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When Should I Register My Trademark?

This article is about answering "When should I register my trademark?"

Registering a trademark, whether it’s a name or a design, gives you the exclusive right to use that mark in business across all 50 states. As such, trademarks play a crucial role in making your brand easily identifiable and protecting the identity of your business.

Even with these in mind, many people still ask, “When should I trademark my business name?”

The short answer is simple: the sooner, the better!

When Do Businesses Need To Register a Trademark?

Registering a trademark isn’t mandatory. However, it is highly recommended — especially if you plan on expanding your business to other states.

In general, it is best to register a trademark as soon as possible. When you grow your business, whether geographically or by diversifying your products and services, having your business name as a registered trademark ensures broader protection. You can only receive exclusive rights and certain legal protection against intellectual rights infringement if you register your business name as a trademark.

Moreover, if there’s a likelihood of others using similar marks, there may be confusion from your customers, especially on social media and the internet. In some cases, it may even lead to negative press for your brand.

How Long Does It Take To Register a Trademark?

Aside from the legal protections you get from registering your business name as a trademark, there is another reason to do it as soon as possible.

The registration process takes time to finalize. The sooner you file an application, the lower the chances that another company or entity files for a similar mark and complicates the process.

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is the agency responsible for all federal trademark registrations in the country. In general, the entire trademark registration process can take anywhere from 12 to 18 months. That’s a year or more of waiting! Applications submitted now are often only examined months down the line.