How to Register a Trademark
If you have a name, a tag line, or an image that you are using in commerce (i.e., it is in some publicly facing medium connected with the product or service you are selling) you can register for federal trademark protection.
The first step is to search the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office database to check if anyone else has registered the name or tag line. You only need to check the ones in the search results marked "Live," as the others are no longer active.
If you see your mark already registered, the next step is to check what classification it is registered in. If you sell cleaning services and the mark is registered for a software product, you can still seek registration in your classification. This is because the services are so different that customers are not likely to be confused.
To apply, you need to choose your classification (there is a lengthy list on the USPTO website), submit the online application with proof that your mark is currently being used in commerce, and pay the registration fee (currently $250 per classification).
You may be able to do this on your own, but an attorney can help if you are unsure about the classification, uncomfortable doing it yourself, or find a similar registered mark on the database and are unsure whether your mark is eligible.
Learn more here about trademarks.
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