Many businesses settle on getting license to operate and business registration, but it is important to get a trademark for your products and services. A trademark refers to any name, word, logo, symbol, design, or phrase that a company or business uses to assign a distinguishing feature or identity for goods or products, making a difference from competitors. The moment a customer spots the trademark, your business, product or brand is quickly identified. Physical goods or products use trademarks, while service marks are used by service providers. Trademarks are different from patent, wherein patent provides protection to inventions, whereas copyrights are used to protect original literary pieces and artistic works.
In order for a business to be protected, trademarks must be used so no one else will claim and use them. There are privileges and benefits registering your business’ trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The privileges and benefits of getting a trademark for your products and services include having exclusive rights to use the trademark in the United States and other countries where your products or services are sold; rights and abilities to bring actions in federal court on any matter that concerns the trademark; legal presumption of the ownership of the business of the trademark; public notice of the business’ claim of ownership of the service mark or trademark; and include your trademark to the listings of the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Registration of your trademark does not make your ownership permanent, you have to maintain it by filing and submitting all post registration maintenance documents on a timely basis.
When it comes to the trademark registration process, it generally includes preregistration, mark selection, the application form, and evaluation period to verdict. There are two basic requirements to ensure that your mark it eligible to get a trademark registration including usage of the mark for business or commerce, and the mark should be unique or distinctive. There are four categories of distinctiveness including arbitrary or fanciful, suggestive, descriptive, and generic. When it comes to choosing a mark, it is crucial to consider the format of the mark, the good and services that the mark will be applied to, and the availability of the mark. Color marks are more difficult to register since you need to submit substantial proof of acquired distinctiveness, and the logo rendered in color.
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