The key to success for New Jersey business owners and others throughout the country is to create a powerful brand. However, after the brand name is created, it is important to know how to protect it. The first step is to create a name that stands out and is not being used by another company. Business owners can use the Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS) to find out if their preferred choice is still available for use.
To protect the name that a business owner has chosen for his or her company, it is necessary to file for a trademark. This is done through the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), and it takes about 90 minutes to complete online. There is a minimum $225 fee to apply, and business owners can expect a response within about six months.
Individuals who are looking to start their own company need to make sure that they protect their creation. It may be easier to accomplish this goal with the help of an attorney. An attorney may be able to assist in any trademark searches done prior to choosing a company name. If a trademark is granted, legal counsel may be able to help a business owner protect it against infringement.
This is important because a trademark may be weakened if its owner doesn't defend it in court. That could open the door for a competing company to use a similar name, logo or other intellectual property and weaken the quality or strength of an existing brand. However, if successfully defended, the owner of a trademark may be able to compel an infringing party to stop using intellectual property. Financial damages may also be awarded to the party that had its trademark infringed upon.