Welcome to TrademarkArmor.com! Trademark Armor is an informational Web site devoted solely to trademark law. On this Web site, we will answer your questions regarding trademarks.
To get started, let's go over some basic facts about trademarks. A trademark is a name, slogan, or logo which identifies the source of a particular product or service. The key element here is that the trademark must represent a product or service offering. For example, "NIKE" is a trademark that represents shoes and apparel (among many other products). When you encounter a NIKE shoe, you know exactly what the source of the product is and you do not have to guess about its origin or quality.
A trademark must also be unique. Since a trademark registration grants its owner the exclusive rights to a name, slogan or logo, the trademark cannot simply describe the goods or services that it represents. For example, it is not possible to trademark “Cotton Clothing” for the name of a clothing brand that sells cotton clothing. Therefore, prior to beginning the trademark filing process, it is important for a business owner to determine if the trademark he or she has selected is truly unique.
Once a trademark has been selected, there are two main steps that one should take in order to obtain a trademark registration. The first step is having an attorney conduct a thorough, professional trademark search. Many online companies claim you can complete a trademark search yourself via their Web site. Most of these Web sites are scams. They attempt to lure you into a cheap trademark registration service by making you think the process is easy. In fact, a trademark search is something that you should hire a lawyer to complete. You may believe that your online research skills are dazzling; however, in most cases, a business owner may not understand how to conduct a proper trademark search, and, may not understand what actually creates a trademark conflict.
The bottom line is that since you are investing time and money into your business and your business name, you should hire a trademark attorney to give you a legal opinion on the name. The money you spend on a professional search helps ensure that your business name, logo or slogan is not infringing on the rights of someone else.
Once the trademark search is completed, the attorney you hired can properly draft and file your trademark application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Again, it is incredibly important to have an attorney prepare and file your application. The answers to the questions on the application have real legal consequences, and, if answered improperly, could lead to the refusal of your application.