Securing Your Game Studio Brand
So you want to use a team name or whatever and verify that it's not taken? Great, then continue reading.
Before we get started I have to say that I'm not an attorney and that you should speak with yours or even if you don't have one go speak with one anyway. They do consultations for free! *mind = blown*
This guide is structured for US teams/businesses but can be applied to anywhere by using the trademark/business search for said country.
- Head on over to USPTO search and start searching your team name. For example say your team is Iron Codeworks, just go start searching it.
While this is an indication that Iron Codeworks is not being used (which most likely it isn't) we might as well treat this as it's not for sake of this guide.
- Now we need to verify that the name Iron Codeworks isn't being used in your state as a business or DBA. You can do a quick global search by using OpenCorporates, but you should still do a search on your secretary of state website. OpenCorporates pulls that data from the SOS site, but just to verify you should use the SOS site also. Just google "Your state business search" and do a search. If the name Iron Codeworks isn't registered anywhere as an LLC (Ltd, GmbH, etc) or an Inc then you can register it whenever you feel the need. The sooner the better. 😉
- Go to namechk.com and do a search for your team name. Sometimes the site bugs out and shows domains as available, but when you search on your registrar (mine is Namecheap) they are registered. So give the name a search on your registrar also.
So ironcodeworks.com/.net/.org are all available for registration.
- Once you're sure that the trademark isn't taken and the domains are available, you should go and register the social media accounts. Make sure to get the main ones first such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Reddit. Then go and work on registering the others if you plan on using those sites. Make sure you don't forget the MOST important one - GitHub. <3 lol
- If you need a logo then get one made. After you get a logo you should start worrying about trademarking it and your brand. This is an expensive and long process so only do it if you're serious about the name. I was told a while back that you're allowed to put the ™ symbol on your names or logos to let people know that you're planning or are currently working on getting a trademark for that name/logo etc. Take this with a pinch of salt as I'm not an attorney.
- You're basically done now.
ALWAYS SPEAK WITH AN ATTORNEY WHEN DOING LEGAL STUFF. THEY WILL SAVE YOU A TON OF MONEY IF YOU DO SOMETHING WRONG.
Don't let my disclaimer from stopping you from registering a domain and some social media. I'm mainly talking about registering a company as that should be only done after you get some legal advice etc.
until next time