As time passes by, the internet has become more and more important in our lives. It has given us countless opportunities to reach an audience of millions. Today, if you are selling beauty products or pretty much any other product, you do not need a storefront to do so. You can just create a website and offer your goods and/or services to the public with just a click.
A good way to increase your sales and earn client fidelity is to create good content on your website. Many websites include blog sections and articles in which they write about specific topics that are interesting for the public. These types of articles or blog posts help show clients that your business is much more than just selling a product or service; it also shows them that you care about spreading useful information related to your industry. This improves the level of trust towards your business. Nowadays, there are more than 600 million blogs on the internet in the world; and over 3 billion blog posts are published each year (2022, Internet Live Stats).
Let’s say that you happen to be very organized when it comes to personal finance and you have friends who have asked you many times now for your advice on this matter, so you decided to start a blog. You create your blog name and start posting content related to personal finance. However, your blog has taken off faster than you expected and you’re now worried someone might want to copy your content and use it to their own benefit. So, what do you do now?
As a blogger, your written and visual content is protected by copyright law. It’s your original work, and therefore, it is considered intellectual property. Nevertheless, your blog name and logo (if you created one) need additional protection, and this is called a trademark. What exactly is a trademark you might ask?
Defining the word “Trademark”
A trademark represents a word, phrase, symbol, or design (or any combination of these) that distinguishes your goods or services from your competitors. Trademarks are territorial, which means that the rights will only be legally protected in the country where this trademark is registered.
You might also be asking yourself: “Why should I trademark my blog name?” Well, if you’re working hard to provide valuable and unique information for your blog and are profiting from it, why not protect your identity and avoid legal issues down the road?
How to Apply for a Trademark
Before you apply for your blog name as a trademark, you should consider two preliminary issues:
1. Is my trademark unique enough?
With so many trademarks already registered, it can be challenging to create a new one that is truly unique. However, this is a very important factor if you want to make sure your trademark becomes successfully registered.
2. Does someone else already have the same (or similar) trademark registered?
It’s highly recommended that you make sure your trademark doesn’t already exist or that there are ones very similar to your own.
Before filing for your trademark, we definitely recommend ordering a trademark search in the country where you plan to use it or are currently using it. You can do a quick search online which will allow you to rule out the existence of an identical trademark. However, factors other than identical trademarks must be considered:
- First, similar trademarks, due to similarities in pronunciation, meaning, or appearance, can cause confusion and result in a refusal.
- Second, the characteristics of the trademark itself could be a cause for refusal, if the trademark is generic, descriptive, or deceptive, for instance.
This is why we recommend ordering a professional search report, which will allow you to benefit from our attorneys’ expertise with each jurisdiction’s specific rules.
Additionally, in case a search should have negative results (meaning your mark has a low chance of being accepted), the search report will provide suggestions on how to improve your probability of acceptance.
Once you’ve executed both points mentioned above, you’re ready to proceed. You will now need to classify the goods/services for your trademark. Some countries follow the Nice Classification list, others have their own Classification List, such as the USA, for example, for which they use the USPTO masterlist.
Blogs can be classified as services in classes 41 and 42, depending on the exact service you provide. However, this can vary depending on the country you’re filing in. You will need to check the classification lists mentioned above in order to make sure you are correctly classifying your services/products for your trademark. If you are unsure of how to classify your trademark, it’s best to seek a trademark specialist to assist you with your application.
Depending on the country in which you are interested in registering your blog name as a trademark, the timeframes vary. For example:
- In the USA, the trademark registration process takes approximately 12 months.
- In the United Kingdom, it takes approximately 4 months.
- A few countries, such as Benelux and Germany, have the option to apply for your trademark with an accelerated registration process. This can make the process much faster and if your trademark complies with the requirements, it can be registered in as fast as 2 months!
Benefits of Registering your Blog Name
Trademarking your blog name comes with many advantages. Some of them are as follows:
- Legal Ownership of the mark
- Use of the ® registered trademark symbol
- The ability to pursue legal action against infringers
- Brand Recognition
- Gain exclusive rights
Trademarking your blog name can also help you build brand awareness and reputation. This will help build trust and credibility among your followers.
All in all, protecting your blog name is a good decision and can pay off long-term if it is small now but you are planning to monetize in the future.
If you are unsure of how to protect your blog name or need help finding the right classification, contact us anytime!
Author: Solange Rámirez, Trademark Consultant @ iGERENT.com