Q: What is a trademark?
A: A trademark is a word, slogan, logo, picture, sound, or scent.
It is something that is unique for your company. In essence, your trademark is the face of your company.
Q: Who should file a trademark?
A: All vendors selling goods/services online or in more than one US state.
Q: What protection does one receive when filing a trademark?
A: Assuming one files a federal trademark, he/she is protected nation wide against infringers who could potentially take a similar trademark. Filing a trademark makes the trademark your own.
Q: Why file a trademark application?
A: Investing in a brand name is expensive. You want to insure that only you will be selling products with your brand name. By filing a trademark, you are reserving the rights of your brand name so no one else can use your brand name on their products.
Consumer trust is extremely important for a company’s survival. If you are creating a reputable brand, filing a trademark will insure that no one else will use your brand name and ruin your hard earned reputation (with their impaired products or incomplete services).
Q: How does this affect Amazon/Ebay sellers?
A: Selling on a platform along with your competition can make it easy for someone to add on to your listing. They take credit for your great reputation that you built, but send impaired products to the consumer thereby making your ratings go down. If you have ownership of your trademark, you can notify Amazon/Ebay about the infringing company and you have proof of ownership. It is no longer your word against the word of your competition, now it is your word that will likely shut down your competition
Q: Who does a trademark protect? The business owner or the consumer?
A trademark protects a business owner because he may have had a great idea for his business including his name, logo, and anything that would help his consumers recognize his company name.
He needs ownership of the trademark so he can prevent and stop others from infringing on his hard earned reputation.
A trademark protects a consumer because consumers gain trust in a business over time.
Q: How should I choose my trademark name?
A: The best trademark does not cause confusion between different companies or the goods or services a company provides . It is also a brand name, not a product name. As consumers learn to enjoy your brand, a positive association will be built your brand name and quality service/products.
Q: If I decide to file a trademark, will the filing process automatically search for eligibility of the trademark?
A: No. Searching for eligibility of trademark and filing the trademark are two very different things.
Searching a trademark lets you know the trademarks filed with other companies or individuals that are similar to the one you are searching. It also lets you know if you are allowed to file your trademark.
Q: Why conduct a Trademark Federal Search for your trademark?
Trademark Federal Search checks the government database across the US for your brand name or similar brand names which are currently in use.
A: As stated previously, creating a brand is expensive. Before investing in a brand name, logo, and products with your brand name/logo, you want to insure that you are not using a trademark that is already in use.
Secondly, before filing a trademark, you want to make sure that your brand name is available. Two reasons a name would not be available are: an existing brand is already using that name, or an existing brand has a name similar to your brand name which would cause consumer confusion.