When it comes to protecting a brand, a trademark is an invaluable tool businesses in Los Angeles and across the nation use to remain competitive. Few things are as stark a representation of your company as its name and as such, it is important to ensure your business is protected by the full force of the U.S. Trademark Act, or USPTO. A registered trademark will help businesses of all sizes in L.A. distinguish themselves from the competition while protecting their intellectual property.

Getting legal advice on the nuances of trademarking can be tricky, even for the most experienced businesses. If your business is based in Los Angeles, it is essential to source attorneys with a strong understanding of Los Angeles regulations. UpCounsel has access to a network of experienced lawyers who specialize in trademarks and can provide high quality, cost-effective solutions.

The article below provides an overview of the trademarking process from start to finish, be it a complex registration procedure or convincing the USPTO a certain name should grant protection. Businesses in Los Angeles can use this guide for a streamlined trademark process and to protect their brand from exploitation or misuse.

Reasons to Trademark your Name

A trademark is an incredibly powerful tool businesses use to distinguish their goods and services from their competition. It is a form of protection for employers and those who use a certain name, logo or slogan to promote products and services. Some of the benefits of registering a trademark include:

Legal Protection: A trademark gives a person or business exclusive rights to use a slogan, phrase, design, or logo for a limited amount of time with the ability to renew indefinitely.

Protection from Misuse and Exploitation: CDI, or common law, does not always protect businesses from others trading off their brand name and good will. Registering a trademark through the USPTO provides an extra layer of protection from potential misuse and exploitation of a brand.

Competitor Discouragement: The symbol ® aside a business’s trademark is a visual deterrent to others and competitors. This message discourages individuals from imitating a business’s products, services, and name.

How to Trademark a Name in Los Angeles

Step 1: Select a Name

The name, logo or phrase you intend to trademark should be selected carefully. The USPTO will reject a trademark if it may lead to confusion. The USPTO has numerous resources to keep your branding and trademarks unique.

Step 2: Begin the Application Process

To begin the process of trademarking, you will need to submit an application to the USPTO. Applications can be submitted online and should include several important elements such as the name of the trademarked, applicable categories the trademark falls under, and a detailed description of the trademark.

Step 3: Background Testing

Once the application is approved (which may take a few weeks), the USPTO will begin the background check process on the mark. This includes a public search to ensure the trademark does not already exist, a search of the registry to ensure that the mark does not conflict with other trademarks, and a search of pending trademark applications to ensure that the mark does not conflict with an application that has already been filed.

Step 4: Formal Opposition

If your mark happens to conflict with another pending application or registered trademark, you may experience opposition or an objection by the USPTO. This means the USPTO has determined the mark does not adequately distinguish itself from another similar mark. If this happens, business owners will need to file a formal opposition or wait until the application is approved.

Step 5: Certificate of Registration

Once all of the necessary steps have been completed, the USPTO will issue a Certificate of Registration. This document is evidence that the mark is legally protected under the USPTO and gives full rights to the owner to use the mark. To ensure your trademark is kept up-to-date, a renewal is required every 10 years.

Closing considerations

Trademarking is one of the most important decisions businesses in Los Angeles and across the United States can make to protect their brand. Without a legal trademark, businesses won’t be able to take full advantage of the benefits a trademark offers and may find themselves open to misuse or exploitation.

Understanding the potential impact a trademark can have on a business can be overwhelming but with the help of experienced lawyers, businesses can take the correct steps to register a trademark in accordance with Los Angeles regulations. By registering the trademark, businesses can protect their name, logo, design, and slogan from misuse or exploitation.



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