What You Need in Order to Start the IP Process

So you want to protect your Intellectual Property! Congratulations! The best way to protect the future of your business and illustrate to others that you are serious about your assets is to start filing for IP protection. You might know IP merely as “copyrights” and “trademarks,” but it extends far beyond that. It can be anything from creating inventions to your marketing to, yes, trademarks, which are probably very different from the image you might have in your head.

So how does someone protect their Intellectual Property? How does the whole process start? What do you need to do with the United States Patent and Trademark Office? We’ll be covering the step-by-step process more in the future, but every journey is unique. Instead, right now we’re focusing on what everyone needs to do in order before starting in order to begin their IP Protection process:

Start Off on the Right Foot. Are you dealing with a trademark, a copyright, or a patent? Do you need all three for different aspects of your business? Knowing the difference is essential to knowing where to start.

Do Your Homework. If you want to trademark something, you need to do your homework upfront to ensure that it is not already trademarked by someone else. This can start out as simple as a Google search, and it will save you hours of frustration down the road. Let’s say you just started an apple-picking business. You have the grand idea to call it, simply, “Apple.” If you submitted that to the USPTO without researching it first, you would be laughed out of the room.

That is a funny example because it is a trademark that everyone already knows, but the fact of the matter is that there are just as many trademarks that everyone does not know off the top of their head. Do your homework before applying!

Figure Out What Your Trademark Actually is. Are you trying to trademark your business name, your product’s name, your product’s logo, or all three at the same time? Identifying what your actual trademark is (here’s a hint: it’s not the logo) will allow you to submit what is going to get approved quickest and what you need to properly protect your business’s assets.

Set Yourself Up For Success. Following the process completely and knowing the ins and outs of it helps some people get ahead. Some have had more success filing under their business’s name than their personal name, in terms of getting a faster response. Some have highlighted goods that will incorporate the trademark in order to note their serious attitude about it. Making the right moves will illustrate you understand the process and are dedicated to getting approved at the end of it.

Ask For Help. The secret to all of the steps that you’ve just read is that they are best done with the help of a dedicated Intellectual Property lawyer. The honest truth is that almost everyone who tries to tackle this process by themselves ends up needing a lawyer down the line. This ends up costing much more than it would have to just find a dedicated partner from the start. When you are working with an IP lawyer, they can help you identify your trademarks, search for any existing conflicts, and know how to apply and what to submit in order to set you up for success at the USPTO.

At McDermott IP Law, we believe in truly partnering with our clients and always setting you up for success. We will make sure you are adequately protecting your IP and accomplishing that as efficiently as possible. Contact McDermott IP Law to get started on your IP journey today. Let’s do great work together!

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McDermott IP Law

We are committed to providing professional and authoritative legal advice to our clients. With decades of experience, we deliver sophisticated, cost-effective, and prompt solutions to your Intellectual Property needs.

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