can a name be a trademark [Best Article]

Last updated : Sept 14, 2022
Written by : Collin Prospal
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can a name be a trademark

Can a person's name be trademarked?

To be protected as a trademark, a personal name must be used as a trademark—the name must be used as a source identifier, to distinguish the goods or services of a particular source.

What happens if you trademark your name?

Registering a trademark entitles the owner to exclusive rights to use the name in connection with the class of goods or services for which the name is registered, and and makes it clear who the owner of the name actually is—all on a national level.

Can you use someone's name as a business name?

Generally, as long as no one else in your state is using that business name, you can call your company whatever you like. Names are doled out on a first-come, first-served basis.

When should you trademark a name?

In most cases, the best time to file a trademark application for your business name is right after you've filed paperwork to form your LLC or corporation. By doing this before your business officially launches, it protects the name for commercial use once you're up and running.

How long does a trademark last?

A federal trademark lasts 10 years from the date of registration, with 10-year renewal terms. Between the fifth and sixth year after the registration date, the registrant must file an affidavit to state that the mark is still in use.

What names can you not trademark?

  • Proper names or likenesses without consent from the person.
  • Generic terms, phrases, or the like.
  • Government symbols or insignia.
  • Vulgar or disparaging words or phrases.
  • The likeness of a U.S. President, former or current.
  • Immoral, deceptive, or scandalous words or symbols.
  • Sounds or short motifs.

Is it better to trademark or copyright a name?

A trademark can protect your name and logo in case someone else wants to use them for their own purposes. Also, you cannot really copyright a name, since copyright protects artistic works. This is exactly why you need to have a trademark that protects your company's intellectual property, such as your logo.

Can 2 businesses have the same name?

Can Two Companies Have the Same Name? Yes, however, certain requirements must be met in order for it to not constitutes trademark infringement and to determine which party is the rightful owner of the name.

Can a company sue you for having the same name?

A trademark lawsuit will require you to prove three things: You have registered a trademark or service mark in the name. Someone else is using the same or similar name to sell similar goods and services to yours. The infringer's use of the name is confusing customers or diluting the power of your trademark.

Can the same name be trademarked twice?

However, if the two products are not related to one another and not likely to cause any confusion, then trademark law will not prevent the two companies from using the same name. Put differently, if the same name is registered in different trademark classes, this does not give rise to an infringement claim.

Can I trademark a name without a business?

You can't register a trademark for non-business purposes. You can only trademark a brand name that you're using in business or that you intend to use in business in the near future.

How hard is it to trademark a name?

Registering a trademark for a company name is pretty straightforward. Many businesses can file an application online in less than 90 minutes, without a lawyer's help. The simplest way to register is on the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's Web site,

How much is a trademark?

No matter how you file, you will pay a minimum of $250 to apply for a Federal trademark. But considering the importance of your trademark, and the potential complexities you face when filing, it's not a bad idea to use a lawyer or filing service.

What are the three types of trademarks?

What you'll learn: Arbitrary and Fanciful Trademarks. Suggestive Trademarks. Descriptive Trademarks.

How long does a trademark take to get approved?

Usually, the process takes 12 to 18 months. Registering your trademark is a complex procedure that involves your application moving through various stages. Learning about each stage in the process will help you understand why getting a trademark takes as long as it does.

What can I do with a trademark?

A trademark protects a good or service offered by a company from infringement or damage of reputation by another company. With a trademark, you have legal recourse to sue another company that uses your likeness to further their own business ventures. This includes both registered and unregistered trademarks.

Is Mickey Mouse a trademark or copyright?

People can now create their own stories with the original Mickey Mouse character. However, there are still legal hurdles like trademark law. Disney holds Mickey Mouse trademarks for a variety of commercial uses. And while copyright is time-limited, trademarks are not.

How do I protect my business name?

Trademark. A trademark can protect the name of your business, goods, and services at a national level. Trademarks prevent others in the same (or similar) industry in the United States from using your trademarked names.

What are the benefits of having a trademark?

  • A Federal Trademark Registration Protects Against Infringement.
  • A Federal Trademark Registration Provides Nationwide Validity.
  • A Federal Trademark Registration is a Valuable Asset.
  • Unique Trademarks Helps Customers Find You.

How do I know if my business name is already taken?

Check Trademark for your proposed name --> Check Trademark This website is maintained by the Office of the Controller General of Patents, Designs & Trade Marks, Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion, Ministry of Commerce & Industry.

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can a name be a trademark

Comment by Fredrick Starcevich

Thanks for this great article

Thanks for your comment Fredrick Starcevich, have a nice day.
- Collin Prospal, Staff Member

Comment by Ahmad

trademark theft cost small businesses over 300 billion dollars a year I know so let me show you how to register your trademark step number one create unique words or a symbol as your trademark what can be trademarked any name symbol slogan design that is uniquely identified with your product or service people often use the word trademark to refer to both trademarks and service marks technically a trademark is for your goods whereas a service mark is for your commercial services why should you trademark two reasons it keeps customers who had good experiences with your product or service coming back for more it also helps them find your product by finding that logo or that name or that symbol that is trademarked and identifies your unique product or services in reality coke may be indistinguishable to your taste buds from other carbonated drinks however you always order a coke because you remember how good it tasted after you scored your first touchdown you also trademark to prevent others from taking your particular mark and then trying to use that mark to sell their own goods and services it's very likely that if Pepperidge Farms did not trademark its name someone would steal it and attempt to trick customers into buying their own crackers instead of Pepperidge Farms while some of us will create a unique design as our trademark that no one has ever thought of some of us want a trademark a word phrase that maybe someone has thought of and previously registered so it is really smart to research whether or not your word phrase if you have a word phrase has been used before and previously registered there are three different types of research to perform to determine whether or not the word phrase you on a trademark has been used before or as previously registered but before we get there here's when you may want to get an attorney involved in the trademark process attorneys have access to very sophisticated professional databases that provide very timely and accurate information about pending trademark applications so if you have the resources you make and are delegating the research process to them however if you're a do-it-yourselfer like me here's how to research whether or not pending trademark applications are in the computer system first it's really easy perform a Google search and determine whether or not the words you want a trademark appear in business anywhere else second go to who is ICANN org and do a search and find out whether or not the words you want a trademark appear in domain names in the world the last part of the research happens at the website for the US Patent and Trademark Office you use a system that they have it's free to use called tests trademark electronic search system you use the system determine out whether or not there are pending trademark applications in America for the words you want a trademark test is really easy to use simply go to the website for the USPTO gov hover over the trademarks tab click on searching trademarks scroll down to search trademark database you click there move down to basic word mark search and then you click there then you go into the search term field and you type in the words that you want to be trademarked I previously entered what a feeling because I was pretending like I was selling a online product like an online vitamin and I can see here that there's at least one application for this mark that is live in other words it's pending when it says dead then the mark has been abandoned and is available you use the basic word mark search when you're trying to trademark words however when you want a trademark a design you have to use the design mark search and I made a video about how to use that design word mark search and you can find the link to that video in the description section below if you do not see in this screen that the words that you want to use as your trademark has a live application pending then you're looking good for a trademark and you can move on to the next step but before we get there let's take a quick break we've been talking about a lot of complex subjects do you want to trademark a product or a service if you want to trademark a product then write trademark in the comments if you want to trademark a service then write service mark in the comments below okay let's get back to the steps step number three use your trademark to lock in your trademark you actually have to use the words in the symbol in your online business in America once a business starts to use a distinctive name or symbol immediately and automatically has the right to prevent others from using that distinctive name or symbol basically the rule is use it or lose it how do you use a trademark well first your trademark has to be used in your actual business second you have to display the mark so that it's physically associated with the particular product or service that you are going to sell so that could be like a label or a tag perhaps the trademark appears on your website step number four register your trademark once you have used your trademark your next step is to protect it under federal law by officially registering it where do you register it by going back to the USPTO gov website under the trademarks tab go to apply online click on initial application forms there's three different types of application forms I use the TE a s RF at this time of the video it costs $50 more than the cheapest application but I don't want to go through the goods and services listing and I really don't mind communicating with the USPTO through email and online correspondence when you get to the applications scroll down and check no an attorney is not filing this application then you click continue at the bottom here you fill up the applicant contact information remember applicant means the owner of the mark not the person filling out the form so if you want your business to own the mark you should enter in the business name as the applicant after you're done filling out the contact information click continue and you arrive at the mark information screen you click on standard characters and then you enter in the trademark phrase and maybe you get a preview it like I did here then you click continue next is the good service information screen click on add goods and services then type in the basic category for your product click on go then you get this listing of all these different types of related products in this example I'm seeking at trademark for cornbread and so I clicked the cornbread box and hit inserted checked entries then you just click on the bottom continue you don't need to identify the filing basis then it's continue again this takes you to the final screens of the trademark application you enter in your payment information and then you submit the trademark application form and there you have it you did it your trademark application is submitted step number five wait for official registration the next step in the process is actually waiting waiting for the notice of publication if you get that then you know your trademark application was properly prepared when you get the notice of publicatio

Thanks Ahmad your participation is very much appreciated
- Collin Prospal

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