wiseGEEK: How do I Trademark a Company Name?

Part of an application to register a trademark.

You can trademark a company name quite easily. Begin by performing a trademark search to be sure no other company in a similar field already has that name protected. It is then best to begin using the company name, such as for advertising or merchandise packaging. You can then file for trademark registration through the appropriate government agency in your country, with various specific requirements based on laws in your country. You typically trademark a company name as soon as you begin to use it, but registering your trademark is always a good idea to ensure full legal protection.

To trademark a company name you should begin by performing a trademark search on that name to be sure no other business is using it already. You can usually do this quite easily, though it will depend on the country in which you live and the type of government agency that handles trademarks. In the US and UK, for example, you can simply go to the official website for the US Patent and Trademark Office or the Intellectual Property Office in the UK and use an online utility to perform a trademark search. This will reveal any company that may currently be using that name, and should give you a sense of how to move forward.

A company with the same name that is in the same type of business as you are would likely already have

the name trademarked. You may not want to use a name that a different type of company has, however, if it is already heavily associated with that business for most people. As long as no other company already has the name you want, then you can begin to trademark a company name by using it in business.

This can include printing letterhead for your company, using the name for advertising or on packaging for manufactured goods, and using the name for similar applications. While you can incorporate your company as well, you may want to officially trademark a company name by registering it before proceeding with incorporation. This could prevent you from incorporating a company that you later realize is similar in name to another business.

You can then trademark a company name in a more official capacity by registering that name with the appropriate government agency in your country. There is typically some paperwork you will need to fill out, as well as a filing fee with the paperwork. You may be able to do this online, though it is possible that you will need to fill out the paperwork and mail it in or apply in person. Once you trademark a company name by registering with your government, you may be able to use special indicators for your trademark such as the ® mark that is reserved for registered trademarks in the US.

Source: www.wisegeek.net

Category: Personal Finance

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