KEY POINTS ABOUT TRADEMARKING:
You do NOT Have to Hire an Attorney to Trademark.
Go to www.uspto.gov, click on the “Trademarks” menu item, click on the links under “Trademark basics”. The videos are great, HOWEVER, they are not a “walk-through” and most people simply give up. This guide is the needed “walk-through” to get it done.
Trademarks Can Lead to Tax and Estate Planning Benefits.
Unfortunately, most entrepreneurs do not trademark and even fewer define the ownership optimally. HINT: Own the trademark as an individual and lease it back to your business through a “Royalty Agreement”.
One Trademark Does NOT Protect You in All Industries.
Having a trademark for your business name in the “trucking” class code does not automatically protect you from someone else using that same name for their brand selling “t-shirts”. HINT: You may want to get the trademark for your particular industry and then a trademark in class code “025” which is for shirts.
“Unique and Fanciful” is Key in Trademarking.
If the business name is “Best Plumbing” and the business is “plumbing services” it will be difficult, if not impossible, to trademark. ALSO, avoid words too closely related to other businesses. HINTS: Find words that are descriptive but cleverly unique such as: “Foster the American Dream” (real estate agent whose last name is “Foster”).
A Trademark on a Business Name is also Called a “Wordmark”.
On a sound, such as your jingle, it is called a “Soundmark”. Wordmarking, Soundmarking, etc commonly are referred to as “trademarking”. HINT: You might consider “Wordmarking” your domain name (URL), business name, motto, slogan and, of course, trademarking your logo.