“What’s in a name?” demanded the lovely Juliet, in William Shakespeare’s acclaimed tragedy. Juliet’s puzzlement made sense to a certain degree, considering that Shakespeare wrote her lines in the late sixteenth century. However, in this twenty-first century, the tide has turned. Today, a name is not just a bunch of letters strung together to address a person, place or thing. In fact, it defines your identity! Its value is all the more potent when it brands a collective whole, like your company or business. It is thus no wonder business owners feel so protective about their brand name. In this blog, you will learn to both safeguard and champion this corporate identity as we explore how to trademark a business name.

What Is a Trademark?

At its core, a trademark is essentially a legitimization of a name. This could be the name of your company, the name of your product or even the name of a service you offer through your business. In addition, the trademark gives you exclusive rights to the name.

Why Trademark?

Types of Trademarks

Benefits of Trademarking Your Business Name

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Image by Pete Linforth from Pixabay

As we recently explored, a registered trademark is not about flaunting your brand. Instead, it legally protects the misuse of your brand by others with dubious interests. Here are some of the benefits you are likely to enjoy when you dig deeper on how to trademark a business name.

Highlight Your Brand’s Exclusivity

Protect Your Brand’s Exclusivity

Publicize Your Brand’s Exclusivity

How to Trademark a Business Name

As you can see from the material covered so far, a registered trademark will not only legalize your business name, it can also enhance its visibility. The last step is to execute this registration and includes the following actions.

With respect to a brand, you can trademark the following:

  • The name of your business
  • The name of your product
  • The service you offer
  • The brand’s logo

When exploring how to trademark a business name, also consider how this affects your business. For instance, let us assume that you wish to trademark your business name, “Quality Constructions.” You have developed a logo using a black and white color scheme which has also gained and received visibility and popularity with the public. If you trademark only the name, a dubious competitor can still capitalize on your brand by selling their (unregistered) products under “Quality Construction.” They may even use a very similar logo with the same color scheme but without the final ‘S’-–in order to hoodwink the public. It is easy to miss this profound difference.

In order to avoid this kind of situation, companies typically trademark all individual elements associated with a business brand. This includes the name of your business, the (individual) products you seek to sell, the service(s) offered and all other design elements collectively used to identify your unique business brand. (This includes your business log, any mascot figures, tag lines, color schemes, fonts of the logo, etc.) However, do note that there is a separate cost and process involved for every individual trademark.

Understand What Cannot Be Trademarked

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Conclusion

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If you are a business owner, we hope that the content provided here has helped you understand more on the registration process. The USPTO was set up by the government to encourage fair trade within the nation and support business owners as they build (and strengthen) their brand. We will leave you with this genius statement from the management consultant and author Bernard Kelvin Clive, “If opportunity doesn’t come knocking at your door, build a brand.” Here, learning how to trademark a business name is the first important step in that process..

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