How will a Website get Trademarked?


If you’re serious about protecting your brand, registering a trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is one of the most important things you can do. But before we get into that, it’s important to understand the difference between trademarks and copyrights.

Copyright primarily safeguards the rights of those who create literary, theatrical, musical, artistic, and other intellectual works (like history tests, and software code). Trademarks safeguard the use of a company’s name and product names, as well as brand identification (such as logos) and slogans.

Registering a Domain Name

Registering a domain name is definitely an important step, but it’s not the only one. Domain names can be registered with the help of a registrar or web hosting company, who will provide you with a subdomain like “” and control access to that subdomain. You may also choose your own top-level domain (TLD) in addition to this—for example, if you were starting a restaurant chain called “Bob’s Steakhouse,” you might choose to register both and as TLDs under which your website could be found online.

However, registering a domain name doesn’t mean that anyone will recognize it as trademarked: by default, anyone can use any word they want in their TLD without having to obtain permission from the original owner of that word or product first. So if someone else creates another site called “Bob’s Steakhouse” and begins selling meat products for sale through his/her website—thereby creating confusion among consumers about which Bob is actually running each business—he/she won’t necessarily infringe upon any trademarks belonging solely to yours while doing so.

Registering a Trademark with USPTO

The USPTO won’t register your trademark until you’ve started using it. In other words, you can’t just get a trademark and then wait for it to become valuable before putting it to use. You must have already started using the mark in commerce (or have a bona fide intention to do so).

However, there are some situations where you can use the mark before filing an application with the USPTO. For example:

  • You can use your trademark as part of an advertisement that promotes the sale of goods or services related to that trademark.
  • If someone has already begun using your trademark on their own products or services (without permission), then they may be infringing upon your rights as a trademark owner—and could even be guilty of false designation under United States Code 1114(1)(a).

Pre-register your Trademark

You can pre-register your trademark with the USPTO by using the TEAS Plus form or the TEAS Reduced Fee (RF) form. The TEAS Plus form is for trademarks in all classes of goods and services, while the RF version is for those seeking registration of a mark that fits under one of 45 limited categories. For example, if you own a restaurant called “The Red Lion,” you would use one of these two forms to pre-register your name before opening it as a business.

Once your application has been approved by an examiner, it will be published in the Official Gazette (which also includes federal government notices), giving third parties 30 days to oppose your registration on grounds that they have prior rights over it. If no one objects within this timeframe, then congratulations! Your trademark has been granted and will be issued after six months’ elapse from its application date.

Have Priority over Subsequent users of Similar Trademarks

If you are the first entity to use a trademark in commerce, then you have priority over subsequent users of similar trademarks in similar classes of goods and services. If you’re not the first user but another business has applied for trademark registration before yours and is using it, your application will still be accepted by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO).

However, if there is no other business using the same or similar mark ahead of yours then you’ll automatically get priority over everyone else who might want to use it later on.


Your trademark rights are based on actual use in commerce, and registration is just one way to protect them. You can also file for a trademark with the USPTO. This means you’ll need to ensure that your product or service is unique enough that it doesn’t infringe on any existing marks (and this can be difficult even if you’ve never heard of the other mark).

You’ll want to look at how many other trademarks are similar to yours and whether anyone might confuse your brand with theirs. If so, then filing for a trademark may not be worth the effort or money until you’ve established yourself as an industry leader and have some experience with protecting your brand from other companies infringing upon it.


If you have followed the steps above, you should be able to protect your trademark rights by registering with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). However, there are other ways to protect your trademarks.

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