Q: How can I trademark my new business name?
I’m looking to start a new business but I first want to trademark the name and idea
A: You need to consult with an attorney to guide you through the process.
A: You should consult an experienced trademark attorney to assist you in the selection of a trademark that is sufficiently distinctive and not already in use, to advise you regarding how to use the mark to identify your goods or services, and to apply for registration of the mark.
A: Generally speaking, you can trademark your business name either at a state level (for example, in California, by registering it with the Secretary of State of California) or nationwide, by filing a federal trademark application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office ("USPTO"). The USPTO provides some basic information and guidance on its website (https://www.uspto.gov/). But realistically, in order to get a strong enforceable trademark for you, we would need to discuss your specific trademark and your business needs and then develop a strategy for maximizing trademark protection for your name. These types of questions are very fact specific...
A: Ideas cannot be trademarked. If your idea represents a novel non-obvious invention, that might be protected as a patent, but that is a different long conversation. But if you have a name for your products (e.g., "Adidas" for shoes) then that is something that can indeed be trademarked. Even if you are not yet using the trademark commercially, you can still file an "intent-to-use" trademark application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office ("USPTO") and your trademark will be protected as of the filing date. You will ultimately need to launch the product and prove to the USPTO that you are using the applied-for trademark in connection with those products in order to get your registration certificate, however. You can potentially file a trademark application by yourself, but the process is very technical and it is highly recommended to utilize an experienced trademark attorney in order to prepare and file your trademark application and deal with the USPTO until registration. I hope this helps.
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