Mar 05, 2022

How to Protect Your Brand Name? – Beginner’s Guide with FAQs, Tips, Tricks, & More   

how to protect your brand name

It can take a lot of time and effort to come up with an effective brand name, logo, and identity. 

Also, it makes sense for you to be attached to your brand identity because, often, it’s a reflection of your values and aspirations as a person. 

That’s why it’s important that you take the necessary measures to protect your brand from infringement and unfair use. 

Quick Summary

Most entrepreneurs out there don’t worry about the protection of their brand name until something actually happens. 

Only after they are threatened by an attempt of theft or infringement do they start to take action. 

Don’t be one of those entrepreneurs. Be prepared straight off the bat so you can protect your business name as you navigate through the market. 

This post will explain everything there is to know regarding trademark registration and intellectual property law. 

So without further ado, let’s get started.

What is a Trademark? 

As defined by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), “a trademark is any word, symbol or phrase that can uniquely identify and distinguish the source of goods of one party from another.” 

Hence, a trademark plays a huge role in solidifying the authority of your product. It proves that the product has come from an authentic source and that it’s not a counterfeit product. 

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How Do I Trademark My Company Name?

Here’s how you can trademark your company’s name once you’ve come up with one along with your brand identity. 

Search for Similar Brand Names

The first thing you need to do is to search the federal database for your company’s name. You need to first ensure that nobody else has registered your brand name for themselves. You can find this database through USPTO’s Trademark Electronic Search System.

If somebody has indeed already registered your brand’s name as a trademark, then you will need to come up with a different name. However, if your brand name has not yet been registered as a trademark, then you can begin the process to get it registered. 

A quick tip: Not only do you need to search for your exact name, but you also need to search for similar names to your brand name as well. 

This is because your application might be denied if your brand name is a bit too similar to one or more brand names that are already registered. 

While this is something that might seem simple enough, it can actually be fairly complicated. You may find yourself running into issues with registration if you don’t search up other brand names well enough.

In any case, we recommend doing as much research as you can in the database before you apply to ensure your brand name will indeed get accepted. 

Apply for a Federally Registered Trademark

After you have ensured that there are no brands with similar names or meanings that have already registered a trademark, you can go ahead and apply for one. 

You can file for registration and trademark protection for a business that is already up and running. You can also file it for a trademark symbol that you plan to use in the future. 

The latter would be in the case that you haven’t started your business up yet but are making preparations to get it off the ground soon. 

The trademark application has several components that you should know: 

  • The name of the applicant.
  • The address of the applicant.
  • The citizenship and the legal job of the application.
  • A name and address of the person they should contact for future correspondence. Please note that this does not have to be the same as the name and address of the applicant. 
  • An illustration of the desired symbol you want to federally register. Please note that if you only want to register a name and not a symbol, then you can just provide the name. 
  • An extensive and thorough description of the symbol is provided.
  • An exhaustive list of products, services, and goods that the brand intends to provide.
  • The class of services or goods.
  • A simple and clear example of the way the symbol is intended to be used or the way it has been used in the past.
  • A signature with a date from either you or any other authorized representative of your brand.
  • The corresponding fee for the name and/or symbol that you want to federally register.

Once you’ve provided everything, you can send in your application for it to be processed. You have to choose your filing option before you send it off.

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Choose Your Filling Option 

After you have completed your application, you can file it. 

You have two options for filing: 

  1. TEAS Plus 
  2. TEAS Standard 

The first option costs less, and it also holds a higher chance for your trade name to be accepted. However, the issue with TEAS Plus is that you have to choose from a preset list regarding the types of services and goods that your brand intends to provide. 

If you have a more unorthodox brand and want a custom description of your goods and services, you’ll be much better off with TEAS Standard.

After you send in your application, you should receive a confirmation receipt from the USPTO for your business. You’ll also receive a serial number alongside the receipt as well. 

You can use this serial number to track the status of your application through the Trademark Status and Document Retrieval (TSDR) portal. 

Once you get your desired mark, brand name, and identity federally registered, you should be safe from copyright infringement on most fronts. 

However, as you can probably expect, this is not enough. Along with federally registering your trademark, you also have to keep a close eye on competitors to ensure none of your rights are being broken. 

Other Measures You Can Take to Protect Intellectual Property

Once you register your trademark, it will come under copyright infringement protection. That means that none of your competitors will be able to use it and claim it as their own. 

This is why we always recommend that you should register your trademark first before you actually start to actively run your business. 

If you don’t do this, then something unfortunate can definitely happen. 

For example, let’s say you’re a company and your brand symbol is not a federally registered trademark symbol yet. 

One of your competitors may steal your symbol and use it as their own without any legal repercussions. Not only that but they could also federally register the symbol as their own. 
If they succeed in that, they could even legally persecute you for using their symbol because legally, it is their federal trademark now.

Hence, ensure that all of your branded content, brand name, and brand symbol are all protected by copyright law. 

Another thing you can do is to acquire as many relevant websites and real estate online as you possibly can. 

It’s true that you should actively use only one domain for advertising your business and bringing in customers. However, it’s still a good idea to acquire other domain name variations, such as .org, .net, .biz, etc. 

It’s a good idea to do this as soon as you can and preferably before you eventually become a reputable brand. 

Let’s assume that you’re a brand that has achieved a fair amount of success in your respective market. If you don’t have similar domains bought up, then your competitors could definitely buy and acquire these domains. 

They could then sell them back to you at exorbitant prices. Don’t let that happen to yourself. Buy up those domains as soon as you can. 

When you share your website’s page or landing page as part of digital marketing campaigns, it can also be a good idea to include the link as a shortened link. 

To obtain a shortened link through Pixelfy, register yourself and log in.

Step 1: On the dashboard page, you should see a URL shortener box at the top. 

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Step 2: Copy the URL to the page you want to link consumers to and paste it into the URL shortener box and hit “Shorten”

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Step 3: On the next page, you will get the shortened link. You can use it within all your digital marketing campaigns as you please.

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Wrapping Things Up… 

That’s how you protect your brand name, business name, and other intellectual property. 

Many business owners worry about brand protection but it’s really all about research and the correct approach. 

As long as you’re aware of all the pitfalls and deal with them properly, you and your brand will be fine. 

Find out more about Branding by visiting our blog.