Trademarking a product name is not a mandatory requirement for a business to take, but it can be a particularly useful one. When a product is trademark protected, your business and brand are better protected.
However, the process by which to trademark a product is not simple and nor is it cheap. Many steps must be considered for a legal trademark in the United States. What follows are the five major steps to trademark registration in the state of Georgia.
Hire an Attorney Experienced with Trademark Law
Coming up with an eye-catching product name and visual may be the hardest step. But the trademark process which follows isn’t exactly simple and straightforward either. There are many issues tied to the law which must be considered and followed to the letter.
Though a business or brand could go through the trademarking process on its own, it is recommended that you seek the guidance of an experienced legal professional. Your trademark attorney can help make the application process go more smoothly and limit the potential bumps in the road.
Perform a Trademark Search
After you have picked a name, try not to fall in love just yet. Now you must perform a search in the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) federal database of names already registered with the US government. The USPTO makes this database available online via their Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS).
Even if your name isn’t exactly the same as a previously registered product, if it is considered to be too similar, then your trademark application could be denied.
Select the Type of Trademark
There are numerous types of trademarks.
- Arbitrary trademark.
- Descriptive trademark.
- Fanciful trademark.
- Generic trademark.
- Service Mark.
- Suggestive trademark.
To determine which type of trademark is best for you and your product, it is wise to speak with a trademark lawyer.
Apply for a Trademark with the USPTO
Provided your product name is not too similar to any in the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) database, it is a good time to begin the application process. There is a lot of paperwork in this step. It is important to keep up with the USPTO throughout the process for important updates on your filing.
This step in the process often takes the longest because even minor errors in the documentation can result in delays or denials. During this time, having an experienced lawyer in your corner looking out for your best interests can be very helpful
Pay the Fees
After the application process is complete, you may now file. There are two filing options available to you; one is less expensive and more straightforward, but the other offers additional customization for your trademark name and description.
The cost for a trademark can differ depending on whether you want the trademark to exist in one state or across the country. Usually, the fee for a trademark is hundreds of dollars. Your attorney may be able to help you find the most cost-effective solution.