A catchy name or a title that has not been used can be difficult to create. Once that is done, it is important to protect your idea so that nobody else can use it before you get the chance to do so. When deciding on a trademark, it can be easy to get excited and rush through to using it before all of the necessary precautions are taken. If you have created a name that you would like to protect, be sure to avoid making the common mistakes when deciding on a trademark.
Not Conducting an Adequate Trademark Search
It is easy enough to find out if there is already trademark protection on an exact match. Though simple searches through the United States Patent and Trademark Office website can find exact matches to your potential trademark, the disputes often arise from marks that are confusingly similar. Not knowing exactly what to look for when conducting a search will likely result in overlooking these similar marks, and being too close to another’s protected mark can result in your application being denied.
Failing to Register Your Trademark
Even if the exact mark is available, that does not mean that it is in the free-and-clear to use. It just means that it has not yet been registered. It is possible to jump the gun and begin using a mark only for someone else to end up filing to register that mark, which you will then be required to stop using or pay to license from the newly-filed owner.
Business owners often register their business name, but fail to consider registering the name of any products, services, logos, etc. If totally unique, it may be worth registering everything. Failing to do this may result in having to cease using the name of a service that you were using due to someone else’s trademark protection of it.
Not Maintaining Your Trademark
Though a registration can remain forever, it must be maintained. This means that it must be consistently used - as in used exactly the way it appears on the original application. It is also important to renew registrations before there is a lapse, lest there is a risk of cancellation. The first couple of renewal periods are around the five and ten year spots, with it dropping to once every ten years after that.
Not Using an Experienced Trademark Attorney
Though many creators are go-getters, running the gambit of government registration practices is not a great time to do everything by yourself. Benefits of a trademark lawyer can include being able to perform the detailed searches, described above, and ensure that the proper classes of goods and services represented will be selected. It can be quite costly to attempt to register a business name as well as several goods and services only to have them all rejected due to an oversight.
Trademarks can be filed for a variety of reasons. The administrative process is time-consuming and complex. Just one phone call with a qualified attorney can keep you from avoiding these mistakes, or worse ones, and wind up saving money in the long run.