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By J.D. Houvener
Patent Attorney and Founder

Maybe you recognize this yeah it’s our logo it’s a collection of colors angles black lines what kind of mark is this though [Music] well my name is JD governor registered USPTO patent attorney and Managing Partner here at bold patents law firm today I wanted to dive in and help you better understand how to trademark a name a logo and keep your business brand protected before we get started I want to know the time stamps are below so if you want to jump ahead in the video and you’re short on time you can do that right now so here’s let’s get to the basics of trademarks trademarks are all about product source identifying where things come from it’s that simple goods or services it’s about finding out who indeed is actually making that product and reducing confusion in the marketplace right you only now have one name for one particular classification that’s so that when we go and buy a product off the shelf we know that that quality we can kind of sense as to who made it and be able to barter and negotiate for that particular item now I want to make a quick note here I was super impressed when I took a look at the USPTO govt website for trademarks flat out blown away I’m not gonna say I’m the expert these guys have got it nailed so to supplement this video I want you to go online to the USPTO Giove they’ve got some great videos tutorials and written explanations now types of trademarks okay there are three major types word marks design marks and certification marks board marks are the standard write work marks represent in English characters what the brand is you’re protecting so without stylization without color or form words will give you the broadest protection for your brand this is cool because what trademarks do and the federal level is they’ll give you protections for not just that word let’s say bold IP but any sound-alikes or mixing up of words so someone wanted to start a law firm in England for property called boldly IP that’s still get it likely infringe on our trademark okay design mark does eye marks are another term for logos we heard logos all the time the true technical term is design marks now design is a wonderful idea in that even though right you may see that the beautiful curving letters of coca-cola right you the cans before that’s actually a design mark certainly they also have the word mark to go with it they’ve gotten both the design mark will actually protect just the ornamental appearance it’s really to treat it more like a work of art as opposed to the letters that it’s spelling out so it’s a specific angles and it’s the color right on our logo I showed earlier the colors are they’re pink and green and the black lines outlining it those are collection of colors then they just happen to form letters so keep in mind that you’ve got word marks and design marks the last ones are called certification marks absolutely rare but you’ve seen some of these right organic Fairtrade if some of these certification organizations have different distinctions all right so let’s come to the next subject which is common law trademark law is wonderful and that you have rights on your business your brand immediately as soon as you start using it gotta admit though it’s somewhat limiting you’re only gonna be able to get common law rights for the geographic scope in which you’re doing business a classic story from law school is the original Burger King located in the little town in Iowa started in 1930s they were the first to use the word Burger King they could only prove that they were able to serve customers in a 50-mile radius the Burger King we all know today has to respect that and so that there’s not they’re not allowed to enter into that halo of 50 miles in that little town in Iowa what if that Burger King had registered federally they would have that name lock down nationwide so let’s talk about state versus federal trademarks state trademarks really are only for those businesses that only ever plan to stay local there’s plenty of types of businesses that are just like that and really never anticipate having customers out of state you know laundromats sometimes you know Institute’s like restaurants in small town bakeries right these are types of companies that sure definitely should need to make sure they have trademark protection but they don’t need federal protection now if you’re connecting business online you’re gonna need federal right that is a no doubt need for you there are three requirements are to get the trademark one it’s got to be distinctive we’ve got to be the only term or use in in the market in your class you have to prove that you’re selling the trademark office doesn’t give out names you can’t register a name if you’re not doing business they want to incentivize the stream of Commerce it must be source identified now there’s different strengths to different marks if you’re selling let’s say water bottles and you’re calling your company water bottle that’s not gonna be able to get trademark protection because you’re merely describing what the product is on the flip side one of the most strong brands we probably all have heard about is Apple what’s funny is it that company doesn’t even come close to selling fruit right they’re selling computers so Apple is actually a super strong trade mark when it’s an arbitrary term for that specific business and then the strongest type of trademarks are those brands that are building recognition around in a made-up word Xerox is one of the most famous examples Xerox is a company that we all know right in fact it almost became generic for making a Xerox or a copy that is a fanciful term and it’s the strongest trademark so the last not least I want to make sure you’re clear on when to put TM or when to put R on your products because of common law rights you should be using TM whenever you want to signify and put people on notice that you’re using a trailer you used a circle R after you’ve gone through inside federal trademark registration quick summary I want to make sure you understand that we do have trademark basics you understand the product source there’s no confusion in the market please visit the USPTO know the difference between word marks design marks and certification marks recovered common-law federal rights state versus federal we know the three requirements of getting a train one distinctive use in commerce and their source identifying you also now know that you should be putting TM on your products right now and using the circle R when you that registration last but not least I want to make sure you’re clear you get this free copy today this is the patent book that’ll help you walk through the difference between trademarks and patents and when you need to move your product to the market visit old IP comm org slash free to get your free digital PDF download today


About the Author
J.D. Houvener is a Registered USPTO Patent Attorney who has a strong interest in helping entrepreneurs and businesses thrive. J.D. leverages his technical background in engineering and experience in the aerospace industry to provide businesses with a unique perspective on their patent needs. He works with clients who are serious about investing in their intellectual assets and provides counsel on how to capitalize their patents in the market. If you have any questions regarding this article or patents in general, consider contacting J.D. at