Registering a trademark

Registering a trademark for your business name is important and needn’t be worrisome. It can usually be done online in an hour or less at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s Web site, www.uspto.gov.

You will need to check the Trademark Electronic Search System (“TESS”) database to see if another company has registered the same logo or business name before completing the online registration form.  U.S. trademark protection is provided to the first company to use a logo in the  area where it does business, regardless of whether the mark is registered.

Online registration usually costs about $300 and must include information such as what type of business the logo will be used for, the date of the logo’s first use by the business and what the design specifics are for the logo.

Most business owners will get a response to their application within six months of filing. If your logo is similar to other registered logos, or you have questions, it can be helpful to engage the assistance of a trademark attorney before proceeding with your application.

Your business is your livelihood, and you should protect every aspect of it.