Businesses can find information about trademarks and registering logos on the official U.S. Patent and Trademark Office website, reports the office. The website has a step-by-step guide to preparing and submitting a trademark application and maintaining trademark registration. It also has advice on what constitutes a trademark, choosing a strong trademark, the benefits of registration, hiring a trademark attorney and other considerations.
Trademarks consist of logos or brand names that businesses use to identify services and goods, explains the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Although many states and local governments register business names, they are not necessarily trademarks unless businesses use them for product identification. Trademarks can be characters, designs or sounds, and businesses must precisely designate the services or goods they represent. Before submitting an application, a business must search the trademark database at USPTO.gov to be sure no one else already claims trademark rights for similar designs or wording. After applying, the business must monitor the status of its application every few months to avoid missing deadlines for filing additional information.
Because trademark registration is so complex, businesses often hire attorneys with special training in trademark registration, according to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. If applications meet minimum filing requirements, examining attorneys go over them to be sure they conform to regulations and include the nonrefundable filing fees. During this process, which may take months, examining attorneys may request minor corrections. Once the office approves and publishes trademarks, businesses file statements of use, monitor registration status yearly and periodically keep the registrations alive through additional filings.