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Do you need to register your trademark?

When starting up a new business, you may have designed a logo, slogan or catch-phrase that designates your business and makes it unique from other businesses. While you are not required to register your trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, there are benefits to doing so. If you do not protect your trademark, other businesses and/or brands can use your mark, or something quite similar, which may confuse your customers and lead to you losing money and business in the long run.

Before you register your trademark, you must make sure it is not being used by another company. You can go online and conduct a search to ensure your mark is truly unique. Otherwise, you may be accused of trademark infringement.

Once you design your mark, you must use it correctly and often. Be sure to put your mark out there in the public for everyone to see. If you have registered your trademark, be sure to use the registered trademark symbol. Then, it is crucial to monitor for potential trademark infringements. These occur when other businesses use your logo, design or name to market their company. It is only when your trademark is registered that you can take legal action against infringement. If you do not monitor for similar trademarks, you may not be able to see that another entity is using your registered trademark.

Trademark infringement can be devastating to your businesses, and it is important to take action if another company is using your mark.

This information is intended to educate and should not be taken as legal advice.

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