Just as you would copyright your book or music album, the same should be done for the trademark of your business. With a trademark registration, you will be safeguarded from legal problems that could possibly arise. It’s all about having evidence that you are the true owner of a business and its trademark. There are con artists out there who prey on trademarks and will attempt to make money off of them. For instance, if you own an Internet business, someone may create a domain that is similar to yours, selling the same product or service. So they are profiting off of the brand that you built awareness for. This could lead to you losing sales and customers that have grown to trust your brand.
Legal Benefits Behind Trademark Registration
The last thing you want to happen is for your business to be slapped with a lawsuit over trademark infringement. Even if you were the business to first use the trademark, another company can swoop in and register it before you. Then you may be forced to surrender the trademark and possibly even pay dearly for using it without a registration (unless you can use common law to win your case by showing that you’ve been using the trademark first). To save money from a lawsuit and court fees, you should begin processing your trademark registration right away. This will also prevent you from having to reestablish your business with a new trademark.
Another legal benefit to trademark registration is that you can take legal action against those using your trademark to earn profits. If a company that sells similar products or services is using your trademark for profit, then they are abusing your brand. Just imagine how easy it is to rack in customers that trust a brand like Amazon or Walmart. By opening a store or Internet commerce with the same trademark, the customers will think they are shopping with Amazon or Walmart and will buy from them. No marketing needed because its already been done by the actual company. If someone has done this to you, and you have your trademark registered with the USPTO, then you can easily file a lawsuit against the entity.
Common Law Rights vs. Trademark Registration
Some businesses opt to use common law rights instead of registering their trademark, since it is not mandatory to do so. Some people have even filed legal claims using common law rights. Of course, federal registration offers better grounds in these situations. Under common law, the first person to use the trademark or to file an intent-to-use application with the USPTO has the right to it. Three advantages of having a federal trademark registration include: having legal presumption of the trademark nationwide, notice to the public of ownership and exclusive rights to the trademark used for your goods or services.
Trademark Registration is Simple
If you have access to the Internet, you will find it quick and easy to begin the process for registering your trademark. You can begin searching the TESS database on the USPTO web site to determine whether your trademark has been registered. Then you can fill out an online application on the web site using the TEAS, or Trademark Electronic Application System.
Once you’ve trademarked your business, you can head over to Groupon to find deals on restaurants to celebrate. You can also find other merchants with coupons, such as Oakley, American Apparel and more.