can consult with an experienced trademark attorney in your area.
- Browse Trademarks Lawyers by Location (FindLaw Directory)
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- Trademarks Overview (FindLaw)
- Know When to Trademark for a Business Advantage (FindLaw's Free Enterprise)
You Don’t Have To Solve This on Your Own – Get a Lawyer’s Help
Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.