Sunday, July 4, 2010

Trademark - Do I Need One For My Business Name and Logo? by Wendy Maynard

Wondering if a trademark is important to you as a business owner? Let's start with the basics. A trademark is a word, phrase, symbol, or logo that distinguishes and identifies the source of goods of one company or person from another. For example, the name Kraft is trademarked, as is Nike's "swoosh" logo.

The list of what constitutes a trademark is long. A trademark can also be granted to unique packaging such as the shape of Coca-cola's bottle, building designs, color, sound, and even fragrance. Service marks receive the same legal protection, but are used to distinguish services instead of products.

Your business can acquire trade or service marks through the consistent use of a mark. The symbols TM and SM demonstrate the owner treats the mark as a trademark or service mark. There is no requirement to federally register at the trademark office. You are still protected under intellectual property laws. However, if another party uses your mark it can be more difficult to prove your ownership.

To register online with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), go to www.uspto.gov There is a registration fee for each name, logo, and slogan. Federal registration ensures another party is not already using your mark. A registered trademark gives you exclusive rights to use a mark with your particular goods or services. The USPTO can only register trademarks for marks that are used across state lines. A website customers can access in other areas can satisfy this requirement. Otherwise, you will only be able to apply for a state trademark.

Only a mark registered and approved by the USPTO can use the ® symbol. Since the application process can take many months to complete, use the TM or SM symbol in the meantime to establish your intention to use the mark as a trademark. Make sure you keep records as to when your mark was first used in commerce and regulate the use of your mark in the marketplace.

Wendy Maynard is a founding partner at Kinesis, Inc. - a marketing and design firm based in Portland Oregon. We specialize in logos, web site design, branding, graphic design, SEO, marketing, and social media. Our clients benefit from out experience at creating marketing materials that help them increase their business revenues. View our portfolio at http://www.kinesisinc.com/

4 comments:

泓發 said...

It takes all kinds to make a world.............................................................

dawsonfelicia張君dawsonfelicia均 said...

當一個人內心能容納兩樣相互衝突的東西,這個人便開始變得有價值了。............................................................

婷珊 said...

困難的不在於新概念,而在於逃避舊有的概念。............................................................

Villiam said...

What a creative blog, No issue its a nice blog, Now a days business owners has realized that customized logo are very important for the business. They try to have these logos in every place such as in customized floor mats.
Thanks for this great support.
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