It doesn’t matter how small your business is. If you want to create your business name as a brand and invest in it, your first step should be to trademark it. As a small business consultant, I hear horror stories about trademark issues from business owners.
How To File A Trademark?
Assuming that you’ve done your research and the trademark you will be filing is not already registered, you will have 3 options.
Hire A Lawyer To File Your Trademark
A lawyer would charge you approximately $1,285.00 to create and file a trademark application. This amount may increase, but will not go below $1,000.00 . If you are very busy, and don’t have any time/staff to file the trademark, then this is your option.
File Your Trademark Through LegalZoom Online Service
When I started my first online business, I have asked a few friends about trademark filing, and one of my buddies have recommended this website. You can File Your Trademark Online in 3 Easy Steps at LegalZoom.com and they charge only $159.00 for this service. It has all the information, tips and tricks which you need to know. They are reliable and very well known name in the industry. Their website claims that last year they have filed more trademarks than the 10 largest law firms combined in the US.
File Your Trademark Yourself
You can file your trademark application online at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) website by using the Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS). You can also call the USPTO for a paper form, but the USPTO cautions that paper forms will not be processed as quickly, and paper applications cost $50 more to file.
To begin the electronic registration process, go to the USPTO website. On the home page, click the “Trademarks” link, and then, on the next screen, click “FILE online.”
For most trademark applicants, federal registration is a relatively straightforward process. These are the things you will need to file your trademark online:
- Explain your trademark or service mark in detail. (trademarks often referred to as “marks”)
- In which state it was first used
- Describe the products or services on which the mark will be used in detail. If you are thinking of expanding your range, remember to include those. It’s always better to have a wider range of options.
- Suggest the classification under which the mark should be registered. (There are around 40 classifications, get online help if you can’t decide)
- A “drawing” of your mark (for word marks, simply type the word; for graphic marks, you can include a photo file of graphic images)
- Samples of how your proposed mark is being used.
- the registration fee – $325 per class when filing online.
So, choose one of the three options to file your trademark, and don’t get your invested name taken by somebody else.