Listen, I talk to a lot of creative entrepreneurs and if there?s one thing I hear on the regular it?s that they?re full of ideas. They?ve got notebooks and digital files overflowing with ideas for businesses, products, programs – you name it!?
And literally, they do – they name these things.
And I?m assuming you?re like this too, so tell me if I?m right ?
When you come up with the best nobody?s gonna-have-this-name name, do you:
- Not utter a word about it because you don?t want anyone stealing your idea.
- Go right out and tell everyone about it from your biz besties to random people on social media.
Which one are you (and which approach is best)??
From an accountability standpoint, #2 is going to hold you to it if people are excited and want what you?ve got to offer. But on the flip side, putting that name and idea out there does increase the chances of someone doing a lil? copy-paste action and stealing it before you?ve had a chance to trademark it.
So, what?s the best way to handle this? Should you trademark your name right off the bat so nobody else can use it, or should you start using it and then file your trademark application?
When it comes to trademarks, there are two ways to approach the process, and there are two different types of applications that you can file – an ?intent to use? application or a ?use in commerce? application.
An ?intent to use? trademark application is what you would file if you?re not quite ready to use the name, but you want to ensure that nobody else can scoop it up before you. In other words, you?re intending to use it. With this type of application, you get six months to start using the name in commerce. If you don?t use it within that time, you?ll have to file an extension. You can file an extension up to five times, but after that, if you still haven?t used the name, your trademark rights will be released.?
A ?use in commerce? trademark application is filed when you?re already out there selling something, using the name, and you can prove it to the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The key here is that people actually have to be buying from you. So if all you?ve got is a ?Coming Soon? page with your business, product or program on it, your application will be seen as fraudulent and canceled.?
Now, before you do either of these, it?s imperative that you do your due diligence and make sure you?re not infringing on someone else?s trademark. To do that, download this FREE guide and conduct a knockout search.
If you?re ready to file your trademark application but want to have my team look things over and offer a helping hand book a call with us.?