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Showing posts from April, 2017

Trademark 101: Should You Trademark?

Now that we know what a trademark is and is not, let’s dive into the next logical question: should you trademark?
The easiest way to answer this question is to look at your business and your plans for it.
-Is the name, logo, or slogan an integral part of your business? -Are you doing business on a statewide or nationwide or international level? If you’re only doing business citywide or countywide, do you see potential for geographical growth? -Would another business in your industry using the same or similar name hurt your business? In other words, is it possible you’d lose customers if someone had the same or similar name in your industry?
If you answered yes to any of the above then exploring a trademark is the way to go.
Here’s what a US Federal trademark gives you:
·A legal presumption of your ownership of the mark and your exclusive right to use the mark nationwide on or in connection with the goods/services listed in the registration (whereas a state registration only provides rights…

Trademark 101: What Isn’t a Trademark?

Yesterday’s post was all about what a trademark is so today we’re going to talk about what a trademark is not. Knowing both sides of that coin will give you a clear idea if a trademark is right for you or not.
Let’s use yesterday’s examples as a jumping off point:
·PEACE is the name of your new clothing line and your logo is the peace sign. Both of these things appear on the tags that are attached to the clothing items. You have a variety of designs and sayings that appear on the front of your clothing items, e.g. the front of a t-shirt.
·LOVE is the name of your daycare services. Your slogan, Love blooms here, appears on the web site, the brochures for new parents, the signage inside & outside of the facility. There are also multiple heart designs, created by you, used in your advertisements.
·HAPPINESS is the name you use for your invention, a new kind of food processor. You have stacks & stacks of technical documents explaining how your invention works and every page has the n…

Trademark 101: What is a Trademark?

Welcome to the first day of class! Before we get into the nitty gritty of trademarks, let’s go back to the beginning. And the beginning of the beginning is defining what a trademark is and what a trademark is not.
Here’s what the USPTO says: “A trademark is generally a word, phrase, symbol, or design, or a combination thereof, that identifies and distinguishes the source of the goods of one party from those of others. A service mark is the same as a trademark, except that it identifies and distinguishes the source of a service rather than goods.”
So, that’s clear, right? Mmhm, thought so. Let’s simplify this a bit.
First things first, we’re going to use the word trademark regardless if we’re talking about a business that sells products (i.e. goods) or services. Keep that in mind please.
Simply put, a trademark protects names, logos, or a combination thereof that are used for goods and/or services. Let’s break that down even further using examples:
·PEACE is the name of your new clothing li…

And we're back!

Hello there readers! The blog has been on a bit of a hiatus as we revamped our site (check it out - nice, eh?) and while I specifically re-focused my day-to-day activities. But, I'm back and am here to talk trademark and answer any questions. Have one? Leave a comment or send me an email - shannon at tmexpress dot com Since it's been awhile, I thought it a good idea to go back to Trademark 101 so that's what we're going to do. Over the next couple of weeks, I'll be going back to the beginning and outlining the basics of the basics. The trademark world and the USPTO don't change in leaps and bounds but there have been enough significant changes that it's worth going over these essentials. So, thanks for reading & here we go!