Obtaining trademark rights on your business name, product name, slogan or logo is more like gardening than construction. You prepare the soil, plant seeds that are appropriate for the soil and climate, water frequently and wait. Sometimes it doesn’t work out, but usually it does, if you careful in the planting. If something grows, though, your work isn’t done: you have to keep watering, fertilizing and staking them. The plants don’t product fruit, but they look really, really nice.
Trademark rights arise from using the trademark in commerce. This means using the name, slogan or logo in a way that causes your customers and potential customer to connect your goods or services with you. The consuming public doesn’t need to know it’s you specifically—they don’t need to have met you or even know your name—but they just need to know that whoever stands behind the goods or products also stands for a certain quality. You know about TIDE laundry detergent, but you may not know that Proctor & Gamble makes it.
Aaron | Sanders PLLC can help navigate the path of creating and bolstering your trademark as it relates to your specific industry. Contact us to learn what those next steps are.
You may have heard that you need to file something with a government agency to get a trademark. This isn’t really true. Trademarks arise from use in commerce. But what you can do is register your trademarks with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Obtaining a registration will significantly strengthen and expand your trademarks rights. The United States Patent and Trademark Office provides a good deal of useful information on the process.
In a sense, a trademark is a short-hand for all manner of thoughts and feelings that go through consumers’ minds as they decide what to buy. It doesn’t have to mean that your product is the best, only that it is of a certain quality—perhaps of lower quality but of better price—or that it will likely have certain features. When you see TIDE on laundry detergent, you probably feel it’s a solid and reliable, if unexciting, product (and that suits Proctor & Gamble just fine).