A trademark is a word, tagline, logo, and/or design that identifies the source or brand of that particular item – think Starbucks’ logo or the ADIDAS symbol: we all know right when we see those logos what brand is involved without needing to see either company name. This is a source or brand identifier.
In plain English, it’s the logo or slogan that tells a consumer that product belongs to a specific company or brand. Businesses use trademarks to protect these logos and slogans, as well as build brand recognition around their primary products. By registering these marks as trademarks, it prevents other companies from using these marks, OR any mark that is similar to theirs, to prevent consumer confusion as to which company makes which item.
In the online business world, entrepreneurs often wonder if/when they should consider trademarking, say, the name of an online course, a tagline for their brand, or a logo they’ve created
How long am I going to run with this particular course/program/name?
If it is your signature course that you want to be known for and plan to promote for years to come, filing for trademark protection of the name could become valuable, as it would prevent others from being able to use the same (or similar) name in the future.
Trademark: Legal Care for Your Business & Product Name-
Protect your trademark, protect your business.
Trademarks — the names and symbols that identify your business, brand, and products in the marketplace — are important assets that you need to choose carefully and vigilantly defend. Using the information in this all-in-one reference, you’ll learn how to protect:
– business names
– product names
– product packaging
– domain names
– anything that identifies your company, product, or service
Trademark provides you with the plain-English explanations and step-by-step instructions you need to navigate the requirements of the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) and successfully register your unique mark. Learn how to:
– choose marks that competitors can’t copy
– search for existing marks that might conflict with yours
– register a name or other mark with the USPTO
– protect and maintain your marks’ legal strength
– keep your mark safe from infringement
– understand and resolve trademark disputes outside the courtroom
Is someone already using this name/logo?
In addition to thinking about using trademark law to protect yourself, we also need to think about the fact that it may already be in use to protect someone else’s brand! It is helpful to do a quick search on the US Patent and Trademark Office website to see if someone is already using the name or logo you are considering using for your company or product. If so, better to change your marketing strategy now, rather than after you’ve spent time and money creating and marketing your brand!
In sum, trademarking a logo and/or tagline for your company could prove to be extremely valuable — to provide you with protection and prevent others from using similar logos or slogans to that of your brand. Once you confirm the name, symbol, or slogan you’d like to use is not currently being used by someone else and you’ve decided it is important enough to your brand that it warrants protection, a trademark can be an extremely useful step in protecting your intellectual property!