What is a trademark or service mark?
A trademark is a word or phrase, or a logo that identifies you or your company as the source of goods (products). A service mark is the same, but for services. Both are commonly called trademarks.
A trademark is a brand name for a product or service. A trademark or service mark as defined by the USPTO includes any “word, name, symbol, device, or any combination, used or intended to be used to identify and distinguish the products/services of one seller or provider from those of others, and to indicate the source of the products/services. Although federal registration of a mark is not mandatory, it has several advantages, including notice to the public of the registrant’s claim of ownership of the mark, legal presumption of ownership nationwide, and exclusive right to use the mark on or
in connection with the products/services listed in the registration.”
Why do I need to file a trademark application?
While you will have common law rights in your trademark application merely by using it with your goods or services, registration gives you powerful new rights. In particular, you can obtain statutory rights that may permit you to win an award of attorney fees when someone infringes your trademark. By filing a federal trademark, you may be able to prevent others from utilizing your trademark and prevent others from receiving a similar trademark throughout the United States.
First steps to file a trademark application:
Before starting the trademark application process, it is important to know: (1) the trademark you want to register; (2) the products and/or services to be marketed and sold under the trademark; and (3) whether you will be filing the trademark application based on actual existing use of the trademark across state lines or a bona fide intention to use the trademark in the future.