It is very important to know how to register a trademark when you have a product or service that you hope to use for commercial gain. Trademarks may not always be necessary, but they are definitely recommended. Disputes can arise over the rights to use a name, logo, or combination of the two. Having a trademark may not settle these disputes, but they can show that you have a valid claim to your product or idea. Furthermore, it gives you some control over the product or idea.
One of the first things you have to do to register a trademark is make sure your product is eligible. When you find you are eligible, you need to find out what type of trademark you need. For instance, there are certification marks, collective marks and service marks. You may want to protect colors, names, sounds, symbols and/or words that distinguish your products and services so that you can reserve them for use in commerce.
You will also need to make sure there is not already a trademark on the product or service you hope to reserve. Fortunately, the Internet has made the process quite easy since you can search through one complete database to find the information you need. You can even look for design codes if your trademark contains a design element. Once you have confirmed that your trademark design is an original, you can start the actual application process to claim ownership of your trademark.
Registering the trademark may also be done online where you can make sure it is complete and accurate before you submit it. The online process is probably the best way to go since mistakes on an application can cause some serious setbacks in the process. Not only can your application be delayed, but it can also forfeit your original application fee, so you will end up having to pay to submit another application.
You should keep in mind that this process is only valid in the United States as other countries have their own regulations for applying for trademarks. Furthermore, you cannot apply for a trademark from another country unless you have filed an application before a USPTO when you are overseas if the country is under the Madrid Protocol. If you want to be sure you get the application process right no matter where you are, it is best to consult with a professional who understands the trademark process.