Can One Trademark His or Her Blog Name?

If you are looking to turn your blog into a better online presence, you can greatly benefit from blog name trademark. Successful blogs easily become the target of imitation. Many would want to ride on the success of a blog that is getting a huge amount of subscribers and visitors. Worse, opportunists may try to take away a blog’s name (along with its identity) by registering the trademark for it.

Yes, it’s not going be easy for anyone to just claim a trademark for somebody else’s blog name. They would have to prove that they own it, it is unique, and that it already has a strong reputation. However, they can always find ways to steal what they want to steal. They can insert up to a similar blog and use the target (victim) name. Nothing is impossible for a determined person who takes a position of power or importance illegally or by force.

Should I trademark my blog Name?

You must decide whether your blog is unique enough to empower a trademark and if you think it is, whether a trademark is even available. Maybe Kitty’s Cat Hats will be the first of its kind to register for a trademark. If that’s the case, hooray! You probably won’t have trouble being considered unique. But what if Katy’s Cat Hats is already registered? Maybe your trademark is not unique enough. You can figure out what related trademarks are already registered by searching online, which is discussed in more detail below.

Cost is another factor in determining whether to trademark your blog.  The fee for filing the paperwork with the USPTO, www.uspto.gov, the federal agency that issues trademarks, is, at minimum, $275.  And if you make a mistake in your filing, you lose that money.  For that reason, you may want to hire a trademark attorney to file the paperwork for you.  Some attorneys will file trademarks for a flat rate.  Their services may include searching for competing trademarks, filing the paperwork, and even addressing any objections from the USPTO. Once you’ve been issued a trademark, however, the implementation of it is up to you.  Legal enforcement may require you to hire a lawyer or go to court, which also costs more money.  Yet, the advantage is that someone else is not making money off of your brand.

Reasons to Consider Trademarking Your Blog Name

  • You Can Build Your Brand

As a blogger, your brand is one of your most important assets. Trademarking your blog name allows you to claim and enforce exclusive rights to it. Remember that others can refer to your blog name, but they can’t adopt it as their own. Trademarking your blog name can give you the confidence to invest in your brand and build awareness around your blog name.

  • You Can Gain Control Over Your Online Presence

For bloggers, maintaining an online presence is essential. With a trademark, you can eliminate others from applying your blog name to establish their brands. You can sue infringers who profit from using your blog name.

  • You Can Create a Valuable Business Asset

Many blogs are profitable websites that become available for sale. Trademarking your blog name now could support you build value as you develop your website. An example of this is the TechCrunch blogger, who sold his successful brand to AOL for $25 million. As more people conduct business online, strong blog presences become even more valuable. They also allow bloggers to monetize their brands in new ways. An example of this is the Pioneer Woman, who has applied to register a trademark for additional goods and services related to her brand.

  • You Can Deter Others From Using Your Blog Name

When your trademark is registered, it will appear in a list published by the USPTO. This can deter others from using your blog name as their own.

Reasons to Consider Not Trademarking Your Blog Name

  • Your Blog Is Just a Hobby

If you don’t expect to profit from your website, there’s no need to register a trademark. To be suitable for a trademark, there should be a commercial perspective to your blog.

  • You Don’t Plan to Enforce Your Exclusive Rights

Registering a trademark is just one step of the process. You’ll also need to spend time and resources identifying infringers. If you don’t plan to do this, registering your blog name might not be necessary.

  • It Could Result in Unexpected Legal Battles

Once the trademark examiner approves your trademark, it will appear in the USPTO Official Gazette. After that, third parties have 30 days to file an opposition to your trademark application. These can result in long, expensive cases that can alter your course of business. For example, the owners of the blogs “Honest Toddler” and “Danielle Walker’s Against All Grain” met sudden legal disputes when filing their trademark applications.

The Benefits of Trademarking your Blog Name

With a trademark, ownership comes many advantages. If your blog meets the criteria listed above, it might be time to think about federal trademark registration. You can then understand the many advantages of trademark registration, including:

  • Legal ownership of the mark
  • The ability to pursue legal action against infringers
  • Your trademark will seem in searches, which assists as notice of your rights
  • The strength to restrict imported goods from using your mark
  • An easier way to international trademark rights
  • Use of the ® registered trademark symbol

Trademarking your blog name can also assist you to build brand recognition and establish your brand’s reputation. You will build honesty among your supporters and prospects, and help convince others (especially your competitors) that your content is unique and precious, and shouldn’t be copied or used without your permission.

How to Trademark your Blog Name: Initial steps

The trademark registration process is complicated, but the structure is straight forward. Anyone filing a trademark application will typically need to follow similar steps.

  • Determine whether you need/desire trademark protection.

    The two sections above should assist you in making this decision. Blogs with business or branding elements typically justify a closer look at trademark registration. For personal blogs, it is probably not necessary – unless you achieve significant traffic and people appreciate your name as a brand.

  • Decide whether you should hire a trademark attorney.

    While it is desirable to do so, you do not need to hire a trademark attorney to manage your filing. There are, however, several benefits to doing so. For case, trademark applications filed by an attorney have a 50% higher chance of approval.

  • Identify your mark format. 

    You can register a trademark in three formats: (1) standard characters, as in a name; (2) stylized/designed, as in a logo; or (3) sound. While your wordmark might seem in your logo, you should still file separate trademark applications for each mark.

  • Identify the specific goods or services to which the mark will practice.

    In addition to classifying your mark, you must also classify it among the accepted trademark classes. Depending on the kind of application you file, you might require to identify a very particular set of goods or services that the mark covers.

  • Perform a trademark search.

    You lose time and money if you apply for a trademark that is already taken — or even if your application is confusingly related to an existing mark. Before submitting your application, you must conduct a comprehensive trademark search. This implies more than simply searching the USPTO database for your mark. There are other factors, such as common law trademark rights, that make deep searches a requirement before presenting an application.

  • Determine your basis for filing.

    Existing bloggers will file a “current use” application. This clearly means that the mark is currently in practice in commerce. If you think to launch a blog, particularly if it’s a commercial attempt, and want to trademark the name before opponents can think of it, you can file under “intent to use”. According to the USPTO, this indicates that you “have a bona fide intent to use the mark in commerce; that is, you have more than just an idea but are fewer than market-ready (for example, having a business plan, creating sample products, or performing other initial business activities).” After obtaining approval, you must start using your mark, and prove it to the USPTO, within six months, or else file for an extension.

  • File your application. Once you have performed the above steps, it is time to register your trademark application. If you’ve hired an attorney, he or she will prepare this for you. Otherwise, you can obtain the application on the USPTO website. After you file a trademark application, tolerance is key. Even if everything runs smoothly, it will take at least four months to hear back from the USPTO, and oftentimes the wait is six months. You might require to file additional paperwork at that point, which can extend the process further. But if you file and respond properly to all USPTO correspondence, you should have your trademark benefits within 13-18 months.

Conclusion

If you operate a small personal blog or business website and do not have plans to expand it further, then your creative works are already protected by the copyright. On the other hand, if you are operating business across states and plan to expand further, then it becomes really important to register your trademark and copyright.

TrademarkCart is one such platform to provide hassle-free services to you even after your successful trademark registration. We provide Trademark Registration in IndiaTrademark Registration in the USATrademark Registration in Dubai and many more services.

Our experienced and dedicated experts will provide you with timely and accurate information regarding all your queries. Give us a call at +91 8750008585 and we will guide you in the best possible way.

Related Articles

Trademark Search and Trademark Classification

Salient Features of Indian Trademark Registration Rule, 2017

Exclusionary Rights of a Registered Trademark Owner

 

By | 2019-07-31T13:02:46+00:00 July 31st, 2019|Trademark|

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