A trademark helps establish a logo or image as the property of your company and also an official representation of your brand. Filing trademark paperwork is a very important step for any business that wants to market itself to consumers. Trademark protections help protect a brand’s identity and will limit the risk of knock-off products or look-alikes doing major damage to a brand.
Unfortunately, many people who have a clever idea for a business or their branding efforts will end up struggling to secure a trademark. When they apply by submitting paperwork to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), they receive a rejection notice in the mail. Although they can appeal or reapply, the delay could complicate any pending enforcement or public marketing efforts.
Why might the rejection of your request to protect the logo or design you intend to use to market your company to others?
It looks too similar to an existing design
Your trademark needs to be significantly different from any other existing trademark, especially trademarks used in the same industry. Part of the trademark application process typically involves research and review to ensure you don’t end up duplicating an existing trademark or creating something that looks substantially similar to an existing trademark.
It shares a verbal similarity
When you look at your trademark and possibly read the words or letters on it allowed, what someone says could lead to brand confusion. If the speech produced when people read your trademark is similar to the speech that results from reading another company’s trademark out loud, you may not be able to secure the trademark.
Any confusing duplication will cause problems
You can expect that any possibility of someone confusing your trademark with that of another business, especially one that performs similar functions to your organization, will result in questions about your trademark application. The research stage is of the utmost importance for those seeking a trademark, and additional research will likely be necessary if you have to appeal and unfavorable determination.
Your organization may require professional support while researching existing trademarks, especially those in your industry. Bringing in professional help when putting together a trademark application or responding to a rejection notice will help your business overcome its branding challenges.