Establishing a trademark is essential for your brand because it will prevent others from hijacking your name and image, and thereby prevent others from stealing your customer base and hurting your business profits. In order to set up the trademark for your business in a legally appropriate way, you may want to work with a California attorney who is familiar with this area of the law.
Your attorney will take steps to make sure that your chosen trademark — if you already have one in mind — is not being used by another business at this time. Here are the appropriate steps you’ll need to take in order to secure a trademark:
Searching to make sure your mark is available: You may not be able to use a mark that is already being used by another registered entity. However, if your mark has not been used and doesn’t conflict with anyone else’s, you’ll probably be able to use it.
Drafting and submitting: The federal trademark application is the next step for completion after determining that the trademark is free and clear.
The waiting period: After submitting, you’ll need to wait anywhere from seven to twelve months. After that, you can use your trademark.
Enforcement: Hopefully, you’ll never need to enforce your trademark, but there’s no point in having one if you allow other organizations to use it and dilute your brand. Therefore, you may need to stand up for your legal rights if someone tries to challenge your mark.
Are you in the throes of a trademark dispute? Learn more about your legal rights and options by visiting our California intellectual property law website.