Trademark Your Business
What is a trademark and why would you need one? A “registered trademark”, or ®, refers to a name, slogan or logo that has been registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office – USPTO. The State of Washington also offers trademark protection through the Secretaries of State office.
Registering a trademark may be beneficial to your business because it can prevent others from using your intellectual property (business name/branding images, etc.). When you register a trademark you receive exclusive rights to your name, tagline, logo image, etc. To learn more, read this article, “Protecting Your Brand with Trademark Registration”, by Dawn Deans, a business attorney in Bellingham.
Below you will find three paths to consider on the road to trademarking. The information shared here is for basic educational purposes and is not intended as legal counsel; please contact an attorney to learn more about the costs and benefits of trademarking.
DEAL DIRECTLY WITH UNITED STATES PATENT & TRADEMARK OFFICE
Use these sites to search to see if the name you are considering has already been trademarked by another company. You can also handle the trademark process ‘do-it-yourself’ through the USPTO office. Note: there is a disclaimer on the USPTO page that says even if your business name does not appear on that form it may be registered…no guarantee that its not. Multiple places on the USPTO website recommend hiring an attorney to help navigate this ‘complicated process’. The entire process is estimated to take 6-12 months.
USE A 3RD PARTY PROCESSING COMPANY
www.legalzoom.com (processing fees below do not include the $325 USPTO fee)
Trademark Search: $199 (Federal & State), $299 (Comprehensive US), $499 (US and International)
Pricing Details: www.legalzoom.com/trademark-search/trademark-search-pricing.html
Trademark Filing: $169-$189, you fill-out paperwork on-line; they mail/submit the forms to USPTO
Pricing Details: www.legalzoom.com/trademarks/trademarks-pricing.html
This site is one of the top trademark registration sites on the web. It’s recommended by The New York Times, Huffington Post and the Wall Street Journal. The process is estimated to take 6-12 months.
HIRE A LOCAL ATTORNEY TO HANDLE THE PROCESS
Ask your business attorney if they handle trademarking… or ask for a referral to local law firms that specialize in trademarking.