The first step an interested person should take in the trademark process is to ask “what valuable names, logos, designs or symbols that identify my products or services, do I possess.” As a term of art, these would be considered source identifying, as they identify with your business. Whether you are an individual owner or a large corporation, is essential to increase both value and positive public recognition for your overall business entity. Trademarks and service marks often represent some of the most valued and enforced intellectual property assets in a business portfolio.
Our team at Bay State IP recognizes the importance of the trademark and prosecution process to our client and how this protection is an integral element in identifying and securing one’s technological innovations.
Thus, in today’s competitive world based economy, protecting your company’s names, logos, designs or symbols, as well as achieving product recognition, is vital as the existence of confusingly similar names and logos will serve to diminish the value of your business entity and accompanying merchandise or services. Thus at Bay State IP, we provide a trademark disclosure worksheet, to be used in conjunction with our personal consultation, in order to guide the client in the trademark selection process.
Once a company has determined the names, logos, designs or symbols that identify and characterize the company’s identity and products, the next step is to complete an trademark disclosure worksheet that provides our team at Bay State IP a better understanding of your trademarks in preparation for an initial evaluation. The trademark disclosure worksheet is designed as a series of questions to help a company refine their trademarks to begin thinking in terms of potential trademark applications.
Therefore, after the completion of our trademark disclosure worksheet, it is time to contact our firm to schedule an initial patent evaluation with a member of our team to begin the process of exploring patent protection for your invention.
An initial trademark evaluation will cover a range of topics, including the different classifications of goods and services available for your trademark, the process for a drafting a trademark application, the examination process and timeline, and what may be accomplished after filing.
During the evaluation, we will also discuss having our firm perform a Trademark Search to determine whether or not your trademark or something similar has either been previously federally registered or applied to be granted a federal registration by another person or entity. While a trademark search is not required by the United States Patent & Trademark Office, it is our recommendation that a search be performed prior to investing the time and funds in drafting an application and proceeding through examination.
Individuals and even corporate entities, upon pondering use of a specific trademark, sometimes fall under the false impression that because products bearing their trademark are not currently commercially available or sold in a store, then no one else has ever conceived of their trademark, or any similar mark. In fact, the United States Patent & Trademark Office alone has granted nearly four (4) million registered trademarks, upon many of which the products have never been commercialized for a variety of reasons. As such, a Trademark Search helps to avoid a situation where an individual or corporate entity simply files an application without the benefit of a search, and much to their disappointment, a Trademark Examiner subsequently discovers a trademark that is almost identical, or confusingly similar to their trademark.
A trademark holder should view a trademark search as an initial assessment of availability for registering their trademark, specifically if the search reveals a similar trademark, the trademark holder may weigh the risks associated with moving forward or simply choose to abandon the trademark before further time and money is invested.
While there are websites that exist to allow trademark holders to conduct a trademark search on their own, these types of searches are inherently flawed as they rely on keyword searching. Both Trademark Attorneys and trademark holders utilize a variety of different terms to describe their trademarks, particularly logos and designs, and as such keyword searching alone runs the risk of missing certain registered trademarks or current applications.
A Trademark Search performed by Bay State IP goes beyond merely keyword searching, and identifies the literal (word) terminologies, the logo or design elements, and the classification of goods and services of your trademark, as used by the United States Patent & Trademark Office to review both registered trademarks and current trademark applications, that fall within the same genre as your trademark.
Bay State IP will prepare and electronically file your trademark application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. A trademark application filed by Bay State IP ensures that proper filing procedures are utilized and that all elements of the process are properly executed in order that the trademark prosecution to registration process is commenced smoothly.