So You Want To Register Your Trademark: What Do You Need Before You Begin
“I want to trademark my logo, what do I need to do?” This is a common question we hear from potential clients.
My first inclination is to let the potential client know that the logo, if it is being used in commerce to identify the source of a company’s goods and services, is already considered a trademark. We need to register the trademark with either the State and/or the United States Patent and Trademark Office to add a statutory layer of protection.
What do we need to know? And what does the client need to give to us to register the trademark?
- Is the trademark being used in commerce? Or do you intend to use it in the future?
- Is the trademark a word or words, a design and/or a combination of words with design? What is the trademark?
- How is the trademark being used in commerce?
- What are the products and/or services that the trademark is being used to market in commerce?
- Do you have jpg files of the design mark or combination of words with design?
- Do you want to claim a specific color scheme as part of the trademark? If yes, what are the colors?
- Who or what is going to own the trademark registration? An individual, corporation, Limited Liability Company?
- What is the address and contact information for the owner of the trademark?
- Where do you want to register the trademark? State government agency? United Patent and Trademark Office? Foreign countries?
- What is the date of first use of the trademark anywhere?
- What is the date of first use of the trademark in commerce?
- How are you using the trademark in commerce?
- Do you have specimens (examples) of use in commerce? For products, the trademark needs to be on packaging, labeling, or on the product. For services, the trademark needs to be on a website, in a marketing brochure, a manual or menu.
- Who originated the mark? How did you come to own the trademark?
We usually send the potential client a form to complete that will provide us with all of this information.
But trademark owners sometimes try to register trademarks on their own, so this list might help them gather all of the information they need prior to starting the registration process.