You've been using your company name for a while now and, as things get more crowded, you're beginning to wonder if anyone else uses it, what the law is, and what you should do, if anything to protect it.
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Are You Familiar with Trademark Law?

You've been using your company name for a while now and, as things get more crowded, you're beginning to wonder if anyone else uses it, what the law is, and what you should do, if anything to protect it.

Did you know that FIRST USE of a trademark will grant you common law ownership of that trademark in the particular market in which you currently offer your goods or services, but FEDERAL REGISTRATION grants you the exclusive right to a trademark in the relevant market nationwide. You can go here for more general information on trademarks: www.nameprotect.com

So is it really "yours"? Start with a free trademark search to see if it's already taken: www.nameprotect.com/.../../search.cgi.

If not, you can proceed here: www.uspto.gov/teas/index.html to register your name on the US Patent and Trademark Office's electronic system.

Once you have your name trademarked, NameProtect will monitor it for you monthly, tell you about competitors, guard against threats to your brand, and alert you if someone is trade marking your name. Go here: www.nameprotect.com/tmmonitoring.htm.

Perhaps you're wondering what the BENEFITS of FEDERAL REGISTRATION are? Here are some:

* Provides nationwide notice of exclusive ownership which prevents others from acquiring common low rights through innocent adoption and use
* Creates legal presumption in court of your right to exclusive use
* Opportunity to make it unchallengeable by keeping it in use for five years from date of registration

You can go here to learn more: www.nameprotect.com/... FedRegBenefit

What are the QUALIFICATIONS for FEDERAL REGISTRATION? It has to be distinctive enough to identify the business as the only source of goods and services, and ordinary names\ (descriptive, laudatory, geographical, personal and generic) don't usually qualify.

STRONG TRADEMARKS include

* Fanciful. Made-up words like "Kodak".
* Arbitrary. Real words used in a different way, such as Apple computers.
* Suggestive. Real words that suggest, but don't actually describe qualities, like Greyhound bus.

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