How To Trademark A Team Name?

How To Trademark A Team Name?

Table of Contents

Trademarking a team name is an essential step in establishing and protecting your team’s unique identity. Whether you’re forming a sports team, an esports group, or any other collective, securing a trademark ensures that your team name is exclusively yours, preventing others from using it without permission. This not only helps in building a strong brand but also safeguards against potential legal issues and market confusion.

Here’s to learning why and how to trademark a team name.

Why To Trademark A Team Name?

Trademarking a team name is crucial for several reasons, all centered around protecting your brand and ensuring your team’s identity remains exclusive and legally safeguarded.

Trademarking your team name, you gain exclusive rights to use that name in connection with your goods or services. This means no other team can use the same or a confusingly similar name in your market. For example, if the NFL team “Dallas Cowboys” had not trademarked their name, other football teams could potentially use similar names, creating confusion among fans and diluting the brand’s identity.

Trademarking helps protect your brand from misuse or imitation. For instance, the esports team “Team Liquid” has trademarked its name to ensure that no other esports organization can use “Team Liquid” or a similar name, protecting its brand recognition and preventing others from capitalizing on its reputation.

If another entity uses a name similar to your trademarked team name, you have legal grounds to take action against them. This could involve sending a cease and desist letter or filing a lawsuit for trademark infringement. For example, the “Chicago Bulls” trademark allows the NBA team to take legal action against unauthorized use of their name in merchandise, ensuring that only official products carry the team’s name.

Moreover, trademarks can be valuable assets that generate revenue through licensing agreements. For instance, the “Manchester United” football club earns significant revenue by licensing its trademarked name to manufacturers of merchandise and apparel.

Furthermore, a trademarked team name helps prevent confusion among consumers and fans. Imagine if there were multiple basketball teams named “Lakers.” Trademarking the name “Los Angeles Lakers” ensures that fans can easily identify and support the correct team, maintaining brand clarity and loyalty.

How To Trademark A Team Name?

  1. Decide How to File: First, decide how you want to file your trademark application. You can file directly with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), use a legal website that offers trademark services, or seek assistance from an attorney. Each method has its pros and cons. For instance, filing directly might be cost-effective but requires thorough knowledge of the process. Hiring an attorney can provide expert guidance but at a higher cost. For example, if you’re the manager of a new esports team, “Cyber Warriors,” and prefer professional guidance, you might opt to hire an attorney to ensure all aspects of the trademark process are handled correctly.
  2. Review the Current Fee Schedule: The USPTO updates its fee schedule periodically. Reviewing the current fees before submitting your application is crucial to understand the financial requirements. Fees vary depending on the type of application and the number of classes of goods or services you are registering under. For “Cyber Warriors,” you might need to register under multiple classes such as apparel and entertainment services, so it’s essential to check the costs associated with each class.
  3. Search for Similar Trademarks: Conduct a search in the USPTO Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS) to ensure no similar trademarks already exist. This step is vital to avoid potential conflicts and rejection of your application. Before filing, you search TESS and find another team named “Cyber Knights.” To avoid legal issues, you might need to adjust your team name to “Cyber Warriors” and confirm that it’s unique.
  4. Apply to Trademark a Phrase: File your trademark application through the USPTO TEAS portal. Your application should include the following:
    • Statement of Use: A declaration that you are using the team name in commerce.
    • List of Preexisting Examples of Use: Provide examples of how the team name has been used, such as on merchandise or in promotional materials.
    • Drawing of the Trademark: A visual representation of your team name or logo.
    • Specimen of the Trademark: An actual sample showing the trademark in use, like a team jersey or promotional flyer.
    • Filing Fee: Pay the required fee based on the filing option chosen (TEAS Plus, TEAS Reduced Fee, or TEAS Regular).

For “Cyber Warriors,” you include images of your team’s jerseys, screenshots of your website, and flyers from recent competitions in your application.

  1. Use Your Trademark: Until your trademark is officially registered, you can use the TM (trademark) or SM (service mark) symbols to indicate that you are claiming rights to the name. Once the USPTO registers your trademark, you can use the ® symbol to denote its official status.

Once “Cyber Warriors” is registered, you start using the ® symbol on all team merchandise, social media, and marketing materials to indicate the trademarked status.

If you need help with registering a trademark, you can post your question or concern on Trademark Registration Agency marketplace. Trademark Registration Agency accepts only the top 5 percent of lawyers to its site, ensuring you get quality legal assistance from professionals with significant experience, including those who have worked with major companies like Google and Airbnb.

How Much Does It Cost to Trademark a Team Name?

Trademarking a team name involves specific costs, primarily determined by the filing option you choose with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). When filing directly through the USPTO’s Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS), you can select from three main options, each with different fees and requirements:

  1. TEAS Plus: This is the most cost-effective option with a basic filing fee of $250 per class of goods or services. If you need to add additional classes, there is an upfront fee of $125 for each class. TEAS Plus requires you to complete the application with more stringent requirements and to receive further communications via email. If you are trademarking your team name, “Cyber Warriors,” for both apparel and entertainment services, you would pay $250 for the first class and an additional $125 for the second class, totaling $375.
  2. TEAS Reduced Fee (TEAS RF): This option has a basic filing fee of $275 per class of goods or services. It offers a bit more flexibility compared to TEAS Plus, allowing you to pay the $125 fee for additional classes later if needed. You are also required to receive further communications via email. For “Cyber Warriors,” if you initially file under one class with TEAS RF, you would pay $275. If you decide to add another class later, you would incur an additional $125 fee, totaling $400.
  3. TEAS Regular: This option has the highest basic filing fee at $350 per class of goods or services. It provides the most flexibility, including the option to submit further application materials outside of the TEAS system. If you file for “Cyber Warriors” under TEAS Regular for two classes, you would pay $350 for the first class and an additional amount for each subsequent class, making it the most expensive option.

These fees cover the processing of your application by the USPTO, and additional costs may arise if you choose to hire an attorney or use a legal website to assist with the filing process

Why Choose a Legal Website to Trademark Your Team Name?

Choosing a legal website to trademark your team name offers several advantages, making the process more manageable and less stressful. 

  1. Expert Guidance: Legal websites typically have experienced professionals who can guide you through the entire trademark process. They can help you understand complex legal terms, fill out forms correctly, and avoid common pitfalls. This expertise is especially valuable if you’re unfamiliar with trademark law.
  2. Time Efficiency: The trademark application process involves several steps, including conducting a thorough search for existing trademarks and preparing the required documentation. Legal websites streamline this process, saving you time and effort.
  3. Minimize Errors: Filing a trademark application can be complicated, and errors can lead to delays or rejections. Legal websites reduce the risk of mistakes by providing step-by-step assistance and reviewing your application before submission.
  4. Cost-Effective Packages: Many legal websites offer packages that bundle their services at a reasonable price, which can be more cost-effective than hiring an attorney. These packages often include trademark searches, application preparation, and ongoing support.
  5. Ongoing Support: Trademark registration is not a one-time event. Legal websites often provide ongoing support, including monitoring for potential infringements and reminders for renewal deadlines, ensuring your trademark remains protected.
  6. Simplified Communication: Legal websites typically offer user-friendly platforms that make it easy to track the progress of your application and communicate with support staff. This convenience ensures you stay informed throughout the process.

Contact Us:

If you want to learn more about how to trademark your team name, contact Trade Registration Agency today. We can make the process easier for you.