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Obtaining a United States Registered Trademark

Obtaining a United States Registered Trademark
Pat Dickson - Sun Apr 01, 2012 @ 01:32PM
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If you have an innovative product you want to distinguish from all the other similar products in the market, giving it a unique name and turning that name into a registered mark, or ®, with the United States Patent and Trademark Office may be the way to go. That way only you can use the name and any infringing parties could be risking very serious legal consequences, sans certain exceptions beyond the scope of this article.

How do you obtain this registered name? By way of a real and instructive example, the "Brushgripper®," a registered name for a patented product owned by my client, Blue Ocean Capital LLC, let's go step by step through what we did to acquire registry, which now allows the Brushgripper to appear as "Brushgripper®."

1. Do a Name Search: Back in 2002, We went to the USPTO web site to see if the name "Brushgripper" or "Brush Gripper" was in use. This is an easy step to take. We went to the USPTO web site and did a search on Brush Gripper or Brushgripper. Back then, nothing came up. The name was available. However, now you see that the name is owned, and registered, to Blue Ocean Capital. In short, this means only Blue Ocean can use the name "Brushgripper®," or any equivalent names, like "Brush Gripper," with a few exceptions.

2. Start Using TM: Once we discovered our desired name was available, we immediately began putting "TM" after the word "Brushgripper," wherever we used it, even in our internal marketing literature, but definitely in our sales materials and wherever it appeared on the Internet. The "TM" is essentially the mark you put after the name until it is officially approved and registered by the federal government. In other words, using the name "Brushgripper™" back in 2002 had the effect of giving notice to everyone that Blue Ocean was the first person/entity to officially go after the name and had a legal and rightful first claim to it.

3. File for a Trademark with the USPTO: We filed all the paperwork required for obtaining the desired registered mark, and not too long thereafter, my client was the proud owner of "Brushgripper®," with registration NO. 2832019. The application process was pretty easy and straightforward. Just go to the Trademark Process at the USPTO and see for yourself.

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