Are you looking for information on how to trademark a product? Checkout our comprehensive guide to get started and safeguard your work right away.
For three decades, a trademark war has raged over the word “Apple.” Apple Corps was the name of the Beatles’ record label.
Apple Inc. was founded eight years later by Steve Jobs. Apple Inc has paid Apple Corp about $100 million after decades of legal battles. For the time being, they’ve figured it out, but it’s a lesson for all of us.
You can avoid issues like this by learning how to trademark a product. Avoiding generic names and conducting a thorough search would have helped avoid this.
Continue reading our tutorial to learn the fundamentals of trademark law.
What Can Be Trademarked?
A word, symbol, device, or color can all be trademarked. Anything that distinguishes your firm and products in the marketplace might be trademarked.
Commercial marks are the only ones that can be trademarked. There are three different sorts of trademarks available.
Trademarks and service marks are phrases, words, or symbols that identify a product or service. A trademark is used to identify a product, whereas a service mark is used to identify a service.
Collective marks are similar to trademarks in that they represent a group. As a result, many members of the organization can benefit from the trademark.
The features of your goods are represented through certification markings. As an example, if your product is “100% silk.”
How to Trademark a Product
Once you’ve decided on a mark to register, there are five stages to follow. The first step is to double-check that you have a distinct mark.
Step 1: Search for Similar trademarks
Look for similar marks in the USPTO database. Don’t obsess about finding exact matches.
Rejection can be triggered by anything that looks or sounds like it. Take your time with this search; if your application is turned down, you will forfeit your fee.
Before you start this process, it’s a good idea to engage a trademark attorney. They’ll know how to use the database and how to find any possibly perplexing marks.
Step 2: Prepare and File your Application with USPTO
You’ve done your research and found no other markings that are similar to yours. Now is the time to get your application ready for submission.
Collect evidence of how you’re currently applying the mark. Your specimen is the name given to this proof.
Step 3: Review Your Application
The USPTO will assign you an attorney three months after you submit your application. After reviewing your application, this attorney will either do one of two things.
He might ask for calcification in response to your application. He will approve your application for the following phase if he is satisfied with it.
Step 4: Review of Trademark by the Public
The attorney at the USPTO will assign a publication date to your trademark. On this day, the Official Gazette publishes your trademark.
Someone has a 30-day opportunity after your trademark is published to file an objection. This objection would have to be based on the fact that your mark will infringe on their trademark.
Step 5: Use your Registered Trademark
If no one objects during the fourth phase, you will be granted a trademark. A trademark certificate will arrive in the mail around three months after step four is completed.
You can begin using the trademark sign after your mark once your registration is finalized. In a circle, this is the letter “R.”
How To Speed up the Process
Within three months of filing, you will begin hearing from the USPTO concerning your application. However, the entire procedure will take at least 6 months.
The process can take a year or more in some cases. However, there are a few things you may do to expedite the process.
Choose a Strong Mark
Not every name or symbol is accepted. The more original and strong your mark is, the more likely it is to be authorized.
Make up a word or pick one that has nothing to do with the sector. You can also choose a name that suggests the service character without mentioning it.
Don’t Choose a Confusing Mark
What are the chances that your mark will be confused?
The goal of trademark registration is to safeguard your brand’s image in the marketplace. You are more likely to be rejected if you choose a name that is easily confused.
If you choose a mark that is too similar to one of your competitors, you will almost certainly face opposition. Before you submit your application, search for similar marks to avoid this.
Start Using Your Mark Right Away
If you already have a trademark, you can check the box on your application that says “use in commerce.” As a result, you’ll have one less step to do during the application process.
Make Sure Your Application is Correct
Making errors in your application will cause the procedure to be delayed. These errors are simple to correct, but they require time.
Respond to the USPTO.
If you get correspondence from the USPTO, you must react for your application to continue. The time for responding is six months, but you should not wait that long.
What Is the Lifespan of a Trademark?
You will have 10 years of trademark protection after your application is accepted. This implies you’ll have to renew your registration every ten years.
Get Help to File For Your Trademark
The creation of a distinct mark is the first stage in obtaining a trademark registration. This could be a word, a sign, or an object.
Make sure you select a powerful and distinct mark. Then put it to use right immediately.
Look for similar trademarks that have already been registered. Make sure yours isn’t identical to any of them or maybe mistaken for one.
Create an application whenever you’re certain you’ve come up with a distinctive mark. Check it for errors before submitting it to the USPTO.
After you’ve submitted your application, follow the USPTO’s instructions. So that your application can continue to be processed, respond to any communications they provide you.
These are lengthy procedures that can take months to complete. If you’re unsure how to trademark a product, you should seek the advice of a trademark attorney.