Before putting in the effort, know if someone already registered a trademark that's similar to yours.
We'll run a search of state, federal, or international records so you can make an informed decision.
Ensure you don't accidentally copy someone else's trademark, and open yourself to lawsuits.
Not necessarily. In some cases, someone may have "common law" trademark rights simply by being the first to use a trademark in commerce—neither federal nor state registration is required for common law rights. Someone with common law rights can challenge your use or registration of your trademark. For these reasons, it's a good idea to check beyond state and federal registries, such as registered corporate names and use on the internet. These are included in both the WorldScan International and Federal, State, and Common Law packages.
The USPTO trademark classification system divides all goods and services into 45 trademark classes—34 for goods and 11 for services. There are many goods or services that fall into each class, and they're not always obvious from the class name.
When you file your trademark application, you must select the class of goods or services that your trademark will protect, and you must also identify the goods or services you provide. Your trademark will only protect the goods, services, and class that you name in your application.
When you apply for trademark registration, you must identify the class of goods or services that your trademark covers. It's important to choose the right class, because if you get it wrong, you may not be able to register a trademark. And if you do manage to register for the wrong class, you can't change your registration later to name a different one, or to switch from a good to a service.
A comprehensive trademark search can help you identify trademark classes where a mark similar to yours may already be in use.
The USPTO keeps a searchable "trademark identification manual" online to help you find the trademark classification that's right for you. If you're not sure or you have questions, consider one of our legal plans, and schedule a consultation with an attorney.
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