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Learn How to Legally Protect Your Website, Blog and Online Business

Learn How to Legally Protect Your Website, Blog and Online Business

FREE LEGAL GUIDE   Learn How to Legally Protect Your Website, Blog and Online Business

Trademark FAQs

Most frequent questions and answers

Put simply, trademarks are words or logos that help consumers identify the source of a product or service. An example of a trademark is the Golden Arches of McDonalds. This stylized yellow “M” identifies to consumers the products and services at McDonald’s.

Plug and Law is not a law firm. None of the information on this website constitutes or is intended to construe legal advice. General information about the law is distinctly different from advice about how the law would apply to your specific scenario or situation.

Plug and Law’s customer service representatives aim to provide helpful answers to our valued customers; however, due to these restrictions, they are unable to answer questions about how the law would apply to your specific scenario or situation. If you need legal advice about your specific scenario or situation, please contact an attorney in your area.

Usage of the products, services, or information on this website, including but not limited to the “Trademark Bundle”, does not mean that your federal trademark application will be published or approved by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Additionally, there is no guarantee that usage of the products, services, or information on this website will result in a favorable verdict or outcome in any adversarial proceeding or communication regarding trademarks, nor does it guarantee that you have protection against another party’s common law rights to trademark ownership.

While Erika Kullberg (the founder of Plug and Law) is an attorney, she is not your attorney, and viewing this website and/or purchasing any product or service from this website does not establish any attorney-client relationship.

By registering your trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, you can protect your company’s good will from potential infringers. Here are three benefits to federal registration.

First, you can bring a lawsuit for trademark infringement in federal court. Federal trademark registration allows broad protection for your trademark across the entire United States.

Second, you can send a cease and desist letter, indicating that you have the federal rights to your trademark.

Third, by not protecting themselves with a federal trademark, you risk other companies using a trademark that is identical or highly similar to yours. In certain instances, other companies may argue that you are infringing on their trademark rights, especially if they file for a federal trademark before you do.

If you believe that a word or a logo does or will be important for brand value, you should strongly consider federal trademark protection.

Please also read what you must know before using this website.

Trademarks, copyrights, and patents are all examples of Intellectual Property, but they all protect different parts of a company’s portfolio.

Trademarks are words or logos that help consumers identify the source of a product or service. It protects the brand of your company. Copyrights protect creative works in fixed forms, like movies or songs. Patents protect inventions. There are two types of patents. The first is a utility patent, which protects how something is used and works. The second is a design patent, which protects how something looks.

Depending on a company’s specific needs, it may be advisable to seek protection of all forms of Intellectual Property.

Please also read what you must know before using this website.

The early bird gets the worm when it comes to federal trademark registration.

Federal trademark registration is first to file, meaning the first one to file will get “priority” over other pending registrations. Therefore, if you are already using your trademark or have a true intent to use that trademark, it is advisable to file as soon as possible. By waiting, you risk others scooping up that federal trademark registration from you, even if you were technically using it before them in business.

Please also read what you must know before using this website.

No. There are two ways to register your trademark: (1) When you already are selling products or providing services with the trademark or (2) When you intend to sell products or provide services with the trademark.

The first option means you’ve already begun using the trademark with your products or services. You may have already sold t-shirts or provided bakery services with that trademark.

The second option means you have a bona fide intent to sell a product or provide services with a trademark. This means you are making a sworn statement that you have a true intent to use this trademark to sell products or provide services with a trademark.

Please also read what you must know before using this website.

A ® can only be used when the trademark has been federally registered.

A ™, on the other hand, can be used without federal registration. Companies often use the ™ symbol when they are considering federal protection, or have applied for a federal trademark but it has not yet registered.

Please also read what you must know before using this website.

One of the most common refusals for trademarks is a Section 2(d) Likelihood of Confusion – Refusal.

A Likelihood of Confusion refusal is issued when there is already a registered trademark that is confusingly similar to your trademark such that a consumer would get confused.

In order to establish a Likelihood of Confusion refusal, two criteria have to be met. First, the trademarks must be sufficiently similar. Second, the products or services of the trademarks must be sufficiently similar.

Please also read what you must know before using this website.

No. Federal trademark registration in the United States only provides federal trademark protection in the United States.

Please also read what you must know before using this website.

After submitting your application, you may receive a request for an Examiner’s Amendment via email or phone call.

An Examiner’s Amendment means that there is a way to fix the outstanding issues on your application without you having to file a formal response.

If you respond by agreeing to the Examiner’s Amendment, either by email or phone call, the good news is your application should proceed straight towards publication.

If you do not respond promptly to an Examiner’s Amendment, the USPTO will issue an Office Action with the same issues. In that event, you’ll have to respond through the USPTO online system as opposed to just responding to an email or phone call.

Please also read what you must know before using this website.

Specimens are proof that an individual or company is selling products or providing services in connection with their trademark(s). It provides actual evidence of how an individual or company is using their trademark(s) in the marketplace with the goods or services listed in the application. ThTrademark Bundle provides specific examples and tutorials regarding specimens in the step-by-step application process.

Please also read what you must know before using this website.

Unfortunately, no. The USPTO now requires attorney representation for all applicants not domiciled in the United States. Only US citizens or US-domiciled companies can use TMPrep to submit trademark applications.

Please also read what you must know before using this website.

Yes, you can apply with no color claim in order to display your logo in any color. Specifically, in the Trademark Bundle questionnaire, be sure to choose Option A to the question “How do you want to be able to display your trademark?” This ensures that your logo can be displayed in any color.

Please also read what you must know before using this website.

Applying for a federal trademark is an important business, legal, and strategic decision. Such decisions should not be taken lightly, and entrepreneurs and small business owners should think carefully about which trademarks they believe will provide long-term brand value.

That being said, we are not a law firm, and cannot provide counsel as to the specific protections of any particular trademark, or the scope of such protections.

Please also read what you must know before using this website.

This platform provides assistance in submitting a federal trademark application. We are not a law firm and cannot advise as to your specific trademark, or the protections of your trademark in the marketplace.

Please also read what you must know before using this website.

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