Frequently Asked Questions
A trademark is a symbol or word used to identify a product. A service mark is an item used to identify a service.
Trademark and service mark rights are established by usage. By using a name for a business service or on a product you are creating trademark or service mark rights. You must perform a comprehensive search of public records including DBA’s, corporate names, businesses listed in all yellow pages and white pages…. to see if the name is confusingly similar to another name.
In order to use the ®, you must have your trademark or service mark registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. You cannot use the ® prior to receiving registration.
Depends. First there are various requirements to obtain registration. The mark must be used or intend on being used in interstate commerce (sold in more than one state) currently or within six months. The mark cannot be confusingly similar to any other mark, registered or not registered. The mark must cannot be generic and many other requirements.
Comprehensive search → A comprehensive search of all registered and pending federal trademarks and service marks, all state registered marks by state, all corporate names by state, all fictitious business names in every county in the United States, all yellow page and white page listings, all domain names, all brand names etc. must be completed.
NO. Performing the search serves multiple purposes. First you are spending dollars in marketing your product or service under a mark. Think of all the money in advertising you are spending. Now, if the name you are using is confusingly similar to someone else. More importantly even if a mark is registered, the mark can be cancelled by a prior user of the mark. If you have performed a search, and five (5) years time has past, the prior user has greatly reduced.
Typically includes brand indexes, telephone directories, publication directories, domains, websites, and Industry indexes.
Prior to using a mark in public in more than one State you may apply with a realistic intent to apply for a mark. Your mark will need to be used in more than one State and submitted to the Trademark office within certain time frames.
When you apply for a trademark you are applying in a specific class. For example you may apply for a class including wood products. This is not the same class as food or marketing though you may have multiple classes. You must apply for at least one class. Each class has a filing fee of $275 to up to $400. Generally you file in one class.
This is the date you first began using the mark to sell goods or services in more than one state in the United States.
It means you’re doing business in more than one state.