With the launch of Amazon’s “Brand Registry 2.0”, a lot of questions have come up in our selling community about trademarks, patents and copyrights. We are going to walk you through the basic steps on how to search for a trademark for your Private Label brand. This should help you apply for registration.
What is a Trademark?
A trademark is legal protection applied to intellectual property associated with the brand name, slogan, or logo design of a product.
A patent, on the other hand, is legal protection granted to intellectual property associated with an actual service, device, mechanism, or process.
A copyright is legal protection applied to intellectual property associated with written, spoken, or broadcast media. Photographs, videos, images, books, reports, pamphlets – these copyrighted materials.
Why do you need a Trademark?
Trademarks are an essential part of doing business in the United States (in commerce) and around the world. A trademark is a form of intellectual property protection on a brand for goods and services.
Registering for a Trademark through the United States Patent and Trade Office (uspto.gov) is a four step process.
1. Search for your brand name and/or logo design mark
2. Identify the appropriate international trademark classification code for the goods or services your brand name will apply to. (remember you will have to pay for each classification you want to register your name under separately)
3. Seek out a legal professional who can do walk you through these steps and file on your behalf.
4. Fill out the trademark application form, either through the Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS) or through a “done for you” service such as LegalZoom.com
Next, search for your trademark using variations and combinations to reduce the chance for counterclaims against your application.
Are you not seeing any database entries? If not, then this is a good sign. Be sure to run a cross check using different combinations to rule out any “sound alike” or “look alike” brand names.
After you have done a basic search for your trademark and you have a good case for being able to register the trademark without opposition, you need to determine which International Classification your product falls under. To get a general idea, you can go to this website: http://www.oppedahl.com/trademarks/tmclasses.htm
Also, we have provided a Trademark classification look up spreadsheet that you can download and use to search for your trademark classification:
Because the USPTO will ask what International class number you wish to file your application under. You will need to say something like this:
Goods and Services IC 009. US 021 023 026 036 038. G & S
To cover the following: Cell phone cases; parts and accessories for cell phones, namely, cell phone covers, specialty carrying cases for cell phones; cases for hand-held computing devices; protective covers for hand-held computing devices; eyewear; sunglasses; goggles for sports; ski goggles; snow goggles; computer application software for smart phones and mobile devices, namely, software for social networking, receipt and transmission of data, fitness, and fitness assessments; computer software for fitness and fitness assessments; electronic game discs, interactive game discs; sensors and electronic monitoring devices incorporating microprocessors, digital display, and accelerometers, for detecting, storing, reporting, monitoring, uploading and downloading sport, fitness training, and activity data to the internet, mobile devices, and gaming consoles, and communication with mobile devices, gaming consoles and computers, electronic devices; USB hardware, USB chargers, adapters; USB adapters, pedometers; electronic monitoring devices incorporating indicators that light up and change color based on wearer’s cumulative activity level.
*Always be sure to consult with a trademark attorney when seeking advice about your trademark. This article is for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for legal advice.
About the Author
Kindra Martinenko created her own successful Private Label brand and is now a 6-Figure seller on Amazon and other platforms. She is the CEO of Active Action Brands, LLC – a Digital Marketing company specializing in eCommerce marketing, Amazon listing management, and Business Coaching.