When you have a great idea, you want to make sure no one steals it. This means that you need to protect yourself and your idea. The best way to do that is to file for a trademark. But how can you find out if someone else is already using your mark?
Simply using a logo isn’t enough to give you the legal protection your company needs. Searching existing marks for similarity and properly filing your trademark gives you the legal protection your company will need to navigate away from a possible lawsuit.
What is a Trademark?
A trademark is a word, phrase, or symbol legally registered that refers to a company. Think of your favorite beverage. The logo you’re picturing is that company’s trademark. Many companies have multiple trademarks to cover different logos and phrases.
Your favorite beverage company hired a team of trademark lawyers to make sure their marks were registered correctly. Companies file for trademarks for different reasons. Some file to gain recognition and others file to make a profit. Getting your trademark protects your company name, phrase, or logo from theft.
How to Search for Existing Trademarks
If you haven’t filed your trademark, make sure you complete a search first to be sure no other company is already using the mark you want to use. You start by running a preliminary search with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. This search reviews results from federal trademark records. If you get a positive result, that means the trademark is not in use and you can file to use the trademark.
Even with a positive result, you should also run a full search. This type of search is used to determine if your requested trademark infringes on the rights of any other registered trademark owner. This search reviews federal registrations, but also state registrations. Here, the search might come back negative if your trademark is too similar to an existing registered mark.
Protect Your Trademark with the Right Attorney
A trademark is an important legal right to your company. Without it, your company logo, name, and phrase could be stolen and used without compensation to you, the rightful owner.
This is why it’s so important to make sure your trademark is filed correctly. That all starts with making sure you run a proper trademark search. This will help you confirm you can use your proposed trademark and it helps to make sure you’re not infringing on the rights of anyone else. Doing so could be an extremely costly mistake. A trademark lawyer in Bergen County, NJ from a firm like Kaplan Law Practice, LLC could be of assistance to you in filing your trademark.