Above all else in your company, product line or service line, the most valuable business asset may be your trademark. It's your brand identifier - the element that sets your offerings apart from others. Unfortunately, many new entrepreneurs fail to fully understand all the ins and outs of filing, securing and protecting trademarks.
Daniel Law Offices offer tips for avoiding the most common trademark mistakes:
- Avoid generic words: Creating a new type of tissue paper and simply calling it "Tissue" won't work. Your trademarked name must be distinctive to hold up in court. Also, don't stop with your company, product or service's trademarked name. Make sure to trademark related slogans and taglines, too, as they can prove just as valuable. After all, that's why you immediately think of Nike when you hear the words, "just do it."
- Mind the ownership line: Triple check to assure just who is listed as the owner of your trademark. Depending upon how the paperwork is completed, your trademark could be listed under your name or your corporation's name. This will prove critical should you eventually opt to sell or transfer your trademark, as it will be the determining factor in who gets the proceeds.
- Pay for a professional search: The most exhaustive internet or USPTO database search may not be enough to assure that your intended trademark is free and clear. Ponying up the money for a professional trademark search performed by a specialized attorney can help assure that you won't be sent back to the drawing board after costly filings and potential trademark infringement lawsuits.
- Go for full coverage: the US government recognizes 34 classes of goods and 11 classes of services. Be sure that your trademark application requests coverage in all applicable and potentially applicable classes. Failing to secure coverage for a particular class may mean that you won't be able to enforce your brand against someone using your trademarked name for a good or service in a different class.
- Take office action notices seriously: While waiting for a decision on your trademark application, you may receive office action letters in the mail. This may be an indication of a problem with your application and must be addressed. Wait too long and your application will be deemed abandoned. Not only will this mean additional costs to reapply, it also gives others a window of time to slip in their application and nab the trademark you want.
- Protect your trademark: Securing your trademark doesn't mean you're set for eternity. Although properly registered trademarks won't expire, they can be lost for any of multiple reasons including non-use or improper use by employees or third parties.
- Don't wait: Securing your trademark can take upward of a year after your application is submitted. Don't let someone else beat you to it. File for registration as soon as possible.
Your best bet for assuring that your trademark application will be successful is to enlist the help of an experienced trademark attorney. Call 877-37PATENT to schedule a consultation today.