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Trademark Selection & Name Clearance
NOTE: Due to a recent Supreme Court ruling, it has become crucial that businesses take steps to reduce the risk their preferred name is available for use even if they are not particularly interested in securing their own trademark rights. Click here for more information.
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How long does it take to register a trademark?
It really depends on a lot of things, some of which are outside our control. 6 or 7 months is typical if everything goes smoothly and your trademark is used with a good or service that’s already being sold, but sometimes it can take years.
How much does it cost?
It varies. The biggest variable is how thorough you want your trademark search to be. Trademark searches are used to clear the trademark for use by helping ensure there isn’t someone else already using your desired trademark. More thorough searches cost more.
I've already registered my business name - is that the same thing as a trademark registration?
No, trademark registrations are different and confer different rights. Trademarks are about a right to use a mark in relation to certain goods and services, and to prevent others from using a mark that would mislead consumers into believing they are purchasing or consumer your good or service. State business name registrations are about allowing interested parties to find more information about your business and to allowing state and local governments to regulate commerce.
Can I skip the trademark search or do it myself?
No, unfortunately we do not offer trademark registration services without performing a search and analysis first. Analyzing the mark itself for registerability and ability to function as a trademark and analyzing a trademark search for likelihood of confusion is a complex process that goes beyond just seeing whether someone is using the same trademark. We find that skipping the search and analysis process increases the risk of problems during the registration process, increases the risk that clients will have to go through a costly rebranding process, and diminishes the value we offer to clients.
Do you offer a flat fee?
Most of our trademark services are offered on a flat fee. Exceptions include matters that substantial interactions with third parties, including substantive office actions and communicating with other interested parties.
Does the trademark need to be my business name? What about a DBA?
No, and having a registered business name DOES NOT, by itself, give you trademark rights. Your business legal name has little relation to its trademark rights; they may be the same but trademark rights are not created registering a business name. The same goes for a Certificate of Assumed Name (often called a DBA).
What information will I need for registering a trademark?
It can vary depending on the circumstances, but the following information is useful to have available during your client interview:
- The trademark itself, whether its simply a word or includes graphic elements or sounds
- The name of the trademarks owner, which is usually straightforward but can occasionally be complicated
- The goods and or services the trademark is currently used with, and the date the trademark was first used with each
- The goods or services you plan to use the trademark with in the future
The information listed above is enough to begin providing you with services but, based on the answers you provide during your client interview, it is likely we will require additional information.
Recent Trademark Blog Posts
Eminem, Lizzo, and ABBA. The names of recording artists, or registered trademarks? Why not both?
If you’re a recording artist, your name or band name may be an important part of your identity, and a valuable asset in its own right that can be turned into merchandising and licensing revenues. Learn what goes into registering a trademark for your name or band name.
A recent Supreme Court decision increases the risk of launching a brand without first searching to see if anyone else already has trademark rights. Ignorance is no longer bliss when it comes to disgorging your profits.