Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Feb 8, 2020

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A corporate name may serve as or become a trademark if it is affixed to goods or used to identify a service.

According to the United States Patent and Trademark Office, a trademark is used to “protect words, names, symbols, sounds, or colors that distinguish goods and services from those manufactured or sold by others and to indicate the source of the goods. Trademarks, unlike patents, can be renewed forever as long as they are being used in commerce.” 

How Do I Trademark My Corporate Name?

The best way to trademark a corporate name is to first determine how the name will be written. There are over 500 different fonts and millions of colors available for a business name. If you are unsure where to begin, consult with a graphic designer and see what customizations can be made to your corporate name. This new and veery specific way of writing your corporate name will then become your trademark.

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Where Do I Protect My Corporate Name?

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is a division of the federal government that handles the protection of business trademarks. In order to protect your trademark, you will first need to go to the USPTO website and run a search. While your corporate name may not already be in use by another corporation, searching the USPTO website will verify that your desired trademark is not already in use by another corporation.

After verifying that your trademark is unique, fill out the trademark application form by including the specific font and color code used on your corporate name trademark. Along with the form, you will need to submit an application fee. After the USPTO approves the trademark, you will have to pay fees annually to ensure that the trademark remains protected.

What Is Considered “Using” My Trademark?

Using your trademark as a symbol includes placing it on your business cards, letterhead, mailers, or sales packaging. If you advertise, then use your trademark is in your advertisements. As long as your trademark appears on corporate items (especially those that the public sees), you are using your trademark.

If you are in the process of trademarking a business name, or have additional questions, contact a business attorney or trademark attorney in your area who will explain your rights to your trademark and make sure you stay in compoliance with the law.