FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS Trademarking Process In a Nutshell - TMs Into Rs Brand Protection Formula

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How to Trademark a Name

Before we get into the actual formula, let me make a couple of remarks. So, we call TMs into Rs a brand protection formula. TM refers to an unregistered trademark, which means you yourself think it's your trademark. You don't need a lawyer to do that for you, you don't need to ask anybody's permission, you don't need the government, you don't need anybody, you just put a TM next to your brand, and all it does from the legal perspective is you tell the world that “that's the trademark that I think is mine.” “I would like this to be my trademark.”

R refers to an R in a circle which means the registered trademark, which means you think it's your trademark, and the government agrees to give you the legal tools to enforce it against anybody else who would use that same brand to promote their products and services that are close to yours in the same country where you register your trademark. So, TMS into RS.

The Brand Protection Formula in the Trademarking Process

Now, the formula consists of six steps, and they all start with the letter F. I didn't even know that English has so many F words, but that's beside the point. We're actually thinking about calling this formula a formula or F6 formula, but the name just didn't flow. So, we ended up calling it TMS into RS brand protection formula. So let me quickly walk you through the six steps, and that will give you a very good idea of what the trademarking process looks like from start to finish.

Step One

The first step is to figure out what brand elements you actually want to protect. You look at your website, you look at your marketing materials, and you decide what's there from the branding perspective that's worth protecting. That's worth not losing. Whether it's a company name, the names of your products and names of your services, your logos, your taglines, or some other stuff that sometimes may get protected. That's the first step. What is it that you would like to get protected?

Step Two

The second step is to find out if all that stuff is even trademarkable. Because not everything that you would like to protect with a trademark can be protected with a trademark. That's the second step, when you find out if it's trademarkable.

Step Three

The third step is the easiest step in the process, which is to file your trademark application and this is how to trademark a brand. Really a monkey can file your trademark application. That's why there are so many low-cost trademark filing websites. You can even follow your trademarks yourself. Whether that's a good idea or not, that’s a different issue. That's the third step, you file your trademark.

Step Four

The fourth step is to fight to get your trademark approved and allowed. And this is what most business owners have no idea about because they think once you file your trademark, you're good to go. Not so fast, because once you file your trademark it will go through the examination process, and a trademark examiner in the trademark’s office is going to look at your trademark application and they're going to decide whether it goes through or not. That's called the approval process, so you'll want to make sure it gets approved. And if they say no in the beginning, you want to make sure you keep working with them to get them to approve your trademark. Once they approve your trademark, it opens what's called an opposition period when anybody may raise their hand and ask the Trademarks Office not to grant you that trademark. And that's when you fight to get your trademark allowed. So, when that's done you go to the fifth step which is to finalize your registration.

Step Five (Conditional)

After your trademark gets allowed, sometimes there are some formalities to get to the actual registration. In some countries, you need to file a statement of use. In some countries, you need to follow the declaration of use. In some countries, you need to pay a registration fee. So basically, you take care of the last formalities to go from allowance to registration.

Step Six

And the last step is to follow up. Even though there are no annual maintenance fees for trademarks, you still need to renew them every 10 years in both countries. You still need to notify the Trademarks office if your address changes. You need to notify them if your company name changes. You also want to set up some sort of a trademark monitoring service where you get notified when somebody is trying to file a trademark that's too similar to yours. And that gives you a heads-up so that if the trademarks office misses that, you can reach out to those other people directly and say "Nah, nah now, this is my trademark". So, all of that happens in the follow-up step.

The Takeaway on The Trademarking Process

So again, six steps. Figure out what you want to trademark. Find out if it's trademarkable. Pilot. Fight to get it approved and allowed. Finalize it. And follow up. This is how you get your brand protected. When you're ready to have your trademarks done right, book your free call with us!


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.