In the United States, unlike overseas, you get a lot of legal protection right away simply by coming up with a brand name and USING it to sell goods and services. USE is the crucial issue here.
This means that we trademark attorneys spend a lot of time thinking about how to prove that our clients’ trademarks have been used. It’s not as easy as it sounds!
For example, last month the USPTO’s reviewing board rejected a real estate company’s attempt to prove it was using its name. The company submitted digital photos of the front door of its facility where it provided and managed its real estate services:
Not good enough. As experienced trademark attorneys know, the USPTO is persnickety about what proof it will accept to show a trademark is actually in use. In this case, it wanted to see a description of the services being offered, not just a name on a door.