When you have a great idea, you want to make sure no one steals it — you need to protect yourself and your idea. The best way to do that is to file for a trademark. How can you find out if someone else is already using your trademark? Hiring the right trademark attorney, like a trademark lawyer, to help you get what you need is smart.
Simply using a logo isn’t enough to give you the legal protection your company needs. Searching existing trademarks for similarity and properly filing your trademark gives you the legal protection your company needs.
What is a Trademark?
A trademark is a word, phrase, or symbol that is legally registered and refers to a company. Think of your favorite beverage. The logo you’re picturing is that company’s trademark. Many companies have multiple trademarks to cover different logos and phrases.
Your favorite beverage company hired a team of trademark lawyers to make sure their trademarks were registered correctly. Companies file for trademarks for different reasons — some file to gain recognition, and others file to make a profit. Getting your trademark protects your company name, phrase, or logo from theft.
Registering a Trademark Takes Time
If you haven’t filed your trademark, make sure you complete a search first to be sure no other company is already using the trademark you want to use. You start by running a preliminary knock out search with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. This search reviews results from federal trademark records. If you get a positive result, that means no other trademark is in use and you can file to use the trademark.
The length of time it takes to file for and receive approval of your trademark varies; however, it generally takes between six and twelve months. If issues arise, like another company filing suit against the use of your proposed mark, it can take much longer. Mistakes also make for a costly and time-consuming registration process. It is very difficult to remove mistakes from trademark registration, and leaving mistakes in the application can render your registration invalid.
Protect Your Trademark with the Right Attorney
A trademark is an important legal right to your company. Without it, your company logo, name, and phrase could be stolen and used without compensation to you, the rightful owner. This is why it’s so important to make sure your trademark is filed correctly. That all starts with making sure your application is filled out correctly. This will help you confirm that you can use your proposed trademark, and it helps to make sure you’re not infringing on the rights of anyone else. Doing so could be an extremely costly mistake. Your best chance of having a smooth and accurate trademark registration process is to use the services of a skilled and experienced trademark lawyer.