When you have an idea for a business or product, you need something to help identify it as a brand. To do this, you need to establish a trademark. A trademark is different than a patent or copyright. The following are some things you should know about trademarks.
What Is the Difference Between Trademarks, Patents, and Copyrights?
A trademark is not an actual item or product, but a symbol or series of words that are representative of your product or business. A trademark can be the name of your product, a logo, a symbol, a set of colors, a tagline, and so one. A patent has to do with getting the right to prevent others from creating, making, or selling your invention.
To get a patent, your product has to be novel or new, have a purpose, and not be obvious to anyone who is skilled in the industry in which your invention falls. A copyright is the process of protecting a creative work or expression. This includes creative writing, painting, music, and the like.
Can You Assign Your Trademark to Someone Else?
You may transfer your trademark to another person or business if it is registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The transfer is referred to as an "Assignment." You will need to draw up a contract stating the terms of the assignment and pay the appropriate fees to the USPTO.
Why Are Registered Trademarks Beneficial?
If you intend to trademark something, you should be sure to register it with the USPTO. You are not required to do so, but there are some benefits to doing so. A registered trademark shows that you have established legal ownership of your mark as well as the exclusive right to use the trademark as you see fit. You can also take any legal complaints to federal court if someone were to attempt to use your trademark as his or her own. You can also file your trademark with U.S. Customs to avoid people importing any of your products that are illegally using your trademark.
If you have an idea for any identifiable item for your product, service, or business, it is strongly recommended that you trademark it and register with the USPTO as soon as possible. If you need assistance with the process, your trademark and patent attorney can help you. Be sure to work with an attorney so you do not miss any crucial details that could put your trademark at risk. Contact a trademark attorney near you in order to learn more.