Protecting Your Business And Your IP

Trademark requirements in Texas: A practical guide

On Behalf of | Jul 1, 2024 | Intellectual Property

Securing a trademark is a crucial step for any business or inventor. It safeguards your brand identity and can significantly impact your profits. However, to accomplish all this, you must meet essential requirements for obtaining a trademark in Texas.

Demonstrating use

You must already be using the mark in connection with your goods or products to have common law ownership rights. If you have not used the mark in commerce yet, you can still secure ownership rights by applying to register a trademark on an “intent to use” basis.

Distinctiveness matters

Your trademark must be distinctive. In other words, it should stand out and not be generic or commonplace. A unique mark is more likely to receive approval. Avoid anything too similar to existing registered trademarks, both within Texas and at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

Avoiding confusion

Your mark should not confuse or deceive consumers. Conduct a thorough search to ensure it doesn’t resemble other registered trademarks. Use the USPTO’s database and consult with an intellectual property attorney if needed.

Trademark registration process

If you meet the above requirements, you acquire common law ownership rights in Texas.

However, taking further action to officially register your trademark can be a wise decision. You can register your mark with the Texas Secretary of State or the USPTO, depending on your needs. Generally, this process involves the following:

  1. Research and search: Begin by conducting a comprehensive trademark search to avoid conflicts and hefty costs down the line.
  2. Prepare your application: File an application. Include all necessary details, such as your mark, description of goods/services and your basis for filing (use in commerce or intent to use).
  3. Filing fee: Pay the filing fee, which varies based on the number of classes your mark covers.
  4. Monitor your application: Stay informed about its progress, and respond promptly to any office actions or requests for clarification.

While it is not a requirement, registering a trademark in Texas or internationally is a strategic move that protects your brand and ensures legal validity.

Trademarks are valuable assets that can shape your business success. Protecting your intellectual property rights by using trademarks properly and registering them makes it easier for people to recognize your brand and your business in the marketplace.