The Internet has revolutionized the way businesses can get started and create an online presence. As a business owner or entrepreneur, it is essential to protect your company's digital trademarks and copyrights. In the United States, a registered mark is the most reliable way to protect your company's intellectual property. There are a few steps to take when it comes to getting started with registered mark, and it is important to understand the intricacies of the USPTO registration process. For Chicago-based businesses, there are experienced local counsels that can provide the necessary legal advice.

Understanding the Basics of Trademarks

A trademark is any distinct logo, phrase, design, symbol, word, or combination of all four that businesses use to brand goods or services. This form of intellectual property helps distinguish a business and its services from its competition. It is also intended to protect businesses from potential competitors who might seek to use similar signs.

Trademark registration helps in many ways beyond the protection it provides from potential competitors. It also provides extra credibility to the company, gives exclusive legal rights to use it for the business, and also increases the business’s value if it is sold.

Why Register Trademarks?

Registering trademarks with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) maximizes this protection. The law permits the USPTO to refuse registration for any trademark that it deems too similar to an already-registered one, so registering also provides more assurance that another company cannot register a trademark too similar to yours.

Filing with the USPTO also destroys the risk of another company objecting to the use of the trademark for various other reasons. Additionally, registered marks allow its owners to file suit in federal court for infringement as well as receive damages for unauthorized use of the marks.

Steps to Take for Registered Mark in Chicago

The process of registering trademarks can be a bit difficult and tricky, and local Chicago counsels can help with the process. Here are the steps to take to register for a trademark in Chicago:

Conduct a search and confirm your mark. Before filing a trademark registration application, verify that the mark you plan to use is original and unique by conducting a search of the USPTO database. If the mark you want is already taken, you will need to select another one and repeat the search.

File an application with the USPTO. To begin the actual process, file a trademark application with the USPTO. In the US, you are allowed to file an “intent to use” trademark application, which allows you to reserve a trademark before the mark has actually been used. However, a full application is only approved once the trademark is being used in commerce.

Responding to office actions. Once filed, USPTO examiners will conduct their own research and, in some cases, may issue an office action that explains why the trademark can’t be registered in its submitted form.

Publication in a USPTO journal. If the USPTO finds no issues with the mark, then the application will be approved and the mark will have to be published in a USPTO journal.

Maintenance of the trademark. Once registered, it is important to maintain the trademark over time. This includes filing maintenance documents as required and using the mark commercially. Failing to do so can result in a loss of the trademark.

How a Local Practitioner Can Help?

When registering a trademark, there are specific details and deadlines that have to be kept in mind, and it can be beneficial to consult with a local practitioner for assistance. For the local business owners and entrepreneurs in Chicago, this step can be invaluable. Local practitioners will understand the nuances of local regulations that might affect the process.

Although it is possible to go through the registration process without consultation, using an experienced local attorney can help ensure that the application is filed correctly and that each step is taken according to the U.S. legal requirements. This can help to maximize the protection of company trademarks and save time and money in the long run.


Registered Mark,