TRADEMARK & BRANDING SERVICES
Establishing a strong brand is important to the success of your business. Protecting your brand is also equally as important if not a necessity. Many small businesses overlook this crucial first step in securing their brand. A Trademark is the only way to protect your brand. Trademarks, like brands, build in strength over time. In today’s global business “brand equity” has grown and organizations now have a better understanding of the role it plays in a company’s success. A brand (especially when trademarked) is one of the most valuable assets a company can have.
WHAT CAN YOU TRADEMARK?
According to the USPTO (United States Patent and Trademark Office) a trademark is any unique word, symbol, name or device used to identify and distinguish the goods of one seller from the goods of another. A trademark allows the owner to protect what’s trademarked from use and/or misuse by competitors while building brand loyalty for their company. Trademarks also help prevent confusion or manipulation of consumers.
From a branding perspective, the following are brand assets that can be protected: logos, names, tag lines and printed packaging media. However, these assets can only be trademarked if they meet certain qualifications outlined by the USPTO. A word or phrase that is commonly used or already connected with another product or service in the same industry cannot be trademarked. However, if your name is generic but used in an industry not typically related to the meaning of the term, you may be able to trademark it.
As a general rule, you can trademark your business name if you use it when advertising directly to your customers. You should consider trade marking your business name if it will be a large part of your marketing program. Your logo and tag line are also good candidates for trademarks. The most important issue is: Is it unique? What makes a logo unique is the combination of the symbol with the company name, their spatial relationship and the logo’s colors. If your tag line is a unique phrase, it can also be trademarked.
To acquire trademark rights based on use in commerce, you must be the first person or organization that uses the mark in conjunction with the products or services for which trademark protection is sought. To acquire the mark base upon intent to use, you must apply to register the mark through the USPTO.
Trademarks can be registered at the state or federal level. State registrations are less expensive, but also offer less protection. Trademarks are often registered within one industry (or class), but may be registered in more than one. The best option depends on your geographic area of operation and scope of business. International protection is much more costly and difficult. It’s also fairly complicated and expensive to enforce as laws change from country to country.
We strongly believe that brand names (company name, logo, tag lines, product or program names and packaging designs) should be protected before being made public. So we suggest that you consider trade marking your brand at the earliest stage possible. Most often people think that a lawyer or legal entity is required to apply for a Trademark. That is not the case. Any professional with in-depth knowledge of the Trademark law and regulations can complete the Trademark process. One2consult, Inc. provides low cost Trademark Services custom tailored to our customer’s needs.
Contact us for a “Free” evaluation. We will provide up to an hour of free “mentoring services” to assess your trademark needs and give you a road map of what you need to do to protect your brand and product.