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What are the Basics of Trademark Registration?

G. Wiesen
G. Wiesen

Trademark registration is typically fairly simple, though following certain steps can make the procedure easier and more effective. It is usually best to begin by performing a trademark search to ensure that no one else has already registered an identical trademark in a way that would prevent you from using it. You should then begin using the trademark you wish to register, either on packaging for a product or to advertise goods or services your business may offer. Trademark registration can then be done by filling out any paperwork necessary in your country, and filing the paperwork with the appropriate government agency and paying any associated fees.

One of the first things you should do toward trademark registration is perform a trademark search for the word, name, or logo you wish to trademark. If another business in the same type of field or offering the same product you wish to protect with a trademark already owns that trademark, then you will need to choose a different name or image. You usually only need to be concerned about trademarks owned by similar businesses. This means that if you wish to trademark a company name for a business that develops game software, and the same name is owned by a company that sells shoes, then you may still be able to move forward with your trademark registration.

An application to register a trademark.
An application to register a trademark.

You can typically perform this kind of search by contacting the government agency in your country that handles trademark registration. Many such agencies have websites you can use to search trademarks. Once you determine that someone does not already own the trademark, you can then begin using it on materials used with your business. This can include packaging for goods your company manufactures or advertisements for your business. You may need to provide a sample of your trademark during registration, so this type of use can help you in the long run and provides grounds for your trademark.

Trademark registration can then typically be done through the appropriate government agency in your country, such as the US Patent and Trademark Office or the Intellectual Property Office in the UK. You will usually need to fill out paperwork, provide the name or image you wish to trademark, and describe the intended use of your trademark. Many countries charge a filing fee for trademark registration, but official registration can make defending a trademark easier if necessary.

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    • An application to register a trademark.
      By: fuzzbones
      An application to register a trademark.