June 21, 2019
Trademark Attorney in Chicago, IL
When individuals have or create a product, they can get confused about how a trademark actually works. A trademark, in its simplest definition, is an identification of the source of goods or services. It is not the product itself. Take Tide laundry detergent as an example of this. Tide is the maker of the laundry detergent, it is not the actual detergent itself. Often times, however, people come to identify trademarks so closely with the product that they may substitute the name of the trademark for the product. You can obtain trademark rights from actual use in commerce or by registering your trademark with the United States Patent Trademark Office. You can register your trademark through an “Intent to Use” (or ITU) trademark application. Do this before you have any sales; do it when you just thought of the name of your product or idea for example. Many times, individuals will register their trademarks far in advance, before they have even fully developed their product or before they are ready to do sales because it prevents other companies from stealing the idea.
How to Register a Trademark
In fact, many individuals who are looking to trademark their idea will look online and do a search through intent to use trademark search engines so that they are not stealing another individual’s trademark themselves. Searches through intent to use trademark engines are free and publicly available. In fact, Apple products are well known before they release or announce them because they have several trademarks on file for their intent to use trademarks on new gadgets. The best trademarks that you can make are arbitrary and trademarks that do not have a name that has something to do with the product itself. Apple, for example, is associated with computers now but an apple itself has nothing to do with the computers. Remember, a great name is only great if it is available as a trademark. Here are the steps to obtaining a trademark:
- Determine if a trademark is the appropriate intellectual property protection to secure.
- Design the name or logo that you want to be trademarked.
- Identify your goods or services. Think of the broadest category of goods and services that you might use to mark on. Then, narrow it down to avoid conflicting with a previously registered trademark.
- Search the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for previous or similar trademarks.
- File an application for trademark and pay the corresponding filing fee.
- Wait approximately 3 months. Be diligent if you have not heard anything within this time frame. Contact the USPTO for more information or an update on your application.
- You will receive a notice of publication from an examiner
- Then you must wait a 30 day period
- If no opposition has been filed after 30 days, you will receive a registration certificate and have your trademark registered.
Contact an Intellectual Property Lawyer
If you have any confusion surrounding registering your trademark, you should reach out to a trademark attorney in Chicago, IL. They can provide insight and aid in the long but rewarding process.
Contact The Law Offices of Konrad Sherinian, LLC for their insight into patent law and trademarks.