If you are coming out with a new company, or product, or tag line you are going to bring to the market place, and want you own the name. You should look into getting a trademark; they can be easily registered online at the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
We have just filed the Trademark on our company name, trademarking is generally around $275-350 depending on what exactly you need to trademark. In order to trademark you do not have to have a business entity, ie a corporation or LLC for instance. You can own the trademark in your own name if you like, and of course, what we did, was register the trademark in the corporations name.
You only need to trademark something if you want to protect its name, just because you might have a business does not mean you need to trademark the name of it. IE: I have a real estate holding LLC, that all the entity does is hold real estate. There is no need to file a trademark on the entity name because I could care less if someone steals the name, my entity; my LLC is just a holding company and nothing I want to trademark.
To register a trademark just go here: http://www.uspto.gov/, and hit trademarks on the left to get started. You do not need an attorney to file a trademark for you, you can do it yourself and make payment online with a VISA card, or any other major credit card.
There’s many things you could trademark, not just the company name, but one of your products name, or even a method of doing something, trademark to own the name. Once you register a trademark it has to get approved and can take quite some time, there is two symbols to denote the differences.
What is the difference between TM and ®
- The TM stands for a Trademark which is pending.
- The ® stands for a Trademark which is registered, and complete.
So on a big company like Coca Cola, you’ll see the ® because it is a registered trademark, they own that, it is there, registered. On a newer company who just filed their trademark they can denote it with a TM, which is a pending trademark. And they may or may not get that trademark; it is pending and can be denied. Trademarks can take years to be finally registered completely.
Trademarks, TM and ® now you know!