Trademark Protection

A trademark is a word, name, symbol or device used by a manufacturer or merchant to identify his or her goods and distinguish them from others. In short, a trademark is a name brand used in hopes that the public will begin to recognize a trademark as standing for a certain level of quality and may very well build an allegiance towards purchasing those products or services in the future.

A trademark must always be used as an adjective and never as a noun. For example, Kleenex® brand facial tissues.

Why should I register a trademark?

By registering a trademark, you can secure benefits beyond the rights acquired by merely using a mark. You are presumed to be the owner and entitled to use the mark nationwide.

What is the life of a trademark?

A trademark can last indefinitely as long as the owner continues to use the mark to identify its goods or services, and it is being used properly.

As long as a trademark is registered, it should be identified either with the word "registered" or the symbol ®.

How much does it cost to obtain a trademark?

Filing an application for federal registration typically costs approximately $1,200 to $1,800 per class of goods, if an attorney is used.

If an individual files for a trademark without using an attorney, the typical cost is $325 per class of goods.

How do I decide if someone is using a trademark that could be confused with mine?

To determine whether or not another mark is confusingly similar, you must look at the sound, appearance, and meaning of the trademark as well as the goods and services for which the mark is used.

How do I search for registered trademarks?

Go to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.