What is a trademark? How do you select a strong one? Is a federal trademark registration really worth it? For your convenience, the USPTO presents Basic Facts About Trademarks, an animated video series that provides all of the basic information you need to know about trademarks. Each video covers a different topic, from easy definitions and examples to more detailed guidance on how to get help with your application.
If you prefer to learn in a lecture-style format, be sure to watch the final video titled Basic Facts: What Every Small Business Should Know Now, Not Later. It covers all of the same topics, but is a simulated presentation featuring reporters from the USPTO's news broadcast-style video series, the Trademark Information Network (TMIN). While the setup is staged for education purposes, the information provided is real.
While these videos provide pertinent suggestions and legal information, they are not considered legal advice. The USPTO may only provide general information about legal advice and the use of an attorney to help you through the application process.
The play buttons below connect you to the videos on the USPTO YouTube channel.
ACCESSIBILITY NOTE: For those viewers requiring closed captioning and audio descriptions, please use the "Enhanced Accessibility Versions" of the videos linked below.
Questions? Please contact TrademarkAssistanceCenter@uspto.gov.
Basic Facts: Trademarks, Patents, and Copyrights
This video provides a quick and easy breakdown of the three main types of intellectual property: trademarks, patents, and copyrights. You'll learn how trademarks differ from domain names and business names. By the end of the video, you'll understand how to use each type of intellectual property to protect a different aspect of your business.
Basic Facts: Selecting a Mark
This video provides guidance on the properties of a strong trademark. You'll learn how a trademark identifies the source of your goods and services, as well as distinguishes them from the goods and services of others. By the end of the video, you'll understand how to select a trademark that is both federally registrable and legally protectable.
Basic Facts: Should I Register?
This video provides an overview of the benefits of federal trademark registration. You'll learn how registration creates nationwide protection for your mark, along with many other rights. By the end of the video, you'll understand why federal registration is so important and how to put people on notice that your mark is registered.
Basic Facts: How Do I Get Help With My Application?
This video explains what the Trademark Office does and does not do. You'll learn whether you need to hire an attorney to help you register your mark or whether you can do it on your own. By the end of the video, you'll understand what kind of assistance is available to you during the application process, as well as factors to consider when deciding whether to hire an attorney to represent you.
Basic Facts: What Every Small Business Should Know Now, Not Later
This video is a must for anyone interested in starting a business to sell a product or offer a service. It highlights the important role of trademarks in that process, including a discussion of how trademarks, patents, copyrights, domain names, and business name registrations all differ. It gives guidelines on how to select the right mark---one that is both federally registrable and legally protectable. It also explains the benefits of federal registration and suggests free and reduced-price resources that can help you with your trademark. By the end of the video, you'll understand why having a trademark component of your business plan is critical to your success.