This post will cover:
- Eligibility of cattle brands as registered trademarks
- Benefits of trademark registration
- How to register a cattle brand as a trademark with the US Patent and Trademark Office
Note: This post is a high-level view of trademark basics and is not intended to be legal advice. You should contact a trademark attorney to discuss applying for a registered trademark.
Can I trademark my farm name or cattle brand?
Probably! You will need to meet some basic criteria set out by U.S. trademark law first, though. Here is an overview of the types of trademarks and requirements for each.
There are two types of marks: trademarks and service marks. Trademarks are used in conjunction with goods (like beef, cows, apparel, etc.) and service marks are used in conjunction with services (butchering, beef delivery, cattle transportation, etc.)
In order to apply for a trademark or service mark, the “mark” (either a word or design mark/logo, or both) must be 1) used to indicate the source of goods in interstate commerce.
What is my farm’s “trademark”?
This could range from the brand design you place on your cattle or even just the name of the farm. A trademark attorney can advise you on which to register.
Heartbrand Ranch has taken a similar approach. Their logo is a registered trademark and the heart portion is used as a brand on their cattle.
Do I need to register my trademark?
If you are operating on a level where the farm is a sustainable business, it would be beneficial to consider registration. Benefits of registering a trademark, according to the USPTO:
- Trademark is listed in our database of registered and pending trademarks. This provides public notice to anyone searching for similar trademarks. They will see your trademark, the goods and services on your registration, the date you applied for trademark registration, and the date your trademark registered.
- Legal presumption that you own the trademark and have the right to use it. So, in federal court, your registration certificate proves ownership, eliminating the need for copious amounts of evidence.
- Can use your registration as a basis for filing for trademark protection in foreign countries.
- Right to bring a lawsuit concerning the trademark in federal court.
- May use the federal trademark registration symbol, ®, with your trademark to show that you are registered with us. This may help deter others from using your trademark or one too similar to yours.
- Record your registration with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). They can stop the importation of goods with an infringing trademark.
How to register your brand as a trademark
- Read over the “Trademark Basics” on the USPTO website here: https://www.uspto.gov/trademarks/basics/
- Find a reputable trademark attorney to discuss trademark registration. Keep in mind that it can take 13-18 months to obtain a registered trademark in the United States, pending no issues arise during the registration process. (Source: https://secureyourtrademark.com/blog/how-long-does-it-take-to-get-a-trademark/)