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trademark your business before your mark gets traded

United States Patent and Trademark Office, an agency of the Department of Commerce

You do not want to be caught in a situation where someone has trademarked your company in another state and you can no longer use it there. In fact, if a company is trademarked in one state, they may have legal precedence if they see that someone is trying to trademark the same name or tag line in other states – so it is best to be proactive and make your move now!

Please note that most of the information on this website is geared towards businesses being created in the United States of America. Processes and procedures are probably different in your country but following the same steps will work in your favor.

When you submit your company registration to the state you are based in you have effectively trademarked the name in your state only. The trademarking we need to do is to ensure that your company, service or logo is trademarked nationally so no one else can use it if and when you succeed.

As of September 2012 the cost of each trademark is either $275 or $325 depending on whether your trademark falls within an existing category or you want to create a new one to be considered by the United States Trade & Patent Office (USTPO).

 

USPTO.gov

Go to www.uspto.gov and check if you are ABLE to trademark your name, logo, tag line,  and website. If you find out that someone else has the name or there may be “likelihood of confusion”, then you may want to seriously consider going back to the drawing board.

Do NOT wait to do this step. If you are not willing to pay to trademark your name because of the cost, go ahead and check so that you are aware of whether you may be facing problems down the road.

Company Name

If you are wanting to go national AND prevent someone down the road from asking you to change your name, you must trademark your company name as soon as possible. You can have a little “right” to your name when you register in your home state, but the trademark will provide a ton more leverage and can prevent potential problems immediately.

Logo

Unless your logo IS your company name, then trademarking your logo is up to you. Chances are this can wait for a while until you have fully developed it with all it’s nuances.

Tag Line

Tag lines are special and can be more effective than logos in many circumstances. If you have a catchy tag line that you think will capture people’s attention, it should be trademarked. Remember that tag lines can be almost anything (“Just do it!”, “I’m loving it!”, “Got milk?” etc.) and if you spend a few minutes to make a phrase that works for you, then you should consider trademarking it so that you have leverage to ask people to stop using it in their marketing activities.

Website Address (URL)

Once you have purchased your website online, I do not believe you need to trademark it. However, if your website name is different from your company name then it may be something to consider. If the website name could be used by another company then you may want to protect it by a trademark.

P2R - Planning - Breadth & Depth

About Tom Joe Finnin

IT professional for over 20 years... currently working at a Fortune 100 company for last 15 years. Love to help people help themselves - let me help you create a web presence quickly and efficiently.

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