Names are important. We give them to things we cherish, like babies, pets, and new businesses (and then there’s those of us who give their cars cute names..). Usually no one gets too excited when an acquaintance gives their kid the same name that you picked for your child. But then again, remember that Sex In The City episode when Charlotte becomes outraged that her friend named her child “Shayla”, which Charlotte intended to give her not-yet-conceived daughter?
For businesses, a name is more than a name, its a brand and the business’ identity and reputation are all tied up in that name. So, its logical that businesses do and should want to do everything they can to protect their name. Top among protection for business and product names, or trademarks, is filing for federal registration of the mark. The Patent and Trademark Office has done a terrific job of streamlining the application procedure and filers can now file for registration online.
While the mechanics of filing the application are not complicated. crafting an accurate description of services\products which does not unduly restrict the scope of coverage can be tricky. For example. an applicant may try to put a broad description of goods in his or her application. only to learn that the Trademark Office will not accept the description without further clarification. On the other hand. however. fiıling an application with a narrow description of goods may unduly limıt the scope of protection. Also keep in mind that broadening amendments to the description are not permitted once the application is filed with the Trademark Office.