Does Your Brand Need a Trade Mark?

So, you have spent hours perfecting your new slow cooking process for bbq. You started developing your logo, and now you are excited about getting your brand “Snail Meat” applied as a label for all your advertising.  Congratulations, you have completed the big first steps.

But before you go wild applying the name to any advertising and packaging, you might want to take some additional steps.  These steps involve protecting your investment and claiming the exclusive rights to its use.

It’s called trademark registration

The United States Patent and Trademark Office “USPTO” maintains a searchable database of pending, confirmed and dead trademarks. You can read the directions and enter you new name search at:

http://www.uspto.gov/trademarks/index.jsp

So you enter “Snail Meat” into the database and find that no name even remotely close has been submitted for registration.

Fantastic!

Now you need to submit the proper paperwork to begin the registration process.  We strongly suggest you contact an Attorney who specializes in Trademarks and Patents for this process.  You can also request a legal opinion that will confirm the possible success you will have in being granted a trademark.

File the paperwork, pay your fees and begin using Snail Meat ® right?  Wrong! Actually, you cannot use the notification of a registered trademark until approved by the USPTO.

Until you receive the approval, you can use “TM”, which signifies an unregistered trade mark that is used to promote a good. Or you can use “SM” which is an unregistered service mark used to promote a service. In this case, with Snail Meat, you would use a TM mark until your registered trademark is approved, like this – Snail Meat™.

Once you receive the approval, which can take as long as 24 – 36 months, begin using the Snail Meat® in you marketing.

Trademark registration is a complex system, and no short article can simplify the process. That is why we suggest speaking to an attorney who specializes in trademarks and patents. This expert should be able to answer all of your questions and get you on the right track to trade marking your brand.

Oh, and good luck with the Snail Meat.

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