To put it simply, a trademark is a unique sign or symbol with which you distinguish your business (products, services or both) from those of others. A trademark can come in form of a signature, logo, slogan or a catchphrase. In order words, your trademark represents your unique brand.
Having a trademark is one thing and successfully registering it is another. In fact, registering a trademark is twice as important as creating it. Of what importance is your trademark if other individuals can make use of it? Registering a trademark is the process of applying for the exclusive right over the trademark thereby preventing others from making use of it without your express permission.
The kind of materials that can be registered as a trademark are colors, shapes, tickets, devices, labels, signatures, names, words and letters. A combination of these materials can also be registered.
Whatever your trademark is, once it has been registered, you have to indicate that by always putting any of the two trademark symbols (TM or ®) beside it.
Benefits of a registered trademark
At this point, it is suffice to say an unregistered trademark is no trademark at all. Having a trademark without registering it is like winking in the dark. Registering your trademark gives you monopoly of your trademark. Your trademark gives you an identity and it protects your market share by enhancing your customers’ loyalty. You should get advice from intellectual property law firm before submitting your application.
You can sell it completely for a huge sum of money. You can also give a third party permission to use it for your financial benefits. Your trademark makes it possible for you to seek shareholders to expand your business.
Why you need to do a thorough research before applying for a trademark?
Trademark application fees are usually non refundable and your application may not be granted at the first application. Needless to say you need to pay the application fee each time you are applying for a trademark whether you have applied for it before or not.
Hence, it is a rule of the thumb to do a proper research on what can disqualify your application and what can increase your chances of getting a positive nod. Once that is done, you should re-align your trademark application based on your findings to increase your chances.
Finally, you also need to check if a similar trademark has been registered before. If you find out that a trademark that is close to yours has already been registered, you have to redesign yours.