I have a Trademarked Hallmark, and it is not cheap. It is possible to do it yourself, without a lawyer, but expect headaches and pages of legaleeze to dredge through. Also, there is no part of government in the US that will police trademarks or copyrights for you. Expect to do this yourself. Your trademark is only as secure as your wallet will allow. Even deep pockets like Tiffanys can't stop the knockoffs being sold under their logo, even in department stores like Macy's. This is also why you will see many big name brands being sold at flea markets. It just costs a lot of money to take these scumbags to court and fight them year in and year out on a single case. And, there is no monetary gain from the lawsuits, as most of the counter-fitters don't have money, or declare bankruptcy as soon as they lose.
So that said, mine cost me about a thousand, and I went as cheaply as possible. That is just legal fees to my lawyer, who did it for me cheaply.
Of course as soon as mine was done, I had Chinese repos of some of my designs hitting the flea markets, and since I couldn't afford to hire detectives to trace behind the vendors nor legal fees to pay the lawyers to enforce it, it was a waste of money. So... do what you want. :::sigh:::
As suggested to me by a fairly well known jewelry company, just use your logo. You can even say it's trademarked. It's not legal to do that, but like I said, there's no police department that has jurisdiction over what is and what's not trademarked. So, you're safe unless a big name maker wants to sue you over it, and they'd not gain a thing by doing that. Most of what is labelled trademarked or copyrighted is not actually, for this very reason.
Check into it for yourself. Just don't take the word of a stranger on a forum, lol. But, I'm sure any "honest" lawyer (LOL) would say the same thing.
I am a third year law student working in a small business clinic, and while I cannot give you any sort of legal advice I will warn the use of using legal zoom there are more than a few clients who come into our clinic that waste lots of money that they do not need to waste on legal zoom.
Thanks for the input looks like I won't bother. I'll just use my logo, as suggested. I was looking into getting a FFL at one point and found something similar to the legal zoom, as they wanted money to tell you how to do it or for them to do it.
I'm not really worried about knock offs as my pipes are not great enough to be knocked off. :lol: As I get better at making them, I'll just continue selling them to friends and folks I meet locally.
If you were in a business with a lot of competition in your area, then it would be way more important. For example, if you were a CPA or a plumber it might more imperative to trademark to keep the competition from utilizing any marketing that you may be doing. Like two businesses using the same signage or brochures and such.
I'm going to bet that your the only pipe maker wanting to use your name :wink:
Now I don't exactly remember where I heard this, but I remember something along the lines that if you write out something and mail it to yourself it can help if you get into a legal battle, but other than that I've got nothing other than talk to a lawyer.
As I understand it (and this opinion is worth exactly what you paid for it), you can place a subscript "TM" next to your logo, indicating you claim trademark rights to it. If you use it in trade across state lines, documenting the first use of it in trade (such as an invoice of a product with the logo) can help establish date of first use, which can be very important if you get into a contest with another party over seniority rights. If you want to go further, applying for a registered trademark (allowing you to replace the "TM" with the circle R symbol) through the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO.gov) becomes a required path. That site has a good search feature that can help discover whether the mark is in use or possibly available.