How to Build a Trademark in Four Easy Steps
So, you want to build a trademark. Sounds easy, right? Not so fast. A lot of work, time, and effort goes into building a name for yourself in the business world! You have to make sure your name idea is original. You also have to be sure you aren’t infringing on another company. Then there are legal fees to consider. While not impossible, it is not easy. Let me explain a little more in depth for you.
Step One: Choose Your Name
The first step in the branding process is to choose your business name. A brand name should be no more than one to three words. It should invoke confidence in your product, and let people know what they are going to be putting their money towards. It should also be memorable. Easy recognition and connection – that’s the key!
Step Two: Design a Logo
Designing your logo is one of the most important processes in developing a brand name. Having your brand highly recognizable drives your business to the forefront. Your logo should be relevant to your product and name. Using your logo for any kind of marketing is imperative to getting your brand name into the limelight. Letterhead, packaging, products, you name it, it needs your logo!
Step Three: Develop a Slogan
Like your logo, the slogan is important to your product and buyer because it sends an important message. It should tell your customer in a few words what your company’s product is about. Catchy is key! Keep it short, simple, and sweet! Use alliteration. Exaggeration. Anything to make your brand memorable in a dog-eat-dog market.
Step Four: Filing Your Trademark
Once you have completed these basics, the legal processes come into play. You need to register your brand as a trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). You don’t want all that time, effort, and resources to go to waste for plagiarism or stealing. Trademarks are good for a period of ten (10) years. After this period, they will need to be resubmitted between the fifth and sixth year for the first renewal. Once accepted, the trademark is still in effect for the remaining four to five years. Subsequent renewals need to be resubmitted every nine to ten years. The renewal cost is $100. The good news? The Benjamins are only due every renewal term!
There is a website, Legal Zoom, who does most of this process for you. For $169 plus the one-time US filing fee ($275), they will take your brand name, logo, and slogan and run it through a direct-hit database that is nation wide. After the search, as long as nothing has turned up as a problem, they will continue with your patent application. After submitting your application, you have thirty (30) days to speak with an attorney to patent your trademark and make it yours.
I would advise against doing this process on your own. Legal Zoom is experienced and recommended, and you know you are going through the correct legal and ethical standards of the USPTO. If you have your name, logo, and slogan already in progress, you are good to go! Submit a sample to Legal Zoom and get in business!