Complete a Trademark Search
The first thing that you will need to do is make sure that no one else is already using the same logo. Complete a trademark search by going to the United States Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS). This is an online database of registered trademarks that allows you to find marks that can possibly prevent you from registering your own logo.
Secure the Rights to Your Logo
Once you have determined that your logo is not being used, you can then secure the rights to your own logo. If you are a company that only operates locally, you will secure your rights to your logo simply by using your logo in the geographical area you serve. However, if you are a company that will do business across one state, then you can file to register your trademark with the Secretary of State in which you will be doing business. Keep in mind that this will provide you with trademark rights only for that particular state. If your business will be operating in more than one state, however, you will need to secure the rights to your logo through the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Be sure to go over the USPTO Design Search Code Manual to understand which design codes to use when you fill out an initial application form to secure trademark rights.
Fill out an Initial Application Form
You can fill out the initial application form online. Be sure to follow up and to ask questions throughout the process to ensure that all of your questions and concerns are covered.
Use a “trademark watch" service
In order to protect your logo from trademark infringements, use a trademark watch service. These services identify logos that may be potentially infringing on your trademark. There are many services out there, so choose wisely after conducting your research.
The process can seem daunting at first, but do not fret. The USPTO has all the information you need to ensure you are on the right path to trademarking your logo. You now have right information to start the process of trademarking your logo. So design a logo for free today! For more information on the trademark process, visit http://www.uspto.gov/trademarks/process/index.jsp.
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