Have you been running a blog for a while, applied the proper strategies to make it successful and you now profit from it? Then this might be the right time to trademark your business. Not sure what this entails? Don’t worry, we are here to give you a quick guide on how to trademark your blog’s name.
What is a trademark?
According to the World Intellectual Property Organization, a trademark is a sign that is used to distinguish products or services of one business from those of other businesses.If you decide to trademark your blog’s name, you have the exclusive right to use it which adds value to your business and lets it stand out from the competition. In addition to the name, you can also trademark a logo, a slogan or a combination of the elements.
Trademark vs copyright
Copyright law protects creative works, such as books, paintings, computer programs and advertisements among others. If your work is in a tangible form, copyright laws apply. This means that you do not have to take any extra measures to protect it.
On the other hand, a trademark is used to indicate the source of the goods. This can be your business or product name, logo, slogan or even mascot. However, keep in mind that personal names are rarely trademarked unless they are widely recognized and truly unique, such as Calvin Klein.
You should know that copyright and registered trademark do not offer the same protections. Your copyrighted work, or parts of it, can be used under the Doctrine of Fair Use from the U.S. Copyright Act. This is not the case with registered trademarks, as it protects your brand if other companies or individuals use similar names to mislead consumers.
Another thing to have in mind is that having a registered business does not automatically protect it as a trademarked name. Someone else can register it and stop you from using it.
Reasons to trademark your name
One of the reasons you should trademark your name is because it will help you build your brand. It will raise the awareness about your blog and you will have more incentive to invest in your business. This is especially true if you create unique and valuable information pertaining to your niche.
When you are a blogger, it’s vital to maintain your online presence. Once you register your blog as a trademark, others will be able to find out that it is already in use. If you see that there are any other blogs that look similar to yours, a trademark allows you to prevent them from using your name and profiting from your hard work; you can even sue them.
One of the most important reasons why you should trademark your name is that your blog might become a valuable asset. Many bloggers are able to monetize their brand. If you manage to build your blog to become recognizable, you might even get a chance to sell it for a good price, if that is something that you feel like doing.
Reasons not to trademark your name
On the other hand, there are also reasons not to trademark your name. If this is only a hobby for you and you only use it to share personal stories with no intent on cashing in on it or pursuing exclusive rights, it is not worth spending money on applying for a trademark.Moreover, if your name is similar to an already registered blog, you might end up in a long legal battle that is just not worth the money and time if you are not planning on commercializing your blog.
Additionally, if you do get a trademark, you need to spend time and resources on finding and identifying people that are infringing your rights. In case you think this is something you won’t be doing regularly, there is no need for a trademark.
Once you’ve decided that you do need a trademark, you need to determine the precise goods and services that you want to register. You need to make sure that your name is unique and not similar to any other trademarks. You can do this online by yourself or contact professionals such as the Actuate IP trademark lawyers that can do this for you. Relying on the help of experts is always a good idea, seeing as how they specialize in certain areas and have a lot of experience.
After you’ve submitted your application, it will take a couple of months for it to be examined and approved; in some countries, it can take up to 18 months.
After your trademark application has been approved, you have trademark ownership which comes with many benefits. While you are waiting to be approved, you can use the ™ symbol and once you have a registered trademark, put the ® symbol next to the items you have protected. This means that you have legal ownership and are able to pursue legal action against people who use your name to achieve financial gain. It will help you strengthen your brand and build credibility.
Mistakes to avoid
Although there is no deadline for trademarking your blog, you should do it as soon as you can. In case you still haven’t started blogging, you can file an "intent to use." This will help you build your brand without having to worry that someone might register your name before you. You also have to maintain your trademark; it should be renewed every ten years. Someone can contest your trademark if they see that you are no longer using it.
There you have it, you can register your blog’s name without any major problems as long as your name is unique. Make sure you have the time and resources to maintain it and don’t hesitate to contact professionals if you have any doubts.
Bio: David Koller is a passionate blogger and copywriter for Media Gurus, mainly interested in SEO and Digital Marketing.