• Rayane Neves

What is a Trademark?

Whenever an inventor is in the process of deciding how they’ll proceed with their ideas, they have to think of what kind of protection they need. Protecting the brand of the idea can be a great start. That is called a trademark.

A trademark is a name, design, symbol, or even words that identifies with a product, business, and/or service. Trademarks are useful to inventors so that they can distinguish their products from their competitors.

What can I trademark? You can trademark anything that will differentiate you from others, including:

  • Invented words

  • Phrases

  • Logos

  • Symbols

  • Sounds

  • Packaging

  • Colors

  • Product names

How long does the protection last? Trademarks don’t expire as long as you use it. If it’s registered trademark, you can renew it every ten years for the protection in the state.

How can I protect a trademark? When your trademark is not yet registered, it can still be protected under common law trademark protection. As long as you can provide proof that you’ve been using it first, you can use it as protection. Be aware though, your trademark may not be protected everywhere since it may only be limited to your state. Your trademark can only be protected nationally if it is federally trademarked. Common law trademark protection only protects your trademark in your state.

Where can I register a trademark?

After you decide that you would like to register your trademark, you should register it online with the USPTO’s Trademark Electronic Application System.

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