Practical Tips For Registering Your Company's Trademark

Once you have established a company, be it an online company or a mortar-and-brick company, you will have to secure trademarks for your products, your company names, and your brands. Otherwise, you are not legally protected. Below are some practical tips to registering a trademark.

It all begins with a search.
To ensure that the trademark you are considering to use is not yet being used, has not been used, or is not being applied for use by other companies, it is advisable to first search for its availability. For this, you can use the free tool provided by the United States Patent and Trademark Office's website.

Pick the best classification match for your product.
Know that a particular name can be used by other companies in non-competing industries for their products. If you are after a name that is being used by other company belonging in a different industry, the possibilities are high that you can still use it. So long as you won't get into legal troubles, you're good to go.

The key here is to know which product classification or service classification your product or service belongs to. As of the moment, there are 10 service classifications and 34 products classifications. To see if the trademark is available for use in your particular industry, you first have to know which classification your product or service belongs to. Another important thing you should remember is that Federal laws do not limit your application to only one classification. You can apply your trademark in several different classifications.

Register a domain name.
If your business is online or if you are planning to launch it online, that is. In many ways, domain names are trademarks, too. Or they can become one, given of course that there are no established marks that may run in conflict with yours.

Keep track of your records.
Did you know that in order for you to register the particular symbol, word, phrase, brand name, or packaging as your trademark, you have to first provide a sound proof of the date it is first used. If you donít have records at hand, it is time to search through your files and look for the first document in which that mark has been used in the marketplace.

If, however, you are still on the stage of planning to use a mark, it is not a bad idea to document first customer payments or invoices or to have your mark published in a local newspaper. So long as it is properly documented and there is proof of documentation, it could be accepted as good evidence that will hold up in court.

File your application early.
There's no law that says you can't file a trademark application during the conceptualization of your mark. If your product or service is not yet available for commercial sale, you can still work on applying for it.

Do without the lawyer.
A common misconception with trademark search and application is that there is a need to pay for legal services. Actually, you donít need an attorney to do this for you. You can register the trademark, yourself.

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