Anyone who’s planning to start a business or is already running a thriving one knows that to achieve success, they must establish and maintain a brand. A distinctive logo, interesting name, or design of the product that can separate yours from other products on the market is a must. The same goes for the food industry.
To feel certain that you’re on the right track, the key component is to register a trademark for your food product as it will set it apart from the competition and make it recognizable for customers.
Below, we look at the steps you need to take to obtain a food product trademark to protect your brand’s reputation and your product’s qualities.
Defining a Trademark
People have become more curious about organic food trademarks as organic food production has grown popular all around the world. If you’re planning to grow your organic food company, it is crucial to understand what a trademark represents.
A trademark is a name, logo, design, or a certain symbol that is legally protected to represent your business or product, ensuring that no other company is trying to sell a product while using your name or logo. Trademarks are legal tools used to prevent competitors from stealing or using your name, design, or logo to sell their product which can confuse customers and harm your business.
Not only names and logos are trademarked. A person can also trademark other products attributed and if the color, shape, packaging, or another design element of your product is unique, you may have it trademarked too. If you believe that other producers are selling their product, while misleading people into thinking it’s yours, then you can stop this by having the product trademarked.
The Essential Steps of Trademarking
Before obtaining your food product trademark and making sure that the product gets legal protection, there are few steps you need to take. The US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) manages all trademarks, oversees the applications, and keeps records of every company’s registered trademarks.
Step One – Choose A Name
The first step when starting the process of trademark registration is coming up with an appropriate name for your product or company, or both. Since the goal is to successfully market and sell your product, you should come up with an easy but appealing name, not containing generic and overly descriptive terms.
Being original and unique contributes greatly to the business strategy and marketing goal as the name can make a big impact on your consumers and ensures greater legal protection.
Step Two – Conduct A Trademark Search
Once you have selected a name, the next step is to go ahead and conduct comprehensive trademark research, making sure that nobody else is already using the name. Don’t only limit your search to Google and similar search engines as they won’t cut it.
A thorough search means that you’ll be careful and check that there isn’t similar spelling, similar-sounding names, logos, or color schemes that, in USPTO’s view, might cause confusion and mislead the general public.
The USPTO makes some search tools available to the public but they are not always effective and might miss potential conflicting trademarks. Therefore, our best recommendation is that you consult a reliable trademark and patent attorney with access to powerful search tools and who knows exactly how to conduct a fruitful search.
Step Three – Submit Your Trademark Application
After completing the search and being reassured that you have selected the right name, the next step is to submit your trademark application. The application requires relevant details and a description of the product or business that you are bringing to the market. The USPTO demands that you follow its strict procedures and classifications and if you fail to meet them, they’ll send it back to you for corrections and clarification or, even worse, your application can end up being denied.
To prevent this, make sure to work closely with your attorney, fill out the application correctly, and include all necessary elements.
Step Four – Obtaining Trademark Approval
Once you submit a complete application, you have to wait for the USPTO to review and approve it. This takes around six to eight months although it could take longer in case any corrections need to be made.
If all the necessary criteria are met and your application is approved, you’re entitled to full benefits, complete protection of a registered trademark, and rights to your product name, logo, packaging, and design. Although the USPTO grants you your trademark, remember that you’ll have to keep an eye open on the market and ensure that your trademark rights are not violated by someone who wants to imitate or copy your product.
In today’s market, a food product trademark plays a vital role as it helps differentiate your product from other products. It enhances the value, signifies the quality of your product, and offers a competitive edge to the food business.
Choosing a unique name while conducting a thorough search is the most important starting step when submitting your trademark application and obtaining the much-desired approval.
Make sure to follow these steps, and protect your product and position it correctly on the market and in the minds of your prospective customers.