How Can I Protect My Company Name?

A company’s name is often its brand. What would happen if your company had to change its name? For many businesses a name change would be a catastrophe equal to closing up shop and starting all over again. If your business falls into this category, you may want to consider trademark registration. Registering your trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) may provide you with valuable protection for your brand and strengthen your trademark in case anybody else ever tries to use it.

If you are just starting a business or planning a name change, this is the perfect time to consider a trademark search. A trademark search evaluates marks similar to your proposed mark to provide an indication of the likelihood that the USPTO will grant a registration to the mark. The results of the search can help you determine whether you would like to go ahead with the proposed name before investing significant sums of money marketing and establishing your brand.

Before you may register your trademark, you must have actually used the mark in commerce. If you have not yet started using the mark, an intent to use trademark application may be a good option. This allows the trademark to go through the examination process and you will receive notice from the USPTO as to whether or not they will allow the trademark to register. If the USPTO allows the mark, it can then be registered as an in use mark after it is first used in commerce.

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