Should You Register Your Business Name?

By , in Trademarks.

Should You Register Your Business Name?

Before knowing whether we can trademark our business name, let us know what is actually meant by trade mark and what the objects that lie within its realms. Generally people have a wrong notion that only symbols and logos can be trade marked. But this is not true. Anything that lends identity to the product, anything that gives a distinctive identity to the product can be trademarked. It can be words, symbols, sound or even fragrance. Trade marks are basically meant to protect the consumers; they have a two fold function. Firstly when a person sees a trade mark, e.g. the swoosh of Nike then he can bet on the authenticity of the product. He can be sure that he is paying for the original brand and not for a duplicate. Secondly a company cannot use a trademark that is similar to a trademark which has been registered. This helps to protect the consumers from unscrupulous businessmen who try to trick the consumer in to believing that they are paying for an authentic brand while in reality they are not. Thus the trade marks help the consumers to identify the original brands and get the right product for the amount that they pay. 

Now, coming to the main question, as to whether we can trade mark our business name or not. Well, you can trade mark your business name, if it forms a main part of your advertising. If you use the name to communicate with the consumers then you can undoubtedly trademark it. A classic example of a company name that has been trademarked is Google. Google is both the name of a company and is used on the service too. All of us are aware of the fact that the name of Google is prominently displayed on its home page. No other website can use this name as this has been trademarked. It is the exclusive right of Google and if any other web sites uses the name Google or even a similar name such as “goggle” or “googgle”, then the original user of the trade mark has a right to file a case against the unlawful use of the trade mark. Google can claim the sum of money, that these unscrupulous companies make using its name or a name similar to that of Google.
Whether you should trade mark your business name or not is an entirely personal decision. If your business name is used in a major part of your promotional effort then it is my advices that you should trade mark it. To trade mark anything you have to apply to the United States patent and trademark office (USPTO). Unlike a patent that has a fixed life, a trade mark continues as long as you pay its renewal fees. In case your company name is not used much in the promotional, activities then there is no point in wasting the money in getting it trademarked.