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How to register and protect your trademark

Registering your trademark is crucial. By doing this, your customers will be able to identify your company’s unique name and symbol, as well as the products you provide to them. Trademarks also ensure your customers that all your products have the same quality, and if they like them, they will know where to look for them. Overall, your trademark is important for brand recognition, so it would be in your best interests to register it.

Trademark registration

If you don’t register your trademark, your competitors can use a similar name, phrase or logo to sell similar products to your company. This would confuse your customers and anger them if they buy something of bad quality thinking it is yours. You can register your trademark at the state, federal or international level. Where you register your trademark will depend on the scope of protection that your company needs. If you register your trademark with Florida’s Secretary of State, you’ll only be able to enforce your trademark rights if someone in Florida tries to copy your brand, but not if someone in another state does it.

Application requirements for federal registration

If you want to register your trademark at the federal level with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), you will need to comply with some legal requirements. Just applying for the registration won’t guarantee that you will get it. Before you apply, there are certain things you need to consider:

  • Your application will become a public record once you submit it
  • You cannot change the trademark once you submit your application
  • The USPTO can refuse your application if there is another existing trademark that is similar to yours

To check if a similar trademark is used on related products, you can use the USPTO’s Search Trademark Database. That way, you can see if you could register it or create a new one if a similar one already exists.

Enforcing your trademark rights

If you register your trademark, and you find that another company is using a very similar name, phrase or logo to that of your company, you can file an infringement lawsuit against them. You can do this in the federal or state court, depending on where you registered it. If you win the lawsuit, the court may order the other company to destroy their products and give you a monetary award. In some specific circumstances, you could also get compensation for your attorney’s fees.

Doing things right

Getting protection for your trademark would be in your best interest if you want to maintain your company’s reputation and your customer’s loyalty. The decision of where you register your trademark is entirely up to you and your business partners. However, you should consider contacting an attorney if you want to make the best decision according to your company’s needs.

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