Last time, we talked about mistakes people make when they choose a trademark. Today we’ll talk about mistakes people make when they try to register a trademark.
Mixing Words, Logos, and Tag Lines
Lots of people file one application to register wordmark, logo, and tagline. You can get a registration that way but you may not be able to renew. Any of these changes would make it impossible to renew a registration for this graphic:
- Putting Happy Bee to the right of BEELINE;
- Changing the font; or
- Not using the blue background.
Description of Goods and Services
How you describe your goods and services matters:
- You can miss an opportunity to save money and expedite approval.
- You can make it too specific and limit your rights unnecessarily.
- You can delay getting a registration by including goods that you don’t plan to sell until much later.
The Trademark Office is really picky about specimens. You can’t use a mock-up of the labeling or a fake product display and it has to show the mark actually being used on the goods.
Not Responding to an Office Action*
Sometimes, the Trademark Office sends an office action that’s easy to deal with. I see lots of dead applications that could have been successful but the applicant couldn’t figure out what to do.
There are important decisions to make when you apply to register your trademark. Making the right choice can be the difference between success and flushing your filing fee down the drain.
*If the Trademark Office has a problem with your application, they’ll send an “office action.” If you don’t respond, or you do respond but don’t get the response right, your application will die.