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How to trademark your business name and logo

You spent a lot of time creating the perfect name and logo for your business. They completely represent your passion and the purpose of your company.

Even though you’re sure that you have the right name and logo, you are nervous to use them. You might feel as though anyone could take your intellectual property as soon as you reveal it to the world. Is there any way to protect your business’ brand?

Yes, there is. You can protect your business name and logo with trademarks. There are three steps to obtaining trademarks:

  1. Search for existing trademarks

You can avoid getting your heart set on trademarked names and logos by searching the database. There, you can search by word or design mark.

It is important that the name and logo you choose are not so similar to other names and logos that someone could confuse them for the same business. Your name and logo should be individualized.

  1. File for trademarks

The filing process is where getting trademarks becomes complicated. Which applications you’ll use depends on whether or not you’ve started using your name and logo. The cost of these applications can vary by type.

After you file the correct applications, you’ll need to wait for approvals or denials from the USPTO. If your trademarks are denied, you will have a deadline by which you’ll need to respond in order to continue the filing process.

  1. Maintain your trademark

You will have the option to register your trademarks with the USPTO national database. The USPTO will require certain documents from you in order to maintain this registration. Once you have had your trademarks registered for 10 years, you will need to renew the registration. This can be done through the USPTO for a fee.

If you are unsuccessful during any of these steps, there is a chance that you’ll have to go back and refile. Refiling can be time-consuming and expensive, so make every effort you can to do it right the first time.

If you discover that other entities are using your trademarked name or logo, you can send a cease and desist letter to those entities.

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