A trademark represents a company or product. If you go to the trouble of coming up with a particular trademark, it makes sense that you would want to protect it.
Why Register your Trademark?
There are many reasons why you should register your trademark, including protecting yourself from unregistered trademark infringement in various situations. For example, did you know you can bring more value to your business by registering your trademark? You can also make things easier to resolve if you happen to experience trademark infringement. Keep reading to find out about these reasons and others to register your trademark.
1. You Can Increase the Value of Your Business
A trademark can help separate your business from the pack and allow customers to easily recognize your product or service when they see it – also known as brand recognition — which is of extreme value. And if you get to the point in your business where you want to sell it, having a trademark can help increase the sale price due to customer recognition and the fact that your brand is valuable enough to you that you’d want to trademark it.
2. You Can Protect Your Brand or Business on Social Media Platforms
With all of the social media platforms out there, such as Pinterest, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, it’s important to be able to use your trademark on them to promote your product or service. Many of these platforms operate on a first come, first served basis, and someone could potentially use your trademark in their username or on their page. If your trademark is registered, it will be much easier to prove that you own the trademark than if it’s not registered. When filing a complaint against another user for using your trademark, many social platforms will request your trademark registration number.
3. You Can Easily Prove You Are the Owner of the Trademark
When starting a business, the decision to register your trademark can make a big difference. Registering your trademark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office effectively gives everyone notice that you own the mark. So, if someone uses a mark that’s the same or similar to yours, you will not have to prove in a court of law that they knew the trademark was yours prior to using it. In fact, instead of taking the person to court immediately, you can start by writing a cease and desist letter, which includes your trademark registration number.
4. You Can Prevent Trademarks From Being Used in Unauthorized Ads
Unfortunately, people can purchase certain keywords from search engines like Google, which could include the words in your trademark. If your trademark is registered, however, and someone starts using your trademark without your authorization or in a way that’s not permitted, you can use your trademark registration to prove you own the mark.
5. You Can Gain Better Protection
After your trademark has been registered for five years, you can apply to have your mark deemed uncontestable. This means that you are entitled to the exclusive use of the mark. Plus, you may be able to collect extended damages plus attorney fees if you go to court over trademark infringement and win. When you have an uncontestable mark, court battles will take place in federal, not state, court, which will cover infringement across state lines. This doesn’t mean that you couldn’t make an infringement claim in federal court with an unregistered trademark, it just means that it might be much more difficult to gain the outcome you’d like.
What Can Be Registered As a Trademark?
This question qualifies as one of those trademark FAQs that people often wonder about. In general, words, names and symbols — or any combination thereof — can be registered as a trademark. The color and packaging of a product can also be registered as long as those features are specific to your brand and not just serving a function.
Before applying to register your trademark, you can find out if the trademark you want to use is already registered by searching the USPTO’s trademark database.
How Hard is it to Register a Trademark?
You can apply to register for a trademark online at the USPTO website, and you won’t likely need a lawyer’s assistance to do so. The whole process should take no more than 90 minutes. Filing fees start at $225 per class of goods or services, according to the USPTO website. You should receive the response to your application within six months of filing.
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