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trademarking a company name

Top Three Mistakes to Avoid When Trademarking a Company Name

By John DiGiacomo

Trademarking your company name is almost always a good business decision. Over time and as they become more famous, trademarks are valuable business assets in and of themselves and have been proven to drive sales through customer loyalty, product identification, and the ability to help launch new products creating new revenue streams. Trademarks serve an important purpose in certain forms of marketing as the “kernel” around which marketing plans can be created.

In concrete legal terms, trademarking is specifically about creating and having a trademark that can be registered with either state-level trademark offices or the US Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”). If you do not get your trademark registered, then you do not have the full panoply of legal protections. Your efforts to “create, drive, and energize your band” may be wasted.

Trademarking is not as easy as some would have you believe. You absolutely need experienced trademark attorneys like those at Revision Legal to help. There are many possible errors that can be easily avoided by hiring competent legal assistance. Below are the top three mistakes to avoid when trademarking your company name.

1. Trying to trademark something that is not a trademark

One of the biggest mistakes is trying to register a trademark that is not actually a trademark. Many think that a trademark is some new phrase, logo, or design. Many say: “It’s new and inventive, so it must be a trademark!”

Not so fast. Your new and inventive phrase or design might be copyrightable, but that does not make it a trademark. A trademark is something that is USED IN COMMERCE to identify the commercial source of a product or service. Your trademark — a clever phrase or logo — does NOT go on a t-shirt or a coffee mug; it goes on your product/service, on the packaging, on advertising materials, etc. And, your trademark is used continually — on every product, package, etc. — and is used consistently — without change or variation.

2. Trying to trademark in violation of the trademarking rules

The USPTO and state-level trademark registration agencies have a list of rules about what can and cannot be trademarked. As one example, your trademark cannot contain national and state flags. As another example, your trademark cannot be or contain generic words and/or common phrases or phrases. If you violate the trademarking rules, your application for registration will be denied. And, to be clear, the number of trademark applications that get rejected every year is very high.

3. Failing to do a complete and thorough trademark clearance search

One other rule that must be honored when trying to trademark a company name is that the proposed trademark must be unique and not already in use. To avoid this mistake, a complete and thorough trademark clearance search must be done. Trying to register an already-being-used trademark will lead to rejection (and might even lead to your company being sued for trademark infringement).

Not only is it forbidden to use the exact same trademark, but you cannot use a trademark that would be considered “confusingly similar.” That is, if your proposed trademark is similar to an existing trademark and if the similarity is close enough that it would cause confusion in the minds of consumers, your trademark will be rejected. For the best, most complete, and thorough trademark clearance searches, you need talented and dedicated legal services from a trademark law firm.

Contact the Trademark Attorneys at Revision Legal For more information, contact the experienced Trademark Lawyers at Revision Legal. You can contact us through the form on this page or call (855) 473-8474.

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