Frequently Asked Questions
What is a trademark?
A trademark is any word, name, symbol, phrase, or any combination, used or intended to be used to identify and distinguish the goods/services of one seller or provider from those of others, and to indicate the source of the goods/services. Basically, what that means is a trademark is generally anything that identifies your brand that you use in connection with your goods or services.
Do you need a trademark?
Trademark is the only way you own your brand. So, if you’re selling or getting ready to sell your product or service you should get a trademark.
When is the right time to get a trademark?
At the beginning of starting your business because you want to make sure your trademark is available before you start using it. In the same way, you don’t want anyone to use your brand you want to make sure you’re not using anyone else’s brand.
I haven’t started using my brand name yet. Can I get a trademark?
Yes! There are two types of trademark applications you can file. In use application and Intent to use application. Intent to use an application is when you’re not using your trademark yet, but you intend to do so.
What is a Comprehensive trademark search?
A comprehensive trademark search is a search of various databases for the other same or similar trademarks. Comprehensive searches are thorough and consist of searching:
- Federal Trademark Database
- State Trademark Database
- State business Registrations
- Social media
Do I need to have an LLC first before I file for my trademark?
No, you do not need an LLC first. An individual or a business can own a trademark. However, since trademarks are an asset for your business it is recommended that your business owns the trademark.
What is a trademark class?
A "class" is a category of goods or services that you want to protect your trademark for. Different goods and services fall under different classes, and similar goods and services may fall under the same class. There are 45 different classes of products and services.
For example, Make-up and soap fall under the same class. However, make-up and coaching services fall under different classes. One class is included in my trademark package.
What is an Office Action?
After filing a trademark application, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) may decide to halt the progress of your application and document the reason for doing so in an official letter known as an Office Action. Office Actions are not final rejections if the legal issues, whether procedural or substantive, are addressed in your response to the Office Action, your trademark application will proceed.
Procedural issues refer to minor defects with your trademark application and are relatively easy to correct.
Substantive refusals are issued by the trademark examiner attacking your rights to proceed with your trademark application and own the mark. Substantive refusals require robust research and brief writing to respond.