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Choosing a Trademark for an Illinois Business

Posted on in Illinois Small Businesses

b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_1554045272.jpgMany businesses develop a logo or other symbol that they use to help advertise their business. The goal is to create a “brand” that people will recognize as familiar. As business start-up owners focus their efforts on creating a business plan, deciding what advertising techniques to use, and building a website, they often forget the importance of looking into trademark issues before starting to use a brand name or logo for their businesses. This can sometimes lead to legal issues that can be avoided if the business owner works with an Illinois business attorney from the beginning.  

What Is a Trademark

A trademark is a word, phrase, symbol, and/or design, or a combination of these that identifies particular goods. A trademark is often the very thing that distinguishes one company’s products from another company’s products. While many business owners give significant thought and consideration to what trademark to choose, they often fail to realize the importance of choosing a trademark that is both eligible for federal registration and legally defensible.

Every business owner wants to ensure that other businesses or parties cannot simply use their business trademark without permission. This is why the federal registration process and trademark laws were put into place.

Trademark Registration

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) offers a federal registry to help prevent the illegal use of a trademark. You can also run a search through USPTO when choosing a trademark in order to avoid violating any trademark laws and ensure that the trademark that you want to use is not a duplicate of another business’s trademark or too similar to another company brand.

Many states, including the state of Illinois, offer a similar trademark registry. The Illinois Secretary of State, Department of Business Services, Trademark Division, operates the state registry. You also can search the Illinois state database of trademarks in order to avoid using or duplicating the trademark that you would like to use to market your business.

Trademark Restrictions

Legal challenges to a trademark can be costly, lengthy, and ultimately result in your inability to use the trademark that you chose for your business. Therefore, it makes the best business sense to complete state and federal trademark database searches prior to beginning to use the trademark that you have chosen. While this is not a foolproof way to protect your business trademark from legal challenges, it certainly will reduce the potential for lawsuits about your trademark.

Contact an Illinois Business Lawyer for Assistance

If you are starting your own business, there are a myriad of issues you will need to address. Having a skilled Schaumburg, IL business attorney navigating you through this complicated start-up process can help ensure your business will be legally protected. Call The Miller Law Firm, P.C. at 847-995-1205 to schedule a free consultation.

 

Sources:

http://www.ilsos.gov/trademarksearch/

https://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/publications/pdf_publications/tmsm15.pdf

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Illinois State Bar Association LawyerCentral.com

1051 Perimeter Drive, Suite 400
Schaumburg, IL 60173
Phone: (847) 995-1205

Map & Directions