Trademarks usually protect brand names and logos (e.g., Nike Swose Logo or Brand Name Clenex) which you use in conjunction with a service (eg, a carpet cleaning service). In order to register a trademark in the United States, you will have to go through legal proceedings with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). As part of the application process, you have to choose a suitable trademark service category that accurately identifies what the mark is connected to. This option will be used by the USPTO to determine whether your marks can be legally protected.
Hiring Professional Help
Search through the USPTO website for general information. The USPTO website provides endless information that you can use to help you through the trademark application process. Before starting your application, the USPTO recommends that you appoint a legal counsel. You need to do this because filing for trademark protection involves navigating through a series of legal proceedings. After visiting the website of the USPTO, look around to get an idea of what you are getting in yourself. Do your best to determine how much help you need, and what kind of help will work.
The USPTO website has a complete page that is dedicated to helping you find a legal lawyer.
Ask around for legal references. When you start looking for an advocate, you need to make sure that you are searching for someone who specializes in intellectual property law. Intellectual property law is unique and it may be difficult for more generalized lawyers to give you the necessary help. Start by asking family and friends for the lawyer’s recommendations. If you are a business owner, then it is likely that you know other business owners who have already gone through the trademark process.
If you do not know anyone who can help you find a lawyer, contact your State Bar Association Referral Service. After answering a few questions about your assistance, you will be kept in touch with various lawyers in your area.
Do research on the lawyers you searched for. Use the Internet to find out about the lawyers you are interested in. Start by looking at each lawyer’s website, which tells you about the lawyer’s background, the size of his firm and the work he does. If information can not be found, or is unclear, then consider moving forward on any other lawyer candidate.
Next, use the USPTO website for research whether the lawyer has any history of discipline. By writing the lawyer’s name, you will be able to tell if they have been in trouble before.
Finally, see online reviews of sites like Google and Yelp. These reviews can help you determine whether the lawyer is the person you want to work with.
Operate the initial consultation. Once you narrow your list and you have two or three lawyers from whom you want to talk, call them and establish a meeting to talk about your trademark application. Some lawyers will offer this meeting for free, while others will charge you a small fee. During these meetings, ask each lawyer to file a trademark application about your experience. Specifically, ask about their desire and the ability to select the right to choose a trademark service class.
During your initial consultation, you also have to ask about the lawyer’s fees. In general, try to understand whether the lawyer charges for hours, a flat fee, or some other arrangement can be worked out. In addition, ask how you will be billed and how you can pay.
Rent an attorney. Once your meetings have been completed, choose the lawyer you were most comfortable with. Normally, this will be the lawyer who can help you choose a trademark service classification at a reasonable price. Call the lawyer you want to appoint and set a time to finalize the agreement. Make sure you find everything in writing.
Identifying the Correct Service Class
Talk to your lawyer about the trademark application process. During the first meeting with your lawyer, you will discuss how the trademark application works, what you can expect and what you want to be successful Generally, before you can fill out an application, you have to choose an icon, icon format and a trademark service classification. Your lawyer will then search through the existing trademark, to ensure that you are not violating someone else’s intellectual property.
Once this legwork is completed, you and your counsel can put together, and submit a trademark application.
Study the service classification process. While your lawyer should be able to quickly and accurately identify the correct trademark service classification, the USPTO website can also help you through this process. The USPTO website has a video that describes how to identify the right service classification.
In general, the USPTO uses a specific list of trademarked sections that should fit within your mark. All have 45 classes, and only 11 of those classes are for service. Using a specific set of information and tools, you will need to find a category (out of 11 potential classes) that makes your trademark service the most suitable.
If you are not able to properly identify your trademark service class, then your application may be delayed or denied.
Decide whether your trademark applies to any good or service. While you most likely already know that your mark applies to a service (as opposed to a good one), the line is not always clear. To make sure that you correctly identify the appropriate class, you need to make this difference. A good thing is something physical that someone buys from you. On the other hand, a service, an activity that you do for other people.
For example, if you have sweatshirts and you sell them, then you are providing a good one. However, if people bring sweatshirts for you and you print things on them, then you are providing a service. If you print both sweatshirts and sell them, then you can have a good and a service.
Decide what your trademark applies to. A trademark can be applied to many things within a business. To properly categorize your service, you need to know what you are applying to your mark. For example, if you run a carpet cleaning business, you may have a company logo that applies to your business as a whole, but you may also have a logo for a specific cleaning product that You create and use. Depending on each of these logos, there may be a separate classification that applies to the mark.
See through the specified list of classes. To get a better view of the 11 service classes coming out there, you should read through each classification, which can be found on the website of the USPTO. These classes have been numbered, and the class numbers are 035-045 classes related to the services. Within each class, the USPTO will define the class and explain what should be included within it. Also, each class will have several examples that will help you determine where your service is fit.
For example, the title of class 038 is “Telecom”. This category applies to services that allow a person to speak from different mediums to another. This may include the spread of radio or television programs. However, this category does not include radio advertising services or telemarketing services.
Use the trademark identification book. If you have read through all 11 service classifications and you still have a problem in determining where your service fits, then try using the USPTO’s trademark identification manual, which can be found online . When you use this resource, you can type in your service type and you will see all possible classifications for that particular service.
For example, if you repair jewelry for others, you can type “jewelry” in the search queue. After looking at all the possible classifications, you will see that Class 037 includes your special service.