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Running a business can be rewarding, but it takes a lot of hard work to get something off the ground. One might have to spend years of their lives working long and hard enough to get a recognizable brand name and a dedicated group of customers.
That’s why it can be so important to seek a trademark for your company’s logo, images, and likeness. Doing so will prevent other people or entities from encroaching on the brand you’ve created.
The trademark process can be challenging to go through but can be well worth the trouble at the end of the day. How can you get it started for your business? Read on, and we’ll walk you through what you need to know.
Types of Trademarks
There are many different trademarks that one can file for, and it’s important to distinguish between them. Filing for the wrong kind of trademark can prolong an already quite lengthy process.
The two most common types of trademark claims are word marks and design marks. Wordmarks cover what are known as ‘standard character’ drawings — that is, depictions of traditional Latin characters and common punctuation.
Design marks, on the other hand, cover images and illustrations that don’t contain words but nevertheless represent the brand identity of a company or entity.
There many other trademarks one can file for, including sound marks, taste marks, and motion marks, but these are all much rarer to come across than the above two types.
The Trademark Process
Once you’ve determined which trademark you’ll want to apply for, you’ll need to submit an application. Today, it’s easy enough to do this process online.
You’ll just need to fill out a form and submit payment for the application fee, which can often be in the hundreds of dollars.
In the application, you’ll need to explain what the intended use of the trademark is. You’ll have to elaborate on what kinds of goods or services it will be used to sell, the date of the mark’s first use in support of those sales, and so on.
A response should come from the Patent Office sometime over the next six-month period.
Potential Issues & Obstacles
Everyone hopes that their trademark request goes through without an issue, but this isn’t always the case. Sometimes, an application might be rejected.
This might occur because another entity has already filed with the trademark you wished to make your own. Whomever files firsts usually gets the right to the trademark, and you might need to hire an attorney if you fall into this situation.
In other instances, the trademark office might deny the claim on other grounds. It could be something as minor as a typo on your application or something much more substantive.
Either way, it can be a good idea to hire an attorney. They can Respond to a Trademark Office Action and get your request back on the proper track.
How to Register a Trademark
If you’ve ever wondered what it takes to get through the trademark process, the above information should be hugely helpful.
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