Did you know that approximately four million trademark applications are filed all over the world every year? This is according to statistics from the World Intellectual property Organization. As businesses start thinking about extending their reach and at times, venturing into overseas markets, it becomes necessary to understand how to register a trademark both locally and internationally to avoid issues with intellectual property theft. Here are a few tips that can help you whether you want to do trademark registration for a local company, or you are planning to take your operation global.
Ensure That the Trademark Is Free Before You Try Using It
It is important to understand that you are only allowed to adopt a particular trademark when it is not confusingly similar to another whose goods or services are already in the market. Second, in case you go into the market with a trademark that resembles that of another product, you cannot claim ignorance as a line of defense when the intellectual property infringement lawsuit comes. Before you use a trademark, therefore, take time and search for it to make sure that it does not exist in the market and most importantly, realize the test is similarity and not identity or intent.
Go for the Trademark You Can Protect
Another test that people fail when they are looking for ideal trademarks is getting something that can be protected. There are several types of trademarks and protection levels they can obtain. Generic trademarks do not get any protection, the second level is descriptive, here, you only get protection when the product gains marketplace recognition. The third is suggestive names such as Facebook, this is protectable. Then, there is arbitrary, like computers being named apple, they are more protectable. The names with the highest level of protection are fanciful names such as Axxion.
Register with USPTO
The earlier you can book an appointment with the United States Patent and Trademark office to register your trademark, the better for your business. The protection generally relates back to the date that you filed the application, which means that the earlier you make this application, the greater your success in dissuading competitors from using the trademark.
Trademark registration is the first step of the process. In order for it to work for you, you need to keep enforcing laws that relate to it. If you are planning to expand your operations overseas, you need to liaise with the governmental bodies in the respective countries so that you can figure out what you need to do to enforce the trademark in the company. Note that if the trademark is not enforced well, it can lead to degradation or loss of exclusive rights to the trademark altogether.