How to Nationally Trademark a Name

By Karyn Maier

A trademark demonstrates the exclusive right to use a specific mark in trade or commerce. The United States Patent and Trademark Office defines a mark as a symbol, design, word or name or any combination thereof. Although the right to use a trademarked name is established through legitimate use in business, national registration provides additional benefits such as the right to bring legal action against unauthorized use of the name.

Step 1

Determine eligibility of the name for national trademark registration. A name is eligible for trademark registration based on its use in lawful commerce or trade between states or with a foreign country. Specifically, the name must appear on goods or products transported or sold, or used in the sale or advertising of a service.

Step 2

Identify the type of trademark registration needed. If the name is used to render a service, then a service mark registration may be in order. Although the word “trademark” is a blanket term used to refer to service marks and trademarks, it technically pertains to the use of a name as it relates to a product and the former refers to the use of a name in providing a service. A scenario in which a service mark applies is a musical group that uses a name to advertise and sell tickets to a live performance. However, the application process to register on the national principal register is the same for both trademarks and service marks.

Protect your brand. Register My Trademark Now

Step 3

Search the Trademark Electronic Search System online database, or TESS, to make sure no one else has claimed the name as a trademark. Your search will locate previously registered trademarks, if any, as well as pending applications for registration.

Step 4

Use the Trademark Electronic Application System, or TEAS, to complete and file a trademark application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office online. Your application fee will vary depending on factors such as how you file your application and how many classes you select.

Step 5

Check on the status of your application with the online Trademark Application and Registration Retrieval system, or TARR, every 3 months. If the trademark office has taken any action on your application that requires a response, be sure to comply promptly.

Protect your brand. Register My Trademark Now
How to Copyright a Performing Name

References

Resources

Related articles

How to Add a DBA to an S-Corp

A DBA is an acronym for “doing business as," and can be used by any business owner, including an S Corporation, to distinguish the business’s products and services from its competitors. Any type of trade name, fictitious name or assumed name used for a business is generally referred to as a DBA. To add a DBA to your S-Corp, you must follow the requirements of the state law where your S-Corp was formed. Most states require registration of a DBA with a government agency, with some states further requiring publication of the DBA in an approved newspaper.

How to Use TESS for Trademark

A trademark is a unique symbol, phrase or word used to distinguish one brand of goods or services from another. Technically, a trademark is protected as soon as it is used to conduct business, although registering the mark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office provides additional advantages. In any case, a search of the agency’s Trademark Electronic Search System, or TESS, can help to ensure a duplicate mark does not already exist.

How to Trademark a Shape

A trademark is phrase, symbol or design element that identifies the brand of a product or service. Unlike a copyright or patent, trademark protection takes effect as soon as the mark is first used in commerce, even without registration. Non-traditional trademarks include shapes, such as the trademark for the three-dimensional iPod shape granted to Apple by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in January 2012.

File a Trademark Online. LegalZoom. Learn More.

Related articles

How to Trademark a Performer's Name

As a performer, you want to prevent others from using your name in order to protect your reputation and prevent ...

Can an LLC Use an Inc. Designation?

The designation “LLC” stands for “limited liability company,” which is a form of business entity that is similar in ...

How to Get a Trademark for a Comic Book Superhero Character

Trademarks cover comic book characters' names and logos. Any character's name or logo used on products offered in ...

How to Operate an LLC Under a Personal Name

A limited liability company, or LLC, must register with a state. Part of the process of registering is selecting a ...

Browse by category
Ready to Begin? GET STARTED