People associate certain things with specific businesses. For example, most people know that the golden arches symbolize McDonald’s and the bullseye is for Target. Your business can become known by the symbol you choose to represent it. This is the company’s trademark.
A trademark is any design, symbol, or wording that identifies a company or brand. Technically, a trademark is used for goods and a service mark is used for services. However, both types fall under the same trademark laws.
What does registering a trademark do?
Once you create and begin to use the trademark for your business, you own the trademark. You can increase the rights that you have by registering the trademark. Once you register a trademark, you’ll have protections beyond only your geographic area.
There are limitations to trademarks. For example, if you have a specific phrase as your trademark, you can’t stop everyone from using that phrase. Instead, trademark protection only applies to uses that relate to your company. For example, another cleaning business couldn’t use the same trademarked phrase as you for their advertising.
How do you let others know you have a trademark?
You can easily let people know what you have trademarked by adding “TM” or “SM” after the trademark. Once you register it with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, you can use the ® symbol to show that it’s registered.
Protecting your company’s trademark makes it easier to prevent counterfeiting if you have a good that becomes popular. It can also help to prevent fraud in the case of goods and services alike.
If you find out that your trademark is being used without your permission, you can take legal action to stop the unauthorized use. This can help to protect your business’ image from being abused by competitors.
Making sure you have what you need for your business to thrive is crucial. Protecting your trademark is one way you can do this. Working with someone familiar with these matters can help you to ensure that you’re doing what’s best for your company.