Intellectual Property has 4 types: trademarks, trade secrets, patents, and copyrights. From these four, the trademark is the most valuable for starting a small businesses. According to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, a trademark is something that recognizes and differentiates the origin of the product from others by its unique symbol, design, phrase, or even word. You will find numerous trademarks every day from small businesses to big companies. Therefore, it is essential to have a federal trade name registration for your business.
It is challenging to create a well-known brand without having a trademark since a trademark makes the brand recognizable; thus, making it popular. It is ideal for a startup to seek a federal registration for the purpose of securing the company’s trademark. Protecting the intellectual property of your business is highly important and after your application for the registration gets approved, it does not end there as you still need to maintain the registration of your trademark. To accomplish this, I advise you to proceed with the methods below.
File Your First Declaration of Use and/or Excusable Non-use with the USPTO After a Federal Trade Name Registration
I noticed that one of the most common mistakes that entrepreneurs make right after they federally registered their business’ trademark is not maximizing the function of the registration for their business. If you have no intent of using the trademark for the benefit of your company’s merchandise, you will not succeed when you attempt to file your first declaration of use and/or excusable non-use to USPTO following the day of your registration. I suggest you should file this document for around 5 to 6 years including a sample of the product you are selling that is linked to your trademark.
Renewal of Your First Full Federally Registered Trademark After 9-10 Years
You need to renew your first full trademark after some years have passed since your first declaration has taken place. Together with your renewal application after 10 years that your trademark has been registered, you also must submit your declaration of use and/or excusable non-use document. You need to keep on submitting these documents every 10 years for renewal. Failing to do so has some consequences that can result in an undesirable circumstance that might affect your business.
Furthermore, there is a given grace period of 6 months for you to have enough time to file your first declaration of use after your federal registration has reached 6 years. On the other hand, if you were not able to submit a file within this time frame, your trademark registration will be canceled. This also applies to your renewal and when this happens, you will start all over again from scratch. This means that you will again start with a new application and all the rights you previously gained will be removed. So, to avoid wasting time and money, you should submit a file on time. Furthermore, the grace period is long enough to do some preparations on your part.
Should a Business Require a Trademark Protection?
It is indeed true that a lot of small businesses reap some of the benefits from acquiring federal trademark protection. However, this might not be a requirement or a necessity in your situation. The best thing to know when deciding whether to submit an application or not is to speak with me as I am a seasoned business lawyer who is an expert in this field. I can fully assist you with legal matters and I have served a great number of businesses that have succeeded. You can contact Romy B. Jurado, Esq. at (305) 921-0440 or email me at Romy@jflawfirm.com to schedule a consultation that is convenient for you.
A federal trade name registration secures your business from other businesses copying your brand by means of a logo, producing identical items with your products, or pretending to be your brand. This is advantageous especially if your business has already gained a lot of customers and you can expect that there will be copycats or frauds that will use your company or business to generate money for their self-interest. Also, a registered trademark allows you to expand your business on a global scale that results in a bigger customer base and a larger income.