Protecting your brand or business name is an important part of ensuring your success. If you’re based in New York and seeking counsel to trademark a name, you’ve come to the right place. This step-by-step guide is designed to walk you through the process of trademarking a name in New York, everything from researching the name to hiring a lawyer to represent you in court. It’s not an easy process to trademark a name, but by equipping yourself with the right information, you can avoid costly mistakes.

Why Trademark?

It's important to know why you even need to trademark a name in the first place. In short, it's an important form of protection for your business or brand. It is a way of legally registering the rights for your name, business name, or slogan. It's a way to guarantee that someone else cannot use a similar name and can prevent confusion in the marketplace.

Trademarks can also be used to license or sell your business name to produce tangible products, such as T-shirts, mugs, and so forth. The intangible aspects of a trademark are often the most important. It helps to prevent infringement, meaning someone else cannot use, duplicate, or benefit from your brand or business name without paying a licensing fee.

The Process of Trademarking a Name

Now that you know why trademarks are important, let's go through the steps of trademarking a name in New York. Before you get started, it is recommended that you consult with an experienced business attorney from UpCounsel to ensure all state and federal laws are followed.

Step 1: Search for Similar Trademarks

The most important step to registering a trademark is researching existing names. The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) offers a database search engine for existing trademark applications. It's critical to make sure that your potential name is not already registered.

Step 2: See If Your Name Qualifies

To qualify for a trademark registration, the name must be considered “distinctive”. The USPTO does not register generic names, common names, or any name that could be confused with another business in the marketplace.

Step 3: Fill Out & File the Trademark Application

After researching your potential name and making sure it qualifies, you will need to file a trademark application with the USPTO. This step requires a detailed description of the name, what it describes, and how it will be used.

Step 4: Receive Your Trademark Notice

You should expect to receive a notice from the USPTO within approximately 2 - 3 months of filing your application. If your application is approved, you'll receive confirmation in the form of an “Office Action”.

Step 5: Respond to the USPTO

You will likely need to respond to the USPTO if you receive a "Refusal to Register" notice. This could mean either too many similar names or you didn't provide enough information about the distinctive characteristics of the name.

Step 6: Review & Monitor Your Trademark

Once your application is approved, the USPTO will give you the official trademark. You will want to assign someone to regularly monitor the trademark for any misuse or violations.

Step 7: Hire a Business Attorney

Depending on the nature of your trademark application, you might consider hiring a business attorney from UpCounsel for additional legal protection. An attorney can help protect your trademark in court, if needed.


Trademarking a name in New York is a complex process that requires extensive research and follow-up steps. By taking the required steps and following the guidance in this guide, you can successfully trademark a name without any costly mistakes. To ensure that all laws are followed, consider hiring an experienced business attorney from UpCounsel to help protect your brand or business name.



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