Sunday, March 13, 2005

Trademark registration on the cheap

I was thinking about how to go about renewing a trademark registration that I had thoughtlessly allow to expire and ran across this interesting discussion about how to register a trademark. It starts:

Dear Sage:

I want to trademark my company's name but don't want to pay a lawyer to do it, what can I do that's quick, easy and cheap?

Dear Entrepreneur:

First you should make sure that you have a trademark and not just a trade name. A trademarks are words, names symbols, designs, phrases, slogans, or a combination of these that are used to identify and distinguish goods in the marketplace (like a brand name or logo). A name that identifies a business entity is a trade name. Your company's name is a trade name, but it may or may not be a trademark. Microsoft is both a trademark and a trade name (as part of Microsoft Corporation). Jeep is a trademark, but Daimler-Chrysler is not.

Assuming you have trademark usage, the simplest thing to do is nothing. Trademark rights in the United States are vested upon use of a trademark. Whoever uses a particular mark first in commerce in connection with particular goods or services has seniority for that mark. These rights are called "common law" trademark rights and require no registration. You can use the "TM" symbol next to the mark to put others on notice that you are claiming trademark rights in it. Common law trademark rights only provide protection in the geographic areas in which the mark is used.

Read on for the rest of the story.

The bottom line is that I'm not completely SOL with a lapsed registration.

BTW, it would cost about $400 just for the government fee to renew my mark, even if they would do so without me having to reapply since it's been over a year since expiration.


At 5:08 AM EST , Blogger james atel said...

trademark can give companies the opportunity to reserve valuable trademark rights before actually using the mark in commerce cheap trademark registration call us

At 4:59 AM EST , Blogger aliah said...

When you are looking for trademark registration, online there are so many good trademark registration consultants can help a lot in registering your business trademark.
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