Having your company’s name registered as a trademark is not a very hard thing to do. In fact, it is so straightforward that you can do it yourself. You should use your computer with access to the Internet. You can file an application online within 90 minutes or less, without necessarily needing a lawyer’s help. In this article we’ll tell you how to register a trademark in the US and in the UK. You should consider registering your brand name as a trademark in order to protect your name.
How to register a trademark in the US
The easiest way to get your trademark in the US is by visiting the US Patent and Trademark’s Office website.
When looking at how to register a trademark in the US, it is highly important that you start checking the Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS) database, so that you can be sure another company does not have a similar name or marked for the same type of goods or services you render. Be careful to note that US trademark protection is given to the first organization to use a specific mark within the geographical area it operates in, not minding whether the mark is registered or not. If it happens that your selected mark has been previously registered by another company, even if you used it first – your registration will not be accepted and you might want a lawyer to proceed on your behalf. Registering your trademark online in the US costs between $275 and $325.
Things to consider before completing your trademark registration
Getting your trademark registered online requires some information, such as the categories of goods and services the mark will be used for, the first date the mark will be used in commerce, etc. Mind you, you will want to refrain from registering your web extension, such as .com or .net, with your name, except you are planning to have both marks registered, with and without. It will really help if you get your trademark without the domain extension, because it will prevent other businesses from having the same name registered by just adding an extension that’s different from yours. Do not assign a particular design of your trademark so as to get the broadest protection.
According to the US Patent and Trademark Office Web site, you will get a response to your application within six months of filling. It will make so much sense if you seek legal advice before getting your trademark registered. If the mark you desire has some similarities with another registered mark, or if it’s so similar that it could get people confused, there’s a chance that your registration gets contested.
Finally in this guide on how to register a trademark in the US, we want to to make you aware that it is pretty difficult to register names that are rather too descriptive or generic (example: “We build houses”). With the help of a trademark lawyer, you can get at least some protection.
How to register a trademark in the UK
Registering your company’s trademark in the UK requires you to take some salient steps. Registration can be done online, but you will still need to get the knowledge of what you can and cannot register.
Getting your trademark registered online costs £170 in one class. Each additional class you need costs £50.
Things you’ll need
- The details of what you want to register; e.g. a word, illustration or slogan
- the trademark category under which you want to register e.g. class 1: chemicals, or class 43: food and drink services
Your trademark must be unique to you alone, and it can contain, words, logos, slogans, sounds, or the combination of any of those.
Your trademark cannot
- be offensive, eg contain abusive words or pornographic images
- describe to details, the goods or services it will relate to, e.g. the word ‘cotton’ can’t be a trademark for a cotton textile company
- be misleading, eg using the word ‘organic’ for goods that aren’t in any way organic
- be a 3D shape associated with your trademark, e.g. using the shape of an egg for eggs
- be too common and non-distinctive, e.g. be a simple statement like ‘we lead the way’
- look too similar to state or country symbols like flags or hallmarks, according to the World Intellectual Property Organization guidelines
You must search the trademarks database to check if anyone has already registered a similar trademark for the same goods or services before you send your application.
If you must use a name that is somehow similar to a previously registered trademark, you can ask the holder of the existing trademark for permission to register yours. They must give you a ‘letter of consent’ – you must send this letter with your application. To save you the headaches, you can get a trademark attorney to help you with the searches and registrations.
How to apply
To apply for your trademark, you will need an email address and a debit or credit card.
You can use the standard or Right Start application service.
If you want the Intellectual Property Office to assess your application and tell you if it meets the rules for registration, use Right Start. It costs £100 upfront and an extra £50; it’s done online. They will issue an examination report.
You can also register make use of the Standard plan, which costs £170 upfront, then £50 later. This is done online too.
Application by Post
Intellectual Property Office
Trade Marks Registry
Hopefully you found the guide and advice in this article helpfull on how to register a trademark.
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