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I want to launch my clothing line and website this year and I understand many reccomend getting a trademark registration as I will have a specific brand name on all my products and and logo.

But do I have to get one straight away? I the prices are far too much for me to afford any registration. Is there no free alternatives? Or can I wait til I'm on my feet and earning cash in order to pay for it later on?

Help is much aprreciated thanks :)
 

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But do I have to get one straight away? ...Is there no free alternatives? Or can I wait til I'm on my feet and earning cash in order to pay for it later on?

Help is much aprreciated thanks :)
no. sort of. yes.

As soon as you start using it, it is protected (assuming you created everything about it) whether you registered it or not (hence the "sort of" answer). No need to TM right away. Most people TM after the brand has taken off and are making more $$$.
 

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There are no free alternatives to a federal trademark registration.

It is less expensive to register your trademark at the state level. But that will only protect your trademark within your own state.

I believe what @GN is referring to is common law trademark rights. This doesn't exactly protect your mark, but it does give you limited rights as you use your mark in commerce.

If you can't afford to register your trademark right now, then wait a while. Spend you money on production and marketing. As you start creating cash flow, you will be able to afford the trademark registration.
 

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It depends on what type of protection you want for each mark.
I would like to trademark the business name along with the logo. I know i'm being paranoid but i'm a little hesitant to use my business email until i have trademarked the name so I would like to resolve this asap. And yes, I'm still at the beginning stages.. been researching for only 2 months or so.
 

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The business name should be registered with your state. That is a separate process from a trademark.

If you are using it as a brand name as well, then it is eligible for trademark. The process will take 13-18 months, so don't expect it to happen ASAP. You can start using the mark immediately though. And as you use the mark in commerce, you will gain some common law rights. The official registration is important, but not the only way to prove ownership of your mark.

If you have a separate brand name and logo, it makes sense to register both separately. When you register the brand name, you can apply for a "standard character mark," which grants you broad protection rights to the name itself. When you register the logo, you should apply for a "stylized design mark," which protects the design element of the logo. You can apply for both as one mark, but it will probably fit under the stylized design, which means you will not have the broad protection rights to the name itself.
 

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When using a service like LegalZoom, you need to answer their questionnaire. They use that info to file your trademark application. So if you can give the info to LegalZoom, you can probably file the USPTO application yourself. But if for whatever reason you are really concerned about it, then using the service can be valuable. Especially if you want them to perform a thorough trademark search to make sure there are no existing similar trademarks.
 
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