A business that follows these six steps will be on its way to having a strong brand. 1. Choose a great name – start with a strong foundation, a name that is creative in the industry. 2. Clearance search – conduct a proper and thorough search before committing to the name. 3. Apply to register at the USPTO – apply for trademark registration as early as possible. 4. Market and use brand prominently – use the brand in a manner that stands apart from other text and wording; use the proper trademark symbol: SM, TM, or ®. 5. Enforce when necessary – enforce trademark rights against infringers. 6. Properly maintain USPTO registration – docket renewal deadlines and ensure that registrations are renewed; lapse create unnecessary expenses and risks.

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