Protecting your intellectual property matters in today’s business world. If you patent an invention, you have to follow a strict timeline, but this is not the case with filing a trademark application. Because filing for a trademark is expensive, it’s a good idea to file within a specific timeline using trademark lawyers in Melbourne.
When to Trademark Your Company’s Name
Before you file legal papers to incorporate your business’s name, you should trademark the name. It’s easy to dig through the corporate registrar to find business names, and you can use any names that aren’t already taken in your state.
Unfortunately, if you don’t trademark your company name, someone else around the country could use your name in another state.
Without a trademarked name, other people could use your name, and you cannot do anything about it. National trademark laws do not protect businesses just because they’ve incorporated. They must have a federally registered trademark.
Otherwise, their name is fair game to anyone else who decides to trademark it first.
Look Through the Trademark Database
Rather than searching state databases for your chosen business name, look through the United States trademark database. You’ll see quickly if any businesses have similar names that could be confused with your chosen name.
After you’ve selected your organization’s name, the next steps are to incorporate your business name, then file the Intent-to-Use trademark application. This will protect your chosen name while you take care of other legal issues.
The Next Steps for Protecting Your Intellectual Property
Once your business is established, the next step is to trademark product names and company logos. Ideally, you do this before you begin selling items. If you have already sold your products, you should complete all trademark applications.
On the flip side, if you haven’t sold products, you can wait to file until you decide to launch. Then, file just before you launch the product.
The rationale behind waiting to file for product and logo trademarks is the fee for filing. The Intent-to-Use trademark application asks for examples of use, and you have to pay a fee for the filing. It’s better to wait to file just before you launch products because you’ll have the products available to share in the application.
You’ll save money on the filing because you can file a use-based application rather than an intent-to-use application. The risk with waiting is that someone else can file for a similar product before you do.
Why File Early or Later
The USPTO determines trademarks by the timing of the application. If you file before someone else, you will get the trademark first. The people who analyze applications use the filing dates to determine who gets the trademark.
However, if you file early but you haven’t used the names and logos, you could have your trademark application canceled.
The USPTO does have an appeal board, but the process is expensive and time-consuming. If you get your trademark filed first, you shouldn’t have problems with your intellectual property.