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How to Trademark an Idea


If you have a fabulous idea, logo, or name to protect, learn how to trademark it and make it yours.

Before you apply for a trademark, make sure that this is the correct protection to apply for. A trademark protects the logo or brand name used for services or goods. Patents offer protection for an invention, while copyrights protect your art or literary works.

After confirming your protection selection, pick a mark that you want to trademark. Check to see that the mark you want to use is not already claimed by searching the Trademark Electronic Search System database.

You must identify your mark's format and identify the goods or services that it will be used on. It is also important to know the basis for filling the trademark. The basis is how you have used the mark in your commerce.

Once you know these things, fill out a trademark application online through the Trademark Electronic Application System. Be prepared to pay a trademark application fee. The trademark fee varies based on the type of trademark you are applying for.

If the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) decides that your trademark meets the minimum filing requirements, you are assigned an examining attorney. The examining attorney reviews your application to decide whether or not your trademark should be granted.

Generally, within six months, you will receive notice regarding the approval or denial of your trademark. After receiving your approval, you must file a statement of use if you filed using an intent to use. When USPTO approves your statement of use, it issues a registration for your trademark.

Even after learning how to trademark, you may be confused by the steps and timelines. Hiring a trademark attorney can help you navigate the steps associated with the trademark process so you can protect your idea.

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