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Should You Have a Registered Trademark?

Your business name and branding are one of the most important assets you own. If another entity steals your branding it could have a huge negative impact on your business. In order to protect your name and branding there are a few steps you can take. One of them can be getting your name and branding registered as a trademark.

So What is A Trademark?

A trademark is a symbol, word, or words legally registered or established by use as representing a company or product. In other words, a trademark identifies the source of goods and services through a business name, logo or saying. In order to further protect your business trademark you can get it registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

Advantages of a Registered Trademark

Many businesses choose to not to register their trademark. In this case your mark only has common law protection in your immediate geographic area. This option may be good for small local businesses who do not have to worry about nationwide competition, however in order to receive national protection it must be registered with the USPTO. In fact, registering a trademark allows you to gain several advantages, such as, nationwide trademark protection, your trademark will be registered to you and show in a public trademark database, you can file a lawsuit in federal court if your trademark rights are infringed and more.

For larger businesses, in most cases, the advantages of registering your trademark outweigh the hassle of doing it. To file a trademark you should first search the USPTO online trademark database to determine if your trademark is being used or too similar to another mark being used. If it is not then you can apply for a registered trademark online.

In the case of smaller and local businesses it may not be worth the hassle to register your trademark. However if you wish to have nationwide and federal trademark protection then you should consider registration of your trademark.

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