Starting a business involves compliance with a lot of regulations, laws and rules. Local permits need to be obtained, State permits and registrations besides federal ones need to be attended to and the list would seem endless. So, since all these have to be attended to any way, why not add another important one and register your trademark?
A trademark is classified as an intellectual property. Like any other property, your ownership of it needs to be protected. The best way to do this is to register the trademark as your property. The process takes time and you will need to be patient.
You go into business after a great deal of research and planning on the expectation to succeed. In the process, you will want to safeguard all your rights to the business and part of that will be by registering your trademark in the form of a logo, words or device.
Getting a trademark registered is fairly simple. You can get the necessary application forms from the local office of the USPTO or you can download the same from their website. Submitting the application is also simple. It is the time that it takes for registration after submission that is most annoying and calls for patience.
It isn't a complicated process and the first step is to conduct a thorough search to ensure that there is no other trademark similar to the one you propose to register. It is best that this is left to professionals. The next step is to fill up the application form and submit it at the office of the USPTO or online in their website. At this stage, the USPTO usually assigns an attorney for the application. The attorney will assist you in clarifying all aspects of your application to the USPTO through correspondence. Since the USPTO is a department of the government, some time lag is to be expected.
The USPTO normally takes about two months to acknowledge receipt of your application by sending you a post card. After that, for about six months or more, you can expect them to be totally silent. Then they are likely to send you a communication advising you that your application has been accepted. A month or so after this, they will publish the details and invite objections if any. In the meanwhile, they may even ask you for clarifications. Be prompt in replying to avoid any delay from your side. After this, you will finally get a communication advising you of the registration. The whole process is likely to take about a year or more.
If nothing seems to be happening after you have submitted your application, instead of worrying about the delay, get on with your business and build up the trademark. Delays are standard operating procedures for the USPTO.
While it is not legally binding to register a trademark, those that do, gain a distinct advantage over those that do not. Your right to use the trademark exclusively is given total protection when you register it. No one else can use it and confuse your customers. If some one tries to, you can take legal recourse and protect your rights.
Infringements, accidental or intentional are part of the business scene. If registered trademarks protect your products and services, legal protection is available for you. Using the symbol of the letter R within a circle® establishes your rights in trade circles and throughout the country.
If you are running a business without valid and registered trademarks, do consider the alternative advantage of registering. Get an application form and get on with it.
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