03 / 21 / 2016

How to Trademark a Phrase

If you have created a phrase or word that represents something valuable to your company or yourself, you can preserve its use solely for yourself/your enterprise with a trademark. The trademark allows you to distinguish the phrase as your own, preventing others from using it for monetary gain. You can register for the trademark in your name or the name of your organization.

Trademark Basics

Your trademark must be registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. This organization also monitors trademarks once they are granted. If you do not legally register your trademarked phrase with this office, you will not be able to protect it against infringement from other parties.

Step 1: Determining Whether the Phrase Meets the Original Works Requirements

You must determine if the phrase or word that you would like to trademark meets the requirements to qualify as an “original work”. You can check out a detailed list of these standards at the United States Patent and Trademark Office's website at www.USPTO.gov.

Step 2: Check to Make Sure Your Phrase is Available to be Trademarked

Conduct a search to find out if your phrase or word is available to be trademarked. You can conduct the search by entering your phrase in the Trademark Electronic Search System, commonly referred to with the acronym of TESS.

Step 3: Accessing the Initial Application Form

If your phrase is available to be trademarked, the next step is to download and fill out the Initial Application Form. This form is available in PDF format. Complete it on your computer or go ahead and print it out and complete it by hand.

Step 4: Completing the Form

Be sure to fill out all of the form's requested information. In general, you must include the information of the registrar such as phone number, address, full name etc. It is critically important that you list the phrase or word that you would like to trademark on this form exactly as you plan on using it across posterity.

Step 5: Submit the Form

You can submit the form through the electronic application submission option or through regular USPS mail.

Step 6: Pay the Appropriate Filing Fee

There is an electronic application filing fee as well as a regular mail filing fee. Make your check payable to the United States patent and Trademark Office.

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