Trademarks are used to protect your business name, your brand, and your products. It is used by businesses to distinguish their goods from those of other manufacturers and to protect their reputation and perception.
While trademarks are useful, they do not necessarily provide the full protection some business owners are looking for when they are establishing their brand. A trademark ensures consumers that any goods that contain the trademark come from the same source. A service mark provides similar protection, but is used for businesses that provide a service and not a specific product line.
Understanding When You Need a Trademark
If you have a logo and other branding that is unique to your business, you need to trademark your brand. It’s important to understand that trademark protection begins from the present forward. If your newly approved, trademarked business name was used by someone else prior to your approval, they are allowed to keep doing business under the name.
You can choose to trademark your brand on either a federal or state level. If you are doing business only within your state, you can only obtain a trademark at the state level. This is general enough to protect you from others who may try to use your business name or likeness to provide goods to consumers.
Filing for a Trademark in Texas
It’s always advisable to work with an attorney to file for a trademark in Texas. Your trademark application can get denied for a number of reasons, so it’s important to understand the intricacies of filing for a trademark.
Your first step is to already be doing business under the trademark you are trying to establish, and to make sure your description is distinctive. Words used to describe the function of your goods, the size and shape, or to state that your product is of superior quality are not distinctive and don’t add validity to your trademark claim.
If you are using your surname as your business name, you have to be able to show that your surname is now associated specifically with the products you manufacturer in order to obtain a trademark. For example, a business such as Whitman’s Chocolates has the trademark on Whitman in association with selling candy, and no other business can sell chocolate under the name of Whitman’s.
Once you are approved for a trademark, it is up to you to enforce the trademark. This means that if another business is trying to use your success and is copying your branding, you will have to file suit against this other business for trademark infringement.
Your trademark is good for five years in Texas, and it is up to you to reapply to get the trademark renewed every five years.
It doesn’t matter how big or how small your business is. When you need help establishing a trademark, Saraiya Pllc can help. Whether you are forming a new business, or you have been in business for years, Saraiya Pllc can help you establish your trademarks so your branding and business practices are protected.