1. Ensure Non-Infringement and Perform a USPTO Search:
- Conduct a professional trademark search before finalizing and registering a business name.
- Avoid falling in love with a name without legal clearance (a trademark attorney can help you choose a name that is strong and available)
- Emphasize the importance of a thorough search beyond free online tools.
- Check for similar marks in the same class of goods or services.
- Be aware that marks in similar classes can lead to a denial for likelihood of confusion.
- Consider hiring an attorney to conduct and analyze a comprehensive trademark search
2. Choose a Unique Business Name:
- Opt for a distinctive and unique trademark to reduce conflicts.
- Select an invented word or a word taken out of context.
- Avoid/Minimize descriptive language (words that describe your product or service)- you can’t trademark these
3. Protect Logo and Slogan:
- Register your brand, including logo and slogan, for legal protection.
- Submit required documents to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
4. Think Long-Term:
- Trademark and obtain all necessary business licenses promptly.
- Secure trademarks for website domains and social media profiles.
- Avoid potential roadblocks when franchising due to lack of trademarking
5. Monitor Against Infringement:
- Register trademarks with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
- Police trademarks to prevent infringement and protect goodwill.
- Address infringements promptly through cease and desist letters.
- Set up Google alerts and consult an attorney for vigilant trademark monitoring.
6. Seek Professional Help:
- Hire a legal professional with extensive trademark law experience.
- Avoid incorrectly answering application questions and filing errors.
- Recognize the importance of a trademark application as a legal document.
- Consult with a qualified trademark attorney to prevent fatal mistakes.