How to Get Started on Registering a Trademark in New York
Starting a business in any state, including New York, requires certain steps in order to be successful3 min read
Starting a business in any state, including New York, requires certain steps in order to be successful. One of those steps is to protect the business through trademark registration. By registering a trademark, a business owner obtains legal protection for marks that identify a product or service and distinguish them from the competition. This type of registration is necessary to protect the brand of the product or service, and it prevents other companies from using or registering marks similar to that used by the business. Registering a trademark in New York can be complicated by the state’s laws and regulations. It is important to understand the basics of trademark registration and all its associated requirements before beginning the process.
Understanding What Can Be Trademarked
It is important to determine what type of mark can be trademarked in order to qualify for registration in New York. All trademarks must be unique and they must typically consist of words, symbols, or designs that are capable of identifying and distinguishing the provider of products or services from others. In some cases, other types of marks may qualify in New York, such as a sound, smell, or color. In addition to being able to unique and distinguishable, the trademark must not be deceptive, disparaging, or violate provisions relating to the use of governmental seals and flags.
Conducting a Trademark Search
A key part of registering a trademark is to conduct a thorough search for similar trademarks that have already been registered. This helps to determine if the mark intended to be registered can be legally protected. There are a few important steps involved in the search process. It is important to ensure that the mark is not only searchable in the US Patent and Trademark Office registry, but also to search relevant state and county databases. It is also necessary to search online and in other resources, such as company names, domain names, and trade associations.
Preparing Documentation for the Registration Process
Once the mark has been searched and determined to be unique, the trademark application paperwork must be prepared. This includes documenting the mark's use and testifying to its uniqueness, as well as other details about the business and the mark itself. This paperwork must be completed in full before the registration request can be submitted to the US Patent and Trademark Office, and all aspects should be reviewed by an experienced business lawyer to ensure that all requirements are met.
Focusing on the “Use in Commerce” Requirement
In order to register a trademark in New York, the mark must have been used in commerce or must have plans to be used in the near future. This means that the mark must be used in the ordinary course of business, not just for the purpose of obtaining registration. Business owners must ensure that the mark has a history of use in New York, or that plans for use in New York are fully documented and available.
Registering Your Trademark in New York
Now that you understand the steps necessary to register a trademark in New York, it is time to begin the registration process. To start, you must file an application with the US Patent and Trademark Office. This should include all the documentation that was prepared to prove that the mark is unique and has been or will soon be used in New York. Next, the US Patent and Trademark Office will review the application and, if approved, will issue a registration certificate. Following the registration process, it is important to maintain proper use and publicity of the trademark in order to ensure that the rights are not lost.