Small business tips

How to Trademark Your Oregon Business

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Starting a business in the great state of Oregon? If so, getting a federal trademark can ensure that your company doesn’t face legal troubles, should you expand into other markets.

In this article, we’ll cover the difference between state and federal trademarks, trademark registration, registration forms, state trademark procedures, and more.

Trademarks: State and Federal

According to the Oregon Secretary of State’s Office, a trademark is “Any word, phrase, symbol, design, or combination that identifies and distinguishes one source of goods or services from another.”

Basically, a trademark ensures and protects a business’s intellectual property rights. In the United States, this is done at both the state level and federal level. These two processes are different, and each requires a different procedure.

How to Secure an Oregon Trademark

If you’re doing business in Oregon and expect to stay here, you will want an Oregon trademark.

The first step is to register a business name—the official name your company uses to do business. It’s wise to check the Oregon Active Trademark Database first and type in the name you’re hoping to register. A quick search on the site can ensure that your name hasn’t been taken.

Next you’ll need to determine your business structure. Examples are sole proprietorships, general partnerships, LLCs, and corporations. For more on the different types of businesses, check here.

In Oregon, the cost of filing a trademark application with the Secretary of State’s Office is $50. The submission takes anywhere from five to seven business days. You are not required to have an attorney, and your trademark is effective once filed.

The trademark must be renewed every five years for a $50 renewal fee. Changing ownership or canceling the trademark costs an additional $50.

Correspondent information is changeable for free at any time; however, the description of your trademark is not changeable once filed.

A state trademark doesn’t allow you to use the “®” symbol. Instead, you must use “™” or “℠” for service marks.

How to Secure a Federal Trademark

Registering a federal trademark creates rights throughout the entire United States. If you ever intend to move your business or expand it beyond state lines, this is a good idea. You do not need a state trademark if you have a federal trademark.

Before deciding on your business’s name and the trademark that will cover your IP, check the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s trademark database to ensure no overlap.

Filing a federal trademark can take three to four months. You’ll have an attorney assigned to the application, and the cost for submission is a minimum of $275.

Your trademark won’t be effective upon filing. Rather, it becomes active retroactively once your trademark is approved.

In your filing, you’ll need to describe your business, the service or goods you provide, and the trademark for which you’re claiming ownership. You’ll also need the class designation of your mark.

You must renew federal trademarks every 10 years.

Trademark Your Business Today

Receiving a federal trademark legitimizes your business on a national level. If you don’t intend to expand outside of Oregon, however, a state trademark is probably what you want. Getting a state or federal trademark protects your intellectual property, so don’t wait.

And if you need help, that’s why we’re here. We’re committed to serving Oregon small businesses, helping them to grow and establish themselves in the community.

If you found this helpful, check out upcoming events and workshops from your local Small Business Development Center.

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