Getting a Blog Name as a Trademark
Interested in becoming a blogger? I’ve had some questions about branding lately and thought that it might be helpful to tackle this topic for our readers. Even if you aren’t trademarking a blog, any trademark can be helpful when creating a new brand.
Trademarks can help to solidify your brand. A growing number of bloggers are turning to trademark laws to protect their blogs. However, it’s important to remember that not all blog names are going to work well for trademarks, and in some cases, it may be a poor use of your time and money.
First, you need to consider whether your blog name is worth the $300 or more for a federal trademark. You must also need to make sure that no one else is using that trademark or one that is too similar to it. If you are able to get past both of these items, then you can start your application process.
Choose a Theory
Trademarking a blog name is still a developing component of patent and trademark law. LegalZoom and other experts work to clarify the laws and develop them further, but the ABA warns that it will be some time before this particular area of law is fully solidified. Currently, you still must choose a theory of trademark law to justify the registration of your trademark. The primary categories you must decide between are the use in commerce and the intent to use.
Complete Another Round of Research
Right before your application, check once more through the Trademark Electronic Application System to make sure that your blog name is not already trademarked. Check similar phrasings as well as alternative spellings. Once you make sure that no one has your blog name trademarked, you can move on to the application itself.
Fill Out the Application
Make sure that you fill out the application completely. Do not leave any of the forms unchecked. You can make your best estimates if you are not certain. If you have already used the trademark on your blog, you must provide the range of dates you have used the trademark for.
One of the trickiest parts of the form is the Identification and Description of Goods/Services. Summarize this in one or two sentences. Use active voice rather than passive voice to save space. Try to be as precise as you can. Avoid using made up words like “scrumbilicious” in the description unless it is part of the name.
Provide a Full Declaration
If you are running the blog on your own and you are not a corporation, you can choose an all purpose declaration. However, if you are a corporation, you must sign a separate one that is more applicable to your business. Make sure that you find the proper one. Also be certain that you sign all of the disclaimers.
Understand the Context of the Disclaimers
When you complete the registration process, you must sign a number of disclaimers. These disclaimers indicate how you can and cannot enforce the trademark laws. You cannot lay total claim to certain words in the trademark such as “blog.” You can prevent people from using it as a proper name or from profiting off the basis of your trademark, but you cannot inhibit the speech of others.Photo: Brookenovak