Elevate Law will file your trademark application by following three main steps to make sure everything is done right. We can perform a comprehensive search and file your trademark application for a flat fee that is very affordable compared to other law firms in the industry.
Protecting the brand that you've worked so hard at developing is crucial for not only your business, but to make your investors feel more secure in knowing that you own exclusive rights to use the business and product names that you've branded. Elevate Law can help you evaluate the need to seek trademark protection, guide you along the path from beginning to end, and perform an exhaustive search before advising on likelihood of success and filing the application.
Without getting too technical or academic, a trademark is something that identifies a brand in the consumer's mind. It can be a word, phrase, image/symbol, color combination, or even a sound. Think about how when you see the "swoosh" you immediately think the word/company "Nike" in your mind. If you hear a piece of a commercial on the radio and hear the phrase "I'm lovin' it" you instantly know it's McDonald's. Obtaining trademark registration gives you the exclusive right to use that mark in the sale of goods for the type of goods that you've registered it for.
There are a few steps involved. First comes the research - investigating not only the USPTO database of existing marks, but also all across the internet for people or companies that might be using that mark or something similar. Then you evaluate the results to determine whether or not the mark is too close for comfort that it might be confused with one that's already in use. If it's determined that you're pretty good, you file the application and wait 3 months for a decision.
In order to maintain trademark protection, it's required that you actually step in and stop people trying to use your mark or one very similar to it. If you aren't protecting your mark, the USPTO could determine you aren't entitled to exclusive rights to use it in commerce. This protection involves monitoring use online and applications filed with the USPTO, as well as sending cease and desist letters to potential offenders. There are companies out there that actually provide (somewhat affordable) subscription services and do the monitoring for you.
No, and this is a very misunderstood concept. Incorporating is the act of creating a new entity that never existed for the purpose of conducting business. Registering a trademark is about securing the exclusive rights to use a word, phrase, or image in connection with the sale of a category of goods and services.
This is an "it depends" answer. Assuming your mark is very unique, there are no objections from people with similar marks who want to block you, and everything goes smoothly, you're looking at about 4 months until you get the registration approved and another month until you get a certificate in the mail. However, if the USPTO rejects your application and you have to appeal it, or if someone challenges your registration approval during the 30 day publication post approval, all bets are off and you could be in for a fight lasting a month or up to several years.
The process of filing a trademark goes beyond simply filling out the application. The research involved prior to filing is the bulk of the work and can save a lot of time and headache later. The search may determine that if you have a choice of two classes to file in, one will yield a definite rejection and the other will yield a possible acceptance. You may learn you're infringing on someone else's mark and filing the application will tip them off, causing a lawsuit to be delivered to your front door a week later. Additionally, there are some sections of the application that require additional wording and adjustments that could mean the difference between an acceptance and a rejection.
Send us a message if you have questions or would like to learn how Elevate Law can help your business.