A trademark is a word, phrase, symbol, or design, or a combination thereof, that identifies and distinguishes the source of the goods of one party from those of others. A trademark typically protects brand names and logos used on goods and services.
Registering a trademark for a business name can help protect your brand and ensure that your competitors do not use a similar name. Federal trademark registration protects your trademark nationwide and allows you to register your trademark in other countries and sue for trademark infringement in federal court.
Trademarking a business name can offer valuable protection. The name of your business is one of your company’s most important assets. Your business name is a symbol for your reputation. You do not want a competitor to take that away from you. If you do not register your business name as a trademark, another company could later try to prevent you from using your business name. When a trademark is registered, you have the exclusive right to use your business name nationally in connection with the goods and/or services you have identified in your registration, and allows you to enforce your trademark by filing a lawsuit in federal court.
Trademark applications are examined for compliance with federal law and rules. Filing a trademark application starts a legal proceeding that may be complex and will require you to comply with all requirements of the trademark statute and rules. Each application is decided on its own facts and no simple test is used to determine whether a name will be approved for trademark registration. The application fee is non-refundable so you want to be sure the process is handled correctly from the start. A trademark search must be completed before filing an application because the results may identify potential problems in your application. Searching is very complex and it is important to have an attorney assist you to make sure it is done thoroughly.
Hiring an attorney to register your trademark may save you from future costly legal problems and will give you peace of mind that optimal protection of your trademark rights is provided.