For a growing business, using a trademark to protect your intellectual property is a great way to start things off on the right foot. If you trademark your name and hire the best Washington D.C. Trademark Attorney to protect your rights, you’ll be off to a solid start. However, there are a few more steps you’ll need to take before you can consider yourself completely safe. There’s nothing worse than having to fight against rip-offs and thieves who are trying to out-and-out steal your idea. If you want to stay protected no matter what, here’s what you need to know about filing for a trademark.
Prepare Your Application
Before you do anything, you’ll need to fill out an application for your trademark from the USPTO, or the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Before you do this, you’ll have searched the database to make sure your chosen trademark is available for use. This application is not the same as registering. That’s an extra, crucial step you’ll need to take for maximum protection. Once you’ve applied, you’ll have to wait about a month for your result.
Applying is the easy part. Once you’re approved, you’ll have to register your trademark. This is the time during which any oppositions or disputes from pre-existing companies will likely come forward. However, if you’ve done your research, you shouldn’t hit any significant roadblocks. In the event of a challenge from another company that feels your mark choice was too similar, you should respond immediately after consulting with your lawyer. Don’t try to mend the situation on your own, since you could end up getting yourself in even deeper. Even if you’ve chosen a name that’s totally unique to your company, oppositions should always be taken seriously and responded to at once.
Get Your Approval
If all goes well, your approval should arrive within a month, if not sooner. Approval is great, but it’s important to remember that it won’t protect you in a court of law. Although you have rights to protect you from bots and cybersquatters who might try to use your name to profit off the company or create a copycat company offering cheaper, similar services, it will be a much harder battle to fight and win if you’re not registered as well as approved by the USPTO.
Purchase Your Domain Name
Figuring out your trademark is tricky. Finding the perfect domain name, however, can be even harder, especially if your ideal .com property is already taken. Unfortunately, the minute you put your business out there in any public way, bots and cybersquatters will find a way to purchase your domain before you even get a chance to look for it. These bots operate by finding desirable domain names, purchasing them, and hiking up the price to make it impossible for you to claim your site without paying a fortune. To avoid this, use ICANN to make sure you’re not trapped in a war against a bot. A moderator working there can help you get your rightful name without dragging things into court.