by Kim Lavine
Why do you need a trademark? Because you can't make a million dollars without one! Here's how to create a million dollar trademark.
What is a trademark and why do you need one?
A trademark provides legal protection in the marketplace for the name of your product or business name, and is defined as any word, name, symbol or device used to identify and distinguish a producer’s goods from others.
A trademark is key piece of Intellectual Property (IP) which is critical to the future success of your product in the market place, as well as a valuable asset to your company.
What is a servicemark and why do you need one?
A servicemark provides legal protection for a service instead of a product.
Why you need to protect your trademark
You need to protect your product’s name right at the beginning, before you introduce it to the marketplace, or you may risk losing the name later to someone who may contest your ownership rights because you didn’t register it.
Another reason you need to register your trademark right at the beginning is to make sure that you’re not impinging on anyone else’s trademark rights, which you’ll discover with a search on the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s website. www.uspto.gov. You could be sued for triple damages if you do so.
What's the difference between ™ and ®?
It can take up to a year to have your trademark formally approved by the USPTO, at which time you will be legally allowed to use the registered trademark symbol ®. Until then, you need to use the symbol ™ behind your product’s name to let the public know that you’re claiming it as your mark.
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