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  • Writer's pictureJoseph Dragon

Should I Apply For A Trademark Or Copyright When Starting A New Business?

So you’ve come up with an amazing idea to start a new business, have a great name and logo designed that you just know will attract attention, and you have no clue whether you should apply for a Trademark or Copyrights to the branding.

Up until now, you’d always assumed they were the same thing, and now you’ve hit a wall in moving forward. So what is the difference between the two, and which should you apply for?

Both Trademarking and Copyrighting do similar things in that they protect distinct creations. Copyrights are intended to protect intellectual or creative works. Trademarks apply more to commercial branding – such as logos, names, or phrases.

Intellectual works (I.e., Database Rights, Industrial Design, Literary Works, Movie Scripts, etc.) are typically covered by a Copyright. The use of a company's name, branding (like logos), product names, and slogans, are protected by getting a Trademark.

Making Sure Your Name and Logo Are Available

Now that you know you need to apply for a Trademark to protect the branding for your new business, what’s next?

When applying for a Trademark, the registration process through U.S. Patent and Trademark Office can be a lengthy process, and applications are reviewed and scrutinized closely.

If you have a designed trade-mark in mind, then you must search for other similar trade-marks that others may be using. I good place search for your Trademark through the Federal Trademark Database System, to make sure you aren’t unintentionally copying someone else’s branding. The search can extend beyond the Federal Trademark Database to include all 50 states, Canada, Europe, DBA filings and more, so it is essential this step is done before applying.

Once you have concluded that the Name and Logo you’ve chosen for your new business are free and clear, it is best to hire an attorney to make sure all of the proper steps are taken to apply for your Trademark and begin your new journey. Schedule a Free Consultation with Joe Dragon to start now.

Please note: the contents found on this website are not legal advice and is strictly intended for educational purposes only. The legal needs of each individual vary significantly and are dependent on a variety of factors relevant to their specific needs. Please seek the assistance of an attorney for your legal advice.

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