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Protecting Your Trade Name and Business Name

The process is quite simple but does require some preliminary planning and evaluation. For obvious reasons it is important to protect your business name and brand and the method for doing this is to obtain registration of your business and trade name with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (the "USPTO"). However‚ not every USPTO registration is valuable and before filing for registration you should speak with your attorney about the following:

  • Is Your Business and Trade Name Protectable? – This is a fundamental question. When it comes to the legal protection of your business name you need to understand that there are varying levels of protection. If your business name is generic or descriptive of your business (i.e.‚ Pancake House for a restaurant serving pancakes) then your legal protection will be limited. If your mark is arbitrary (i.e.‚ like using the brand name "Apple" for computers) then your legal protection may be extensive. So‚ before filing any registration applications talk to your trademark lawyer about the "strength" of your mark and if your mark is (from a legal perspective (weak) then work with him or her to possibly improve it.
  • It Pays to Do Your Research – The process is quite simple and will involve your attorneys review of current and pending trade name applications that have been filed with the USPTO. Your attorney will examine the current registrations to determine whether or not your application for registration will be granted.
  • The Importance of Registring Your Trade Name – Once your register your trade name and business name with the USPTO you will be granted national protection. That is‚ when your mark or name is "registered" there is a presumption that your mark is legally protectable and your registration will prevent new competitors (any where in the country) from later entering the market and using your trade name.

Registration is a Simple Process

If you would like to evaluate the strength of your business and tradename and would like to learn more about our fixed fee for evaluating your trade name and filing a registration application with the USPTO‚ contact us or give us a call at 800.976.4904.

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By Charles Internicola August 18, 2010

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