Do you want to do business in America? Experienced Profitmark experts share advices on legal registration of commercial activities and the details of its implementation.
Today, commerce is conducted not only in real, but also in virtual space. Therefore, the share of intellectual property is growing noticeably. One of its integral components is the trademark (TM). It needs protection and effective legal support.
Trademark performs a number of useful tasks worldwide:
1) Means of identification. Having looked at a symbol or icon, the final consumer manages to recognize the manufacturer, seller of goods or services in a few seconds.
2) Guarantor of decent product quality.
3) Ensuring intellectual monopoly. Together with other components of intellectual property, trademark secures the rights of the manufacturer or seller. This is a kind of “security seal” that sets clear boundaries. Their violator faces at least administrative responsibility.
4) Valuable asset of the company. Registered trademark is an intangible asset and add value to a business.
For a self-respecting brand, creating a unique trademark and ensuring its protection should be on the first place in the goal list. Such operations are in high demand in the USA and they pay close attention to the legislative protection of trademarks.
Need for registration: does it always exist?
According to the rules of the American market, the registration procedure is optional for its participants. At the same time, trademark registration in the USA provides the owner with a number of advantages.
What`s the effect of trademark registration in the USA carried out according to all the rules:
• Official confirmation of the validity of the trademark.
• Constructive notice to other market participants.
• Giving the owner additional rights in administrative or judicial proceedings, etc.
When do you need a lawyer`s help?
You can register your trademark yourself, without involving lawyers if you are a US resident. The scheme is simple:
- Filling out the electronic version of the questionnaire on the official website of the Patent Office.
- Payment of duties (225-400 US dollars based on the class of goods or services).
After 80-90 days, a notification arrives informing you of the passage of your application. You can get registration in about 10 months from the date of application.
What difficulties can you face when preparing and completing registration? A dramatic example is the receipt of a preliminary refusal to register (due to non-compliance with the rules for filling out, providing incomplete or inaccurate information, etc.). The solution is simple:
- Analyze the situation with the help of a lawyer, draw up a reasoned answer and continue the procedure.
- Either prepare in advance and minimize the risk of refusal.
Experts advise checking the existing US trademark database and trying to find trademarks similar to yours before applying for trademark registration. Then you can make changes in time and prevent the refusal of the Office.
Finally - a brief crib note on the items:
- Do not be lazy to monitor the market and conduct an independent check of your trademark for identity.
- Check the trademark for descriptiveness. How does symbolism match the meaning? Is it easy to recognize and distinguish from others?
- Clearly indicate the classes of your products or services. The more classes, the higher the registration fee.
A guidebook has been posted on the website of the Patent Office that can help the beginners: https://www.uspto.gov.