When you run a business in California, you usually develop a unique brand. If you want to protect this brand, it is a good idea to establish a trademark. We at Wang IP Law Group, P.C., know it is important for you to understand how you can protect this trademark.
A trademark usually needs to be actively used if you want to protect it. FindLaw says this means you need to offer services associated with your trademarked phrase, idea or logo. It is a good idea to put a symbol behind your trademark so people know you are actively using the phrase or design. If your trademark is not registered, you should typically put TM behind it. If your trademark is registered, an "R" inside a circle should usually follow the trademark.
Sometimes you may have an idea for a logo or product name but still need to develop it. In this situation, you can usually still trademark this name or design. You typically need to register this trademark and specify that you intend to use it for your business. You generally have between six months and three years to begin actively using this trademark.
You may not realize that your business has already trademarked a certain phrase or logo simply by creating it and using it regularly. It is still a good idea to have this trademark registered, though, as this can provide extra protection for your business. It may sometimes be easier to enforce your trademark and maintain it if it is registered. More information about this subject can be found on our webpage.