Trademarks: What Are They & How to Legally Protect Them

A trademark is a unique sign that identifies certain goods or services by a specific person or provider. Certain things like the Nike Swoosh, the LV on Louis Vuitton merchandise and the famous McDonalds slogan “I’m lovin it”, are all very recognizable trademarks.

In the creation of a new business, the selection process of the name and logo is critical for the formation of the business. When creating a new trademark, a business owner will want to choose a mark that will help shape the creation and ongoing marketing of that brand.

Trademarks cannot cause confusion or deception. It is highly recommended that a new business register their trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, although not required. Registering your trademark will make the public aware of your ownership of the mark.

In the United States, the actual use of the mark creates the right and priority over others. Your mark must be used in commerce. The term “use in commerce” means the genuine use of a mark in the ordinary course of business.

Trademarks make it easy for customers to find your business. A trademark is also a valuable asset that can appreciate in value over time. The more your business grows, the more valuable your brand and trademark will become. The more you differentiate your brand from others, the easier it will be to protect your trademark. In order to protect yourself from big corporations, choose a name and logo that distinctly identifies your business.

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