Creating the things that make your brand stand out can be a fun element of starting a business. Your business name, your logo, the color schemes and imagery you use are all creative ways to express your business and your ideas. But your brand needs to be truly unique in order to truly serve your business. If you don’t obtain trademark registration, it likely won’t remain so for long. In essence, your brand may not be truly yours until you obtain trademark registration.
Why Trademark Registration Is Important
Trademark registration gives you the sole ownership and right to use the elements that make your brand stand out. By obtaining official trademark registration from the USPTO, you establish your brand as yours. Anyone who wishes to use your brand will have to ask permission and sometimes pay you royalties in exchange for the license to use them.
Without official trademark registration, other brands can use brand names, logos, and other brand elements similar to or identical to your own, likely without repercussion. You will not be able to show any official paperwork proving that the brand elements are yours and not benefit from many of the legal protections provided by a trademark registration. Your competition may even be able to trademark your brand since the U.S. Trademark and Patent Office may not be aware of your use. Correcting this after your competition files a trademark application will be an expensive process that you could have avoided had you acted to secure your rights sooner. Additionally, your unprotected brand elements may become generic, open for anyone to use. Your brand will not be recognizable as yours. Rather, it will fade into the background of a sea of copycats.
What Should You Obtain Trademark Registration For
If you have brand elements which are distinct and recognizable for your brand specifically, it’s essential to protect them by obtaining trademark registration. You can trademark brand elements including, but not limited to:
- An distinct and recognizable business name
- A created word related to your brand
- A slogan
- An aesthetic design
- A distinct color scheme
- A logo
- The smell that you pump into your store or restaurant to give it a unique welcoming scent that makes people feel at home when they return
In addition, when you update or change your trademarks or add new trademarks, you should consider obtaining trademark registrations for the new brands, as well.
When Should You Obtain Trademark Registration
The trademark registration process can take anywhere from 12-18 months. Because you want your brand to be protected for the entire time you are in business, it’s best to apply for trademark registration as soon as you are going to proceed with the business. Your IP attorneys at Garcia-Zamor can conduct trademark research and file your application for you, so you don’t have to worry.
Once you’ve filed for trademark registration and the application is under review, your trademark will be considered “trademark pending.” This will not be considered a registered trademark until approved, but it will stop similar trademarks from being registered while yours is in review.
Let Garcia-Zamor help you obtain trademark registration and protect your brand so it can fully be yours. Contact us today to learn more or to schedule a consultation.