Making your mark is the key to success and protecting it is essential. Acquiring a trademark for your name may be the best step in protecting you and your business. But, because of the complexity of the process, many become overwhelmed and confused about where to start.

If you’re in Chicago and looking to secure a trademark on your name, resources and support are available to help simplify the registration process and ensure that all the basics are covered. It’s important to understand the basics of trademarking your name before tackling the task, and hiring the counsel of an experienced business lawyer who knows how to navigate local regulations may increase your chances of success.

What is A Trademark?

Before discussing how to go about trademarking your name, it’s essential to understand what a trademark actually is. In a nutshell, a trademark is a legal term for the exclusive rights that you have over your name, logo, phrase, or even a sound. It prevents other entities from using your similar name or logo to confuse customers or take advantage of your hard work.

Why Trademark a Name?

Trademarks help to both protect your name from theft or infringement, and give customers a shorthand way to recognize your service or product. When consumers see a certain trademark, it’s easier for them to understand who the product or service originated from. The familiarity of the trademarked name can also make those seeking your services or product more likely to choose you over the competition.

Legal Action for Trademark Infringements

When someone else uses your trademarked name, without your permission, it’s called trademark infringement, and you can take it to court if needed. Depending on the levels of infringement, you may be entitled to damages and potentially even a legal injunction to prevent further infringement. That’s why it’s best to carefully consider the safety and security of your trademark when making decisions about who you choose to share it with.

The Trademark Registration Process

Naming a business or product should be done carefully and thoughtfully. The name of a product, service, or company can be a crucial factor in the success or failure of the business.

When choosing a name, it’s essential to understand the complexities of the trademark registration process. Here’s a basic overview of the steps that you need to take here in Chicago when patenting your name:

1. Search The Trademark Database

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is the federal government agency responsible for registering trademarks. Before applying, it’s important to do a thorough search of the trademark database to make sure that no one else has already registered it.

2. File an Application

Once you have determined that your name is available, it’s time to fill out the application and submit it to the USPTO along with the filing fee.

3. Enroll in the TEAS System

The USPTO requires applicants to enroll in their Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS) and to make sure that they are following all standard procedures. You can get help with this part of the process from the Trademark Assistance Center.

4. Take Necessary Steps

After the application has been submitted to the USPTO, you will then need to take a few additional steps such as submitting descriptions of the mark, and additional materials if needed. You can get assistance with these items if needed.

5. Wait For a Response

It can take several months for the USPTO to review your application. Once it receives your application and completes the review, the office will provide a response letting you know whether or not it has been approved.

6. Monitor for Infringement

Even after your name has been trademarked, it’s important to keep an eye out for potential trademark infringement. If you do discover any infringement, it’s best to consult an attorney as soon as possible.

The Benefits of Working with a Business Attorney

Navigating the complex legal process of trademarking your name can be overwhelming. To ensure all your bases are covered, it may be best to enlist the help of an experienced business attorney who understands the specifics of local regulations as well as national law.

UpCounsel has a qualified network of experienced attorneys who can help take the guesswork out of the trademark process and who can advise you every step of the way. From small businesses to the Fortune 1000, UpCounsel’s pool of talented attorneys is available to provide sound counsel and cost-effective legal services.

Trademarking your name is an important step that shouldn’t be taken lightly. With the right support in place, you can make sure your name remains protected, so you can focus on what matters most—growing and promoting your business.


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