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If you're a business owner and are ready to take your business to the next level and brand your product or service, you may need to take steps to register your trademark.
A trademark is any word, symbol, sign, logo or expression that identifies a specific good, product or service. The registering of that trademark provides legal protection so that no one else can use that same mark or brand to market their product or service.
Registering a trademark gives your product or service legal protection against your competitors. The process of registering your business's trademark is something you can do, or you can hire an experienced lawyer to do for you.
If you decide to register your tradmark yourself, you'll need to do some initial research to make sure that your mark won't infringe on someone else's rights. You can go online and search registered trademarks at the U.S. Office of Patents and Trademarks website. This initial research will prevent you from trying to register a mark that looks too similar to a competitor's and prevent you from wasting your effort.
The U.S. Office of Patents and Trademarks is responsible for trademark registration. To register your trademark, you will need to submit a completed application form, a drawing or image of the mark to be registered, and examples of the use of the mark in actual use, along with any required fees.
If you're uncomfortable handling the registration process yourself, you can hire an attorney to do it for you. While this will increase your costs dramatically, you can be comfortable that an experienced lawyer will be handling your efforts. Be sure to check out any lawyer you hire to do this for you before paying them money.
If you don't want to go through the expensive cost of trademark registration lawyer fees, there are companies available online that can greatly assist your trademark registration process. They've made it very easy to apply for your trademark, and with the use of experienced lawyers, have simplified the legal issues. These services are greatly less expensive that hiring a lawyer directly.
Once you have submitted the application and fee, staff at the USPTO will determine if there is a likelihood of consumer confusion between your mark and a previously registered trademark. If they find none, they will register the trademark for you. The entire trademark registration process can take up to six months from the time the application is submitted.
Once you have received your registered trademark, you can use the symbol ® in any print and online information that promotes your business.
Registering your business' trademark will offer you several benefits that can protect your business in the future.
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