A trademark is a national brand that is protected by law. This is how your clients will recognize your company and the level of excellence in terms of service or products. You have the option of registering your company name, symbol, and product description. McDonald’s, the double-arched “M” logo, and the Whopper, for example, are all registered trademarks. It is possible to use a trademark or service mark to differentiate your services or goods from others. Trademarks and service marks can contain words, names, logos, and designs used or planned to be used in trade to identify your services or goods from those of others.
The terms “trademark” and “registered trademarks” are sometimes used simultaneously because they both provide the same level of protection for intellectual property. If you are using your trademark or service mark in interstate trade i.e., doing business with consumers in other states or abroad, you can register your trademark at both the federal and state levels. If you do all of your business within the boundaries of your state, you can enroll at the state level.
Registration with the federal government
The following advantages of international trademark registration are available to your company: – Your exclusive right to use the mark throughout the United States and to start suing others for infringement; – Easier enrolment of your mark worldwide using your U.S. registration as a fundamental principle; – Ability to monitor your registered logo with the United States Customs and Border Protection Service to protect the importation of intruding foreign products.
Before filing an international trademark registration, search for the mark in question. You can do it alone or hire somebody else, but you must ensure that it is done correctly because trademark clearance takes a long time, and you do not want your application to be rejected due to a bit of a mistake.
You are not required to be a citizen of the United States to register a trademark or services mark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The trademark or service mark registering process could take anywhere from 7 months to several years, depending on the mark’s complexity and whether or not you completed everything correctly when you filed the trademark or service mark application. The registration of a trademark or service mark will be valid as long as you continue to complete maintenance paperwork on a timely basis. A Certification of Use under Section 8 must be filed between the 5th and 6th year following registration, whichever comes first. Also required are filing an Application for Renewal and a Certification of Use according to Sections 8 and 9 between the 9th and 10th year following registration and every ten years after that. If you do not provide these documents on time, your registration will be revoked and cannot be reinstated.
Registration at the state level
The registration of a state trademark affords significantly less protection under the law than the registration of a federal trademark. On the other hand, the state trademark registration will alert everyone who examines the state’s list of trademarks that the trademark is yours. Getting a trademark registered with the California Secretary of State can be accomplished in a matter of weeks.