As behemoth and mighty businesses continue to make headway on the Internet, an outpouring of trademarks is inevitable. Used to distinguish products and services of the marketplace, a registered mark can be any of the following:
Ã¢Â?Â¢ A word
Ã¢Â?Â¢ Combination of letters/numbers
As a result, the key aspect of choosing a trademark is to devise a name with a substantial chance of being registered. As millions of registered trademarks crowd the global marketplace, innovating a unique name for products/services, conceptualizing novel logos not in use is becoming progressively more challenging and vital.
After a trademark has been promoted and marketed, it may become a valuable asset. Brand loyalty is developed with customers. Accordingly, the trademark of the firm will become a recognized icon. Registering a mark internationally, with the United States Federal or State level represents maximum legal protection for the name of the product, service and company.
Perfectly registered mark examples include Apple’s “IPODÃ?Â®,” CoachÃ?Â®, and HummerÃ?Â®. A valid trademark is used to identify the company of the product or service. To their respective target audiences, each are associated with a specific quality.
For example, Coca Cola is a registered trademark of The Coca-Cola company. As there are numerous container designs for beverages, Coca-Cola is the only soft drink with a red background and silvery white lettering. Since every element of the company has been legally registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), no other beverage company may replicate a similar trademark branded as ‘the real thing – Coca ColaÃ?Â®’. (All aspects of the Coca-Cola can, color and logo are deemed trademark of the soft drink leader).
Advantages to Registering a Mark
In the realm of online branding and trademark infringements, there are an abundance of legal benefits to registering a mark:
Ã¢Â?Â¢ Trademark disputes usually fall in favor of the registered business
Ã¢Â?Â¢ Alleviates domain name conflicts – A trademarked firm may rapidly quell any judicial proceedings via a trademark.
Ã¢Â?Â¢ Registered trademarks generally receive court awarded judgments thrice the amount of the damaged incurred.
Example case scenario where business trademark conflicts occur:
Business XA has used the same unregistered trademark for 20 years; however, Business XZ tries to shutdown Business XA by restricting the use of the registered trademark.
Making Your Business Trademark Ready
There are a few critical aspects for readying a business trademark. Since the majority of existing trademarks are unregistered, owners of non-registered business entities have legal rights to the exclusive trademarks. To perform comprehensive research, the following public records must be searched:
Ã¢Â?Â¢ All pending federal trademark registrations
Ã¢Â?Â¢ National for each state – city records
Ã¢Â?Â¢ All domain name registrars
Ã¢Â?Â¢ National filings of all counties of each state
Ã¢Â?Â¢ Any registered federal trademarks
Ã¢Â?Â¢ National state licensing and regulatory boards of all states
Ã¢Â?Â¢ Both Yellow and White Pages of each state
Ã¢Â?Â¢ An international registry of trademarks
Essentially, trademark protection can prove to be a time sensitive ordeal. Federal laws mandate that trademarks must meet certain criteria. The law is based on an area of “Intellectual Property.” (Legal assistance is highly recommended for understanding the complexity of laws governing “Intellectual Property”).
The marketing focus is the most common mistake made during the trademark process. Many individuals will expend substantial time conceptualizing a catchy or gimmicky name to discover the trademark is already registered or verisimilar to the selected name or mark.
Use the following guidelines to avoid trademark rejection:
Ã¢Â?Â¢ Do not use proposed marks that are deceptively misleading in the description of the goods or services.
Ã¢Â?Â¢ Avoid generic descriptive terms (in example the Fashion Magazine could be misleading).
Ã¢Â?Â¢ Obtain foreign translations (certain language translation may have a negative connotation).
Ã¢Â?Â¢ Names or marks which resemble currently registered entities in the Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) are more prone to cause confusion; as a result they may be rejected.
Ã¢Â?Â¢ Use a search firm to determine if a trademark is registration-friendly. The price for the service ranges between $15 and $600.
Ã¢Â?Â¢ Do not use marks that may be deemed as scandalous or deceptive in nature.
Ã¢Â?Â¢ Avoid trademarks that may falsely represent any associations with beliefs (political or religious), national symbols, or individuals (alive or deceased).
Ã¢Â?Â¢ Marks that are comprised of insignia associated with any country, state or municipality are unqualified for trademark registration.
Ã¢Â?Â¢ Trademarks targeted to a specific geographic description may be deemed as misleading in nature.
To avoid the blunders and complexity involved in registering a trademark, professional legal help can save great time and energy in accurately branding one’s entity for the global marketplace.