Can I Trademark a Product?

Although you cannot trademark the product itself, you can trademark the name, logo, and slogan that you use to brand the product.

This information was provided by our founding attorney, Xavier Morales, Esq. 

Various products

Trademarks do not cover a physical object; they cover the way an object or service is branded. This is why the description of the trademark during the application process is vital. This feature is what differentiates your brand in the marketplace.

How Do I Trademark a Product?

Conducting a comprehensive trademark search is an essential first step in the trademark application process. A federal trademark search conducted through the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is critical to review existing trademarks and avoid the risk of infringing on existing product trademarks. Be aware that there might be a backlog of applications at the USPTO, which can affect the time taken for your application to be reviewed.

Choosing a Trademark Name

The mark that you choose to represent your product plays a crucial role in how consumers perceive it. Business names and slogans need to be carefully chosen to ensure they are not generic but rather original trademark material. For business owners, creating a strong trademark is a chance to significantly influence how their brand is perceived in the marketplace.

The process of creating a strong trademark often begins with the careful selection of a product name or slogan that stands out and is not commonly used or associated with other brands. You would need to create a specific slogan or unique product name and apply a trademark to that.

Are There Other Options for Protecting My Product?

It's important to understand that there are different kinds of trademarks, and each offers a distinct level of protection. In addition, the choice between arbitrary and fanciful product names for your trademark can significantly impact your brand's identity and legal standing. Major trademark stories often highlight cases of identical trademarks or issues involving trademark protection.

If you wish to protect a specific product, look to patent it. Unregistered trademarks can offer some level of protection, but a registered trademark provides a higher level of security and legal backing. However, for generic products, you will want to trademark the product name. But it will take some thought as there are certain rules to follow with product name trademarking - generic and descriptive terms are not eligible for trademark protection.

Trademark symbols, once your mark is registered, offer a visible indication of federal trademark registration, providing a higher level of protection under federal trademark law. These symbols serve as a perpetual reminder of your rights over the original trademark.

Is it Difficult to Trademark a Product?

The federal trademark application process involves several steps, including the choice of the mark, filing the application, and responding to any inquiries from the USPTO. Filing a federal trademark application is a significant step in ensuring the ownership and exclusive rights to your product name trademark. An applicant must carefully consider these steps to ensure successful registration and to become a recognized trademark owner.

A trademark lawyer can help you navigate the complexities of trademark laws and the specifics of trademarking brand names.

If you’re interested in learning more about how to trademark a product name, logo or slogan, contacting an experienced trademark attorney can help. They can also help you understand and respond to an office action, which is a formal letter from the USPTO raising any issues with your application. They can guide you through the trademark application process and help you understand your trademark rights. Contact us today to speak with a trademark attorney.

Common Trademark Topics for Business Owners

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Xavier Morales, Esq.

About the Author

Xavier Morales, Esq.

Mr. Morales founded his trademark law practice in January 2007 with the goal of providing intellectual property expertise to entrepreneurs and businesses around the country. Since then, he has filed more than 6,000 trademarks with the USPTO. You can learn more about Xavier here.

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