How to Register Trademark Your Brand Name
Why You Should Trademark and Copyright Your Blog Name and Logo?
Registering a trademark is not mandatory to make a business website in the United States. If you run a small personal blog or business website and do not have plans to grow it further, then your creative works are already protected by the copyright.
On the other hand, if you are doing business across states and plan to grow further, then it becomes really important to register your trademark and copyright.
Registering your trademark and copyright allows you to stop others from using the same or similar business name. You can get exclusive right to use your trademark for business.
It also makes you responsible for enforcing the trademark. This means that if you find someone infringing your rights, then you need to send them a cease or desist letter and take further legal action if necessary.
What is the Difference Between Trademark and Copyright?
Copyright and trademark both protect your intellectual property rights, which is why people often confuse the two terms.
What is a Copyright?
Copyright applies to creative works including written word, text, images, illustration, artwork, and more. As soon as a work is put in a tangible form, it is protected by the copyright laws.
In easier terms, all original content of your website is protected by the copyright laws without you doing anything extra.
What is a trademark?
Trademarks on the other hand are word marks, business names, symbols, sounds, or colors that distinguish goods and services from those manufactured or sold by others and to indicate the source of the goods.
In plain words, this can be your business name, logo, brand mascot, or product name. However, you cannot register your own name as a personal brand unless it is truly unique and widely recognized such as Marks & Spencer, Johnsons & Johnsons, Calvin Klein etc.
It is important to remember that copyright doesn’t give your business or logo the same protections offered by registered trademark. For example, some part or the entirety of your copyrighted work can be used under the ‘Fair Use’ principle.
Registered Trademarks cannot be used, and it allows you to protect your brand against impostors using similar names to mislead your potential customers.
If you have already registered as a business in your state, then this doesn’t automatically protect your business name as a trademark. In fact, someone can register the same or similar name as trademark and potentially stop you from using it.
How to Apply for a Trademark
First, you need to understand what you can submit as a trademark in your application.
- You cannot submit a name that someone else is already using as their trademark.
- Your name cannot be too similar to an existing trademark
- It needs to be unique and not too generic
Next, you need to run a thorough search of the existing trademarks using the Trademark Electronic Search System or TESS on United States Patent and Trademark Office website.