How a Trademark Can Protect Your Start-Up

Looking to launch a start-up? Before officially launching, you want to make sure all of your ducks are in a row. You especially want to consider all of the ways you can protect your brand. And one way is with a trademark.

Helpful Terms to Know

Trademarks, just like most intellectual properties, can be complicated. It is helpful to at least know the basics before starting your application.

What is the definition of a trademark?

Defined by the United States Patent and Trademark Office, a trademark is a word, phrase, symbol, design or combination that identifies and distinguishes the source of goods from one business over others.

What does it mean to infringe on a trademark?

Infringement is the unauthorized use of competing or related goods and services. When infringement occurs, there is usually a lawsuit in the cards.

Application Prep

Your brand name is important, so you want to make sure your name isn’t already in use. The first thing you want to do is complete a Google search or check with the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s database to check for this. It is also a good idea to hire an experienced trademark attorney in Phoenix as they will conduct a thorough and comprehensive search for you.

Trademark Application

If you haven’t fully put your business in use yet, you can still get the ball rolling on the trademark application. You can check the option that states you are working on a start-up and can actually get it extended up to 36 months. But to complete the entire trademark application and process, you need to prove your business is in use and operational. So, once you accomplish that, you can finish the job. After your trademark application has been approved, you are the one in charge of enforcing it and making sure that another business isn’t infringing on your trademark rights.