You have probably seen different symbols, logos, or words that have the TM superscript. It indicates a company’s trademark.
But what’s a trademark?
Trademark is a clear and distinguishable symbol, name, or sign that identifies a company’s products or services. The trademark distinguishes these products from the other ones on the market put out by competitors.
What Do You Need to Know about the Trademark Registration Timeline?
Registering your trademark goes through a number of steps. Patience is needed as these may take some time.
There are different timelines for registering your trademark, depending on your particular situation. For example, applying for a trademark means as many as five different filing bases.
If you want to keep an existing registered trademark active, there are two filing bases.
Therefore, it’s essential to understand your legal situation and file under the right basis, so that you won’t hit any unnecessary bumps down the road.
Even when you file on the right basis, you might still encounter some problems. A convoluted process takes place behind the scenes with many factors determining your trademark approval.
Don’t worry! LegalZoom Attorney-Led Trademark Registration makes this process smoother.
Choose LegalZoom Attorney-Led Trademark Registration
If the process of registering your trademark seems daunting, you can use LegalZoom’s services.
You’ll find there are many benefits.
- They are experienced
The team at LegalZoom has gone through this process over 220,000 times. This makes them very familiar with the process, placing them in the best position to help you.
- They have good reviews
You are not the only one who might be having trouble getting your trademark registered. LegalZoom’s Attorney-Led Trademark Registration users have given rave reviews.
This is no surprise given their total commitment to providing peace of mind to all their clients, regardless of what legal hurdle is placed before them.
- They offer federal trademark registration
If you thought of registering your trademark in your state is a hard nut to crack, getting your trademark to go federal is even harder.
However, the folks at LegalZoom have both the expertise and experience in registering your trademark at the federal level.
How Does It Work?
There are a few steps you need to follow so that LegalZoom can carry on registering your trademark.
1. Complete the questionnaire
When you hit the ‘Start my Trademark Registration’ button on their website, you’ll be given a questionnaire to fill out. This form requires you to provide various descriptive details of the business asset you are seeking to trademark. It can be a logo, slogan, or just a name.
2. They will contact you to learn more
Once you have submitted your filled questionnaire, LegalZoom’s attorney will contact you for more information about your trademark requirements.
They will also want to see the logo, name, or slogan. You need to send it.
3. Their attorney will review your application
LegalZoom’s attorney will check the validity of your application after receiving all the information. They will perform a trademark search to see if there are any conflicts with already existing trademarks.
In case of legal conflicts, you’ll be advised to modify your mark and reapply
4. Create your trademark application
When everything is in order, you’ll be able to complete your trademark application through their LegalZip software.
You will receive your application via email so that you can append your electronic signature.
5. They file your application with the USPTO
Everything’s is in its right place? LegalZoom files your application with the US Patents and Trademarks Office.
It’s now all up to the government to assess whether or not your trademark is worthy of approval.
What Will Happen If You Don’t Have a Registered Trademark?
Without a registered trademark, you will leave your business unprotected. This is what could happen.
- You only have common law trademark rights
These rights are only enforceable in the area where your business is based. This means that you restrict your business operation area. For example, opening a green tea shop with the slogan “Good For You” is only enforceable in your area.
Someone else can register the trademark Good For You and be able to use it nationally, something you cannot do!
- Someone can have the exclusive right of the trademark before you
Continuing on from our example above, you can see the advantages of having your trademark registered.
Your competitor might see the success you are having with your brand in your local area. They can decide to go out and register that trademark for themselves and profit off it in other cities and states around the nation.
- You could be in trouble
Add all this together and you could be in trouble. Your business will inevitably plateau and you’ ll not be able to expand because you’re not the owner of the registered trademark outside of your local area.
Your competitor can decide to barge in on your local market. You might be helpless because it’s difficult to assert your common law trademark rights. It’s usually hard to determine when you started operating under the unregistered trademark.
Want to avoid all this trouble? Get your trademark registered now!
Further Basic Facts about Trademarks
In this short video, you can get more information about trademarks that will enable you to protect your small business.