Best Practice: Protect your brand with a trademark on a national level. Your brand is one of your most valuable business assets.
Today’s Article: Protect Your Brand with a Trademark
Your brand is one of your most valuable business assets. It distinguishes your company or product in the marketplace. Once the brand is established it is important to protect it. Registering your business name at a state level does not protect the name outside the state. The only thing that protects the name at the federal or national level is a Trademark.
The best legal way to protect your brand name is to have a Trademark. This is especially important if you desire a multi-location business, national or international company. Also if you desire to franchise the business or plan to sell the business in the future.
What is a Trademark?
According to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), “a trademark is a word, phrase, symbol, and/or design that identifies and distinguishes the source of the goods of one party from those of others.” Protecting your intellectual property can help ensure that your design, brand, or creation remains yours and under your control.
U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) uses specific categories, or “classes” to register a trademark. Your business may fall into more than one single class (example, Class 21 – Houseware and Glass Products and Class 14 – Jewelry Products). Below are the Product (“Goods”) Classes.
Product (“Goods”) Classes
Class 1: Chemical Products
Class 2: Paint Products
Class 3: Cosmetics & Cleaning Products
Class 4: Lubricant & Fuel Products
Class 5: Pharmaceutical Products
Class 6: Metal Products
Class 7: Machinery Products
Class 8: Hand Tool Products
Class 9: Computer and Software Products & Electrical and Scientific Products
Class 10: Medical Instrument Products
Class 11: Environmental Control Instrument Products (lighting, heating, cooling, cooking)
Class 12: Vehicles & Products for locomotion by land, air or water
Class 13: Firearm Products
Class 14: Jewelry Products
Class 15: Musical Instrument Products
Class 16: Paper and Printed Material Products
Class 17: Rubber Products
Class 18: Leather Products (not including clothing)
Class 19: Non-Metallic Building Material Products
Class 20: Furniture Products
Class 21: Houseware and Glass Products
Class 22: Ropes, Cordage and Fiber Products
Class 23: Yarns & Threads
Class 24: Fabrics & Textile Products
Class 25: Clothing and Apparel Products
Class 26: Lace, Ribbons, Embroidery and Fancy Goods
Class 27: Floor Covering Products
Class 28: Toys & Sporting Goods Products
Class 29: Meat and Processed Food Products
Class 30: Staple Food Products
Class 31: Natural Agricultural Products
Class 32: Light Beverage Products
Class 33: Wines & Spirits (not including beers)
Class 34: Smoker’s Products
Class 35: Advertising, Business and Retail Services
Class 36: Insurance and Financial Services
Class 37: Construction and Repair Services
Class 38: Communication Services
Class 39: Transportation and Storage Services
Class 40: Treatment and Processing of Materials Services
Class 41: Education and Entertainment Services
Class 42: Computer & Software Services and Scientific Services
Class 43: Restaurant and Hotel Services
Class 44: Medical & Beauty Services and Agricultural Services
Class 45: Personal, Legal and Social Services
Action Step: Will my business be a local business, multiple locations, plan to franchise, national, international? Make a decision – do I need a trademark? If yes, do I register it myself or use a paid service?
Note: Having a website, by itself does, not make you a national or international business.
File Registration Yourself
Use Paid Service for Filing
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