As most business owners know, your TRADEMARK will be one of, if not the most important and valuable business asset that your business will own. It is part of your commercial brand identity and ultimately part of the financial valuation of your company. So if you have a have a snazzy business logo, brand and /or a catchy slogan, it makes sense that you trademark it and protect any other intellectual property you have for that matter. There is also a risk that if you don’t protect it or research it before you start using it, someone else might stake a claim of ownership to it, therefore you lose your rights to using it. So this is why it makes sense to register your trademark.
Registering a trademark is a complex process, which is why it makes sense to hire a Trademark attorney to help guide you through it. Having an experienced business lawyer on your side will save you time and frustration.
Categorizing Your Trademark
A trademark is a brand name. A trademark or service mark includes any word, name, symbol, device, or any combination, used or intended to be used to identify and distinguish the goods/services of one seller or provider from those of others, and to indicate the source of the goods/services. Trademarks are broken down by the mark type. This means you will need to select the type of trademark you want to register. Here are the three formats:
- Standard character mark: Comes with expansive rights for use in any form of presentation and can include any combination of words, letter or numbers (e.g., your business name);
- Stylized mark (also known as a design mark): typically a logo that may, or may not, come with words, letters or numbers.
- Sound mark: For a catchy song or jingle associated with your brand.
Trademark Goods versus Services
In addition to selecting a category for your trademark, you need to make sure you select whether you are selling goods or offering a service. This is because there are different identifications for goods and services. Failing to select the correct designation may prevent your trademark from being registered.
Have Your Attorney Conduct a Detailed Search
The Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS) database needs to be searched to ensure your desired trademark is not already registered. If you retain an experienced Orlando trademark attorney, he or she can conduct an even broader search beyond TESS.
Filing the Trademark Application
After your attorney conducts a comprehensive search, your trademark application can be electronically filed through the Trademark Electronic Application (TEAS) System. Your attorney can either file the TEAS Plus, TEAS Reduced Fee or TEAS Regular. The TEAS Plus form has strict requirements, but offers a lower filing fee ($225 per class of good/service). The TEAS Reduced Fee is slightly more expensive ($275 per class of good/service) and the TEAS Regular($400 as of January 2017) might be the most expensive, but may be the best selection if you are unable to meet the requirements of the TEAS Plus or Reduced form.
The process for reviewing your trademark application will likely take several months. If the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has no objection to your trademark, you will receive a notice of publication. Once published, there is a 30-day window for any outside party to object to the trademark if they reasonably believe that they may be damaged by your trademark. If no opposition is filed, a certificate of registration will be sent to you. This typically occurs in roughly three months (11 weeks to be exact). If you filed your trademark with an intent to use in commerce, the USPTO will also send you a notice of allowance which gives you six months to begin using the trademark in commerce. If you fail to use the trademark in six months, you will need to request an extension.
Speak to an Experienced Orlando Trademark Attorney Today
Ayesha Chidolue is the Managing Attorney at The Chidolue Law Firm. We are a boutique Business and Intellectual Property law firm that acts as trusted legal advisors to business owners. Ayesha Chidolue is licensed to practice law in the states of Florida and New York. At The Chidolue Law Firm, but can help you register your Trademark regardless of what state in the United States you live in. If you need legal assistance with your Trademark, we will be happy to assist and guide you. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 407-995-6567.