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Can I trademark that? Yes, but should you?

If you are asking about a word, a phrase, or a symbol that you’re using prominently on your packaging or on your website to identify your goods or services, then, the answer is yes, you can. Something is a trademark when consumers can use it to recognize your goods and services in the marketplace and distinguish them from others. This happens without any legal intervention, simply by virtue of your business and marketing efforts. For this reason, a trademark attorney doesn’t  trademark anything–you do that part.

A trademark doesn’t even have to be a big idea. In fact, ideas are not protected under trademark law. If you name it, then you could probably trademark it, at least with some tweaking and combining of word and design elements.

But, before you go and try to trademark Disney® for hand sanitizer, the next questions is: “Should I trademark this?” To answer this question, you have to consider what rights you hope to build and also what rights of others you may be infringing or encroaching on.

It’s critical to use diligence in considering whether your chosen trademark will be confusingly similar to someone else’s who may have superior rights.  You also have to consider whether your trademark will be strong enough to give you the the right to stop others from using similar trademarks. If you’ve chosen a combination of the words “Tasty Cookies” inside of a star shape for your boxes of cookies, then your trademark rights are probably minimal and best viewed under a microscope.

You might say that, when asking “Can I trademark that?”, there is a simple answer, but a very complicated question. We’re here to help explore what that question means for your business. If you do have a trademark worth protecting and expanding, then seeking federal registration is the most important step you can take to further your goals.