When it comes to trademarking your name and your logo, there are 7 very important things you need to consider.
Learn about them in the short video below:
I have published hundreds of videos with countless hours of content about trademarks, where I explain in much greater some of the things I'm about to share with you.
But I wanted to record a short video that will provide you with a framework of what to pay attention to when you decide to look into trademarking your name and your logo.
Number 1: Decide WHAT you want to trademark. Would it be your name, your logo, both as a single trademark, or both as two separate trademarks?
In a perfect world where all of your brand's elements are perfectly trademarkable and you have an unlimited budget, you want to trademark each separate element of your brand as a separate trademark. It means names, logos, taglines would each be trademarked separately. Sometimes, in addition to trademarking separate elements, you might also trademark certain combinations.
That's in a perfect world. In reality, there are two big factors that should go into this decision. How trademarkable is your brand's elements (in other words, how trademarkable is your name? how trademarkable is your logo? How trademarkable is the combined mark that consists of your name and logo?
The second factor is your budget.
So you would prioritize which of your brands' elements are the most important for you not to lose. And then you'd apply to register as many trademarks from the top of your list as your budget will allow.
Number 2: Find out if you CAN trademark your brand. You need to know if the brand you picked is even trademarkable. And it means a lot more than simply checking if someone had trademarked the same brand before.
There are many rules that say you can't trademark certain things. For example, generic and descriptive trademarks typically can't be trademarked. Also, you need to look at similar marks that may have been previously registered or applied for. And similar means similar in sound, look, or meaning. Also, when doing the search, you should pay close attention to whether the products and services listed in your and the other trademark application are the same or similar.
Number 3: Decide WHO will own the trademark. Is it you personally? Your company? It can be either, but you need to make sure your decision makes sense from a business perspective.
Number 4: Decide WHERE you want to trademark your brand. It doesn't matter where you are. It doesn't matter where your company is incorporated. What matters is, where do most of your customers come from now or will in the near future. You need to look at your most important markets and trademark your brand there.
Number 5: Decide WHEN you want to trademark your brand. You should trademark your brand in your home country as soon as humanly possible. It is often too late but never too early to protect your brand. A great deal of very successful brands was trademarked BEFORE launch. That's when it's the easiest to protect your brand—as long as it's trademarkable.
Notice that I said, Home country. The reason is, after you file a trademark application in your home country, because of an international treaty that most countries are members to, your brand will automatically get protection pretty much worldwide during a 6-month window following your filing in your home country. In other words, once you've filed in your home country, you get a 6-month grace period during which you can safely file in other jurisdictions without getting worried that someone can see your trademark application in your home country and file for the same brand in some other jurisdictions.
Number 6: Decide WHICH products and services your trademark application would cover. Trademarks don't give you a monopoly over your name, logo, or tagline themselves. Trademarks give you a monopoly over the mental link between your brand AND the products and services you have listed in your trademark application. For example, Apple doesn't own the word "Apple". They own the word "Apple" in connection with computers, phones, software, and stuff like that. But it doesn't mean they can stop someone from calling their excavators "Apple".
Number 7: Decide HOW you will be filing your trademark application. Basically, there are 4 ways to do it. You can do it yourself. The danger is that most business owners, however smart and experienced they are as business owners, don't know enough specifics about trademark laws to go through the whole process successfully. In case you don't know, it takes on average 14 months to register a trademark in the United States and 18 months on average to register a trademark in Canada. During these long months, you would be communicating with the Trademarks Office. And if you don't know what you're doing, you will probably end up with nothing.
The second option is to use online filing websites, which basically have developed software that makes it easier for you to understand what should go where into your trademark application. The problem with this option is that they are not representing you. They are assisting you in the filing, but the application is made in your name. When the Trademarks Office finally looks at your trademark application, if they don't like something about it, you'd be the one to respond to all possible objections. Again, most business owners don't know enough to successfully overcome most objections cited by the Trademarks Office.
The third option is to use a traditional law firm. The problem with this option is unpredictability. You don't know how much it's gonna end up costing you because you're buying their time, not the result. And speaking of the result, if the Trademarks Office issues a final rejection for your trademark application, you're not gonna get your money back. Again, you're buying their time.
And finally, the fourth option, you're welcome to file your trademarks through Trademark Factory. Not only will we conduct a comprehensive trademark search to tell you exactly whether your brand is trademarkable FOR FREE, but we will also offer you our most popular package All-Inclusive. It's basically one flat fee for our services that covers everything from start to finish. You will never see another invoice from us. And for most trademarks we file, we will actually also offer a 100% money-back guarantee. This means that if after spending as much time as necessary trying to come up with a winning argument if we then lose, you will get all your money back. We're the only firm in the world that does this.
I hope you found this video helpful. Again, I didn't want to squeeze every single little detail about trademarking into a single video. It'd be too long and technical. Consider this video a brief introduction to trademarks.
Also, make sure to check out our other videos and subscribe to get notified as soon as a new video goes live.
And if you have a brand you want to protect, fill out the form at trademark factory.com and we'll get the process started.
Trust me, your brand is worth it!
Disclaimer: Please note that this post and this video are not and are not intended as legal advice. Your situation may be different from the facts assumed in this post or video. Your reading this post or watching this video does not create a lawyer-client relationship between you and Trademark Factory International Inc., and you should not rely on this post or this video as the only source of information to make important decisions about your intellectual property.