Filing the Trademark
The mechanical process of filing the trademark is simple. You go to the USPTO website and search under the name, phrase or symbol you are trying to protect. They have videos that can explain all this right on the website. You type it in, hit return and hold your breath!
Remember that you are looking for an exact match. There wasn’t a SeaClutch in the system, so I proceeded to the next step, which is to determine how much you must pay at filing. All of these processes are like paying tolls for each step of the process, so after you determine your initial payment you still won’t be done! As a side note, it is interesting how something as mechanical as a trademark filing has social justice worked into the pricing! If you have income below a certain level and haven’t filed more than a few trademark applications, you get a lesser charge. Amazing!
No one filed for the name SeaClutch, so we were good! I was also sure that no one had filed for a stylized mermaid with the S C letters, so we were good there as well. The application was actually very simple and straightforward, although trying to figure out which retail segment that the SeaClutch might fit into was a bit interesting. I finally settled on picture frames as the closest segment.
I realized that I needed to file for two trademarks, one for the Logo itself and one for the name SeaClutch, so I did! Each of the filings cost $225, so the costs of bring the product continued to grow!
As I described earlier, each of the steps is an exercise in what I refer to as “hurry up and wait”. There is a flurry of activity in a specific area, then you wait for an attorney, engineer or someone in the government to do their part. They key is to view the product not as series of sequential activities, but as a series of different work streams to be managed separately. With the trademark filed, it was time to turn back to the product itself.
This particular work stream was taken as far as I could tt until I got word from the USPTO attorney if they would accept my logo and grant us a trademark.
The online showcase was getting visits, we had a provisional patent, the trademarks were filed, now I needed to focus on making sure we had a web presence after we had product!