If you want to invest in a trademark, it should possess something unique that conveys your brand message. Trademarks are evaluated based on their inherent strength. Generally, trademark names that somehow describe the actual goods being sold or services offered are ‘weak’ trademarks. It’s important to consider the strength of your trademark when deciding whether to file a U.S. Federal Trademark Application. To learn more about what makes for a strong trademark, click here
Now that you’ve decided on a name you like, the next question is whether or not it is available. In other words, you’ll want to know if there are any registered or live trademarks that may cause a conflict with your trademark application. Not only could a conflicting trademark prevent your trademark application from registering, but there may be a competitor on the market already using a ‘confusingly trademark’. This could potentially expose you to trademark infringement.
For a flat fee of $400, we offer our legal advice and counsel regarding your desired trademark. This is an excellent starting point to best forecast the future of a U.S. Trademark Application filed in your preferred name. This will help you anticipate future obstacles in obtaining and using your trademark in commerce.
Mr. Herman offers a Comprehensive Trademark Review at a reasonable fee. The service includes a thorough Federal trademark search report along with legal counsel to explain the results and advise you on your options.
An important consideration is what type of trademark you should file. Your options are either a “standard character mark” (ie., word, phrase, or slogan) or “design mark” (ie., logo, image). Standard character marks are good to file on product names and slogans as they can be used very broadly once it registers. Design marks are good as well to protect multiple elements of a single trademark. For example, a design mark can include a symbol or logo, the name of the product, and a tag line in a single trademark application. Some clients with a bigger budget for intellectual property opt to file multiple trademark applications, while other clients prefer to file a single trademark that captures the unique aspects of the brand image and file additional trademark applications later.
When filing your trademark, you must select your trademark classes. There are a total of 45 General Classes and thousands of Sub-Classes. Each Sub-Class represents a certain product or service. There is a filing fee due for each General Class that is selected. The filing fee paid for the General Class includes as many Sub-Classes as are appropriate.
Click here to browse the 45 General Classes and pick the most appropriate classes that represent the types of goods and/or services you are selling or intend to sell.
The short answer is as prudent as possible! Once you’ve performed your due diligence into the availability of your trademark name, it is recommended that you file a U.S. Trademark Application as quickly as you can. In the United States, trademark applications are reviewed on a “first come, first served” basis. Getting in line before others carries a significant amount of weight in ultimately determining ownership of the trademark.
To learn more about the 14 Month Trademark Review Process and Timeline, click here.