A trademark is a symbol that effectively represents your brand on the packaging and in advertising. It serves as a legal stand-in for your company’s full name. Sometimes, it is a graphic representation of your company’s name written out in special font or drawn. Other times, it is an illustration or a relatively abstract design.
Your trademark helps customers find your products on retail shelves and contributes to brand awareness. To have the full protection of a registered trademark that no other business can infringe upon or use, you have to register your trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
The research stage of this process could prove difficult for those not experienced in trademark prosecution.
You can’t duplicate an existing trademark
Although it may seem like a common-sense statement, you have to have a unique trademark that does not duplicate another existing, registered trademark. When you consider that registration has been ongoing for many decades, you may start to understand the difficulty you may have in reviewing existing trademarks to make sure that yours is appropriately unique and distinct.
As someone running a small business, it could be a waste of your time and energy to try to search through the federal database of trademarks to ensure that yours is unique and eligible for prosecution. Bringing in professional help can speed up the research phase and allow you to focus on other matters rather than the technical steps involved in patent prosecution, such as your daily business operations.
Understanding the requirements during trademark prosecution will increase your chances of effectively protecting your company’s brand.