When I started the process of trademarking my business logo, I had just gone through the process of patenting my product. I made so many errors during that process, and they were costly, that I did not want to repeat those mistakes when trademarking my logo. There are a few things that I learned from the mistakes I made and I would like to share them with you.
Trademarked My Business – Lessons Learned
- There is an abundance of information out there for your knowledge. Most notable, he United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) themselves have a series of video that teach you everything you need to know on how to submit your trademark. From what is a trademark to the most common mistakes people make when submitting your trademark for protection.
- Search, search, search. One of the most important lessons I learnt is that before you file for any intellectual property, be it a patent or a trademark, you have to search what’s already out there. This is to ensure that there is no business out there already with a similar name or symbol. For trademarks, search the Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS).
- Identify the format of your mark. You have three possible mark formats available: (1) standard character format; (2) stylized/design format; or (3) sound mark.
- Identify your Goods and/or Services. The USPTO has a manual which you can go through online so that you can find the class that most closely matches the service or the goods you provide. If it’s a case where you’ve invented something like Kinkless, it could be difficult to identify which category you fit it but the list is pretty vast.
- Last but not least, you must apply for your trademark online. Now you could print off your application and mail it in but this would be a costly mistake. One that I made when filing my patent. Filing paper form cost $200 more than the filing fee simply because you did not submit your application electronically. My advice, make sure you apply online through the TEAS system and that you are prepared to pay the fee at the time of submission ($375)
All in all the trademark application is pretty simply because there are countless resources out there for your aid and for you to follow. If you take the time and watch the 6 hours or so of videos that the USPTO provides by the end of it, you’ll be a PRO who can easily file their own trademark. If all fails and you have the extra financial resource, consider filing with a intellectual property attorney. While this option may be a little pricier it does eliminate all the guess work that comes with filing yourself.
I will say that for me, this process was seamless and after watching and following all the resources out there, I successfully received my trademark in 2015 a few months after applying. If I can do it, I know you can too.
-Nina Lewis – Kinkless Founder –