What is a trademark? – A trademark is defined by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) as being any word, name, symbol, or device, or any combination, used, or intended to be used, in commerce to identify and distinguish the goods of one manufacturer or seller from goods manufactured or sold by others, and to indicate the source of the goods. In short, a trademark is a brand name.



Examples of Trademarks:

How much does it cost to register a trademark?

    • $275 per class for a Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS) Plus application that meets the requirements of 37 C.F.R. §§2.22 and 2.23
    • $325 per class for an application filed electronically using the
    • $375 per class for an application filed on paper
    (Citation – USPTO)


How long can trademark rights be kept? – Trademark rights can be kept forever as long as the trademark continues to be used.


How do you protect your trademark? – Treat your trademark a trade secret in the beginning, so that others cannot assume and use your trademark first.


Who owns a trademark? – The individual who use the trademark first (constitutes common law rights/unregistered) or files an intent-to-use (ITU) application to register the trademark first, owns it. An ITU is the application filed with the USPTO to register the trademark, which gives the owner offensive rights against infringers. (NOLO’s Inventors Essentials – Patent It Yourself – 13th Edition)


How do you know that you are the first to use a desired trademark? – You must perform or hire someone to perform a complete trademark search, to cover registered and unregistered (common law) marks. There are some companies that perform this service. However, the USPTO contains a free searchable database of all pending and registered U.S. trademarks, the Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS). (NOLO’s Inventors Essentials – Patent It Yourself – 13th Edition)


Do I have to register my trademark? – No, but federal registration has several advantages, including notice to the public of the registrant's claim of ownership of the mark, a legal presumption of ownership nationwide, and the exclusive right to use the mark on or in connection with the goods or services set forth in the registration. (USPTO)



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