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Why You Should Trademark Your Blog

Today I want to talk to you for a minute about why you should trademark your blog.   It did not occur to me, in the beginning, that owning the federal trademark registration on That Bald Chick would be necessary, or even beneficial for that matter.  I began using the moniker That Bald Chick back in 2010, when I transitioned from to  Despite the fact that I was doing business as (DBA) That Bald Chick from the inception of the new site, another entity threatened to infringe on my right to do that.   I had a decision to make.  I could either let my site and my brand go, or I could do everything in my power to protect it.

Why you should trademark your blog and how I did it @thatbaldchick

I spent a lot of time in prayer to decide how to proceed.  I made the decision to file for a registered trademark for That Bald Chick for several reasons.  First, I’d worked long and hard to establish myself at That Bald Chick on my site and in social media.  I’d secured the @thatbaldchick handle on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.  I didn’t want to give it up.  I wanted to protect my name so that I remained the one and only (and truly lovely) “That Bald Chick.”  Second, I wanted to establish exclusive rights to my name- after all, I used it first and it is a source of income for my family.  Third, I wanted to prevent confusion should other entities use the same/similar name.  Finally, I wanted to protect the reputation and integrity of my brand.

Flashback->>> that bald chick illustration<— That was my first That Bald Chick illustration.


In doing my research before applying for the trademark, I understood that I COULD establish rights in a mark based on it’s legitimate use without registering it, HOWEVER, owning the federal trademark registration on the Principal Register would provide protection for me and my brand.  My blog had become an important component of my personal brand.

I also understood that owning a domain name and owning a trademark are not the same thing.  The use of a domain name only as part of a web address does not qualify as source-indicating trademark use, and even if you register a domain name with your domain registrar, you could later be forced to surrender your domain if it infringes on someone else’s trademark rights.  Merely purchasing a domain name does not give you any trademark rights.  You have to use that domain name and moniker in the course of business and be able to prove it.  It basically boiled down to this… If your site is just a family journal and you have no intention of ever using it for business, you don’t really need to file for a trademark.  If your site has become a source of income OR YOU INTEND IT TO, you should seriously consider filing for the registered trademark.  Since my site had become a source of income for my family, owning the registered trademark would be advantageous.

As part of my research, I did a preliminary search using the United States Patent and Trademark Office Trademark Electronic Search System to ensure that the trademark was available and to prevent receiving a registration refusal due to a likelihood of confusion.  I did my preliminary search and determined that there weren’t any prior pending applications that would prevent me from receiving the trademark.  Now came the tough part.  Hubs and I discussed whether or not we should attempt to file on our own ($275 if we did it right) or should we hire an attorney to file for us (anywhere from $600-$1000).  We decided to attempt to file on our own and hire someone later if needed.  While that could end up more expensive than just hiring an attorney in the first place, if we really messed things up, it could also save us a ton if we did it ourselves successfully.

Once we decided to move ahead,  went to the USPTO site to file the TEAS Plus Form.  We were fairly certain that we could submit a thorough and complete application, but we realized that trademark applications involve a nonrefundable fee.   Within the application, we had to make several decisions.

  1. We had to decide which format to file for.  You can file a trademark in three formats: (1) standard characters, i.e. your name; (2) stylized/designed., i.e. your logo; or (3) sound.  My main focus was the name at that point, so we went for standard characters.
  2. We also had to identify the precise goods or services to which the mark will apply.  In other words, how were we using it.  We chose International Class 035: Advertising and marketing services provided by means of indirect methods of marketing communications, namely, social media, search engine marketing, inquiry marketing, internet marketing, mobile marketing, blogging and other forms of passive, sharable or viral communications channels.
  3. We had to decide whether to list as DBA That Bald Chick or as Trading As That Bald Chick.  We chose DBA because I didn’t really think the definition of trading really fit.
  4. We had to choose what to submit as the “specimen” supporting our current use in commerce application.  We chose to submit a screen shot of the post of me announcing the transition from to  The screen shot included the sidebar ads that I run. <–wrong decision, see more on that in a minute.

We filed the initial application on May 18, 2013.  Then we waited.  And waited. And waited some more.

We received notice on September 10, 2013 of a USPTO OFFICE ACTION which stated “Substitute Specimen Required.”  The notice stated “The specimen does not show the applied-for mark in use in commerce in connection with any of the services specified in the application, and therefore is not acceptable.  Specifically, the specimen is merely a screen shot of applicant’s website with advertisements on the side.  It does not show that the applicant is offering advertising services.”

What can I say.  We were busy.  We had a new baby.  So, in December I called the examining attorney at the number that was listed on the Office Action to ask a few questions.  She stated that I needed to submit a new specimen that specifically showed proof that I offer advertising services on my site.  After a few more questions, I decided it would be best to submit my site media kit as the specimen, since it offered advertorials and included my fee schedule.

I submitted that on December 4, 2013.   Then I waited.  And waited.  And waited some more.

On January 22, 2014 I received Notification Of Notice of Publication, which basically states they will publish your trademark application in the Official Gazette and gives you the date that it will be published.  Mine was set to be published on February 11, 2014.  Then I waited.  And waited.  And waited some more.

Finally, on April 29, 2014 my trademark registration was completed and on May 2nd I received this bad boy…

That Bald Chick Registered Trademark

Insert operatic aria here.

Now that I have the Registered Trademark in hand, I can legally use the ® symbol when using That Bald Chick® .

Did you catch that?  That Bald Chick ® <– looks so good, doesn’t it?

Incidentall, once you apply for your trademark, you can use the ™ symbol, which is used for an unregistered trademark.  Only after you officially own the registered trademark can you us the ® symbol! Once you have the right to use it, make sure you rock that R-ball for the world to see!

I’ve had several bloggers ask me how I filed for my trademark, so I thought I’d share how I filed (and why you should trademark your blog) in hopes that it might save you some time and headache.  While we chose to file ourselves after doing all our own research, you can also use LegalZoom or hire a trademark attorney.

Need more help?

Patents, Copyrights and Trademarks For DummiesPatents, Copyrights and Trademarks For Dummies


Please note, this post is for information purposes only.  It is not legal advice.  I am not a lawyer.  If you need real legal advice, please hire a real lawyer.  That Bald Chick® is not responsible for delayed or rejected trademark applications filed by anyone using the methods I used myself.

This site uses affiliate links. See Disclosure. All Opinions are My Own
About Virginia

Hi there! My name is Virginia, and I am the author/owner of That Bald Chick. I am a Christian, wife, mother of three, full time homemaker, homeschooler, and ministry volunteer in addition to being a blogger. In my free time *cough* I enjoy reading, writing, taking walks with my family, and listening to music.


  1. You make a really good point here. As much as we baby these sites, we should protect our online-offspring!

  2. Great info – I never thought about doing this. I will check into it.

  3. Thanks for the information. I did not know there was a difference between owning and trademarking a blog. I really need to look into this and appreciate this post so much! Pinning for later-

  4. I have actually toyed with trademarking my blog, but I don’t have an extra $1000 to spend on it right now.

  5. Thank you for sharing this and well done to you.I honestly never thought of this but it is a very good idea especially how hard we work on our blogs it will all be for nothing if we do not protect it.

  6. Interesting info. Never thought about it much but you raise some great points.

  7. I’ve thought about & wanted to do this for a long time, but since my name, Change-Diapers, is sort of generic, I’m not sure that I could, kwim? Hmm…

  8. Congrats on getting the trademark for your name. I’m sure many don’t realize that it is an important step in protecting your brand!

  9. Great information. I’ve been considering a trademark too.

  10. Thanks for the info! I should probably trademark my blog too.

  11. This is something I never thought of and is something I definitely need to do once I get everything really going. Thanks for the information!

  12. Really important information. Thank you for taking the time to share the step by step on how to make it happen. Also great reminder to those unsure if they need one or could qualify for one.

  13. I had not even considered trademarking my blog name and you have brought up so many great points. Thanks for this post. I’m bookmarking it and have already checked my name on the trademark site!

  14. Congrats! That R really does look awesome behind your name 😉 I’m going to have to talk to the hubs about doing this for my blog.

  15. Wow, this is VERY interesting. It never occured to me to trademark my blog. This is really giving me something to think about.

  16. What an informative article for all of us bloggers! I do want to have mine legally registered soon (its the money ughh) but I know its necessary! Seems like a long process but worth it! Almost a year though? I am going to save this blog and revisit it when I am ready thanks!

  17. Angela S says:

    This is something I have been thinking about doing for my own site, and you just helped me to finalize that decision.

  18. Awesome!! I never knew anything about how this worked. Thank ou for sharing!

  19. This is such a thorough and helpful guide to follow. Thank you so much! I’ll be using it!

  20. Trademarking something that you created is very important, never know what can happen if you don’t. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

  21. I’ve definitely heard this over and over. I really need to kick this into gear for my own blog

  22. After what you went through, I do not BLAME you for doing this. And I’m so thrilled you shared how you did it, too, because I’ve been thinking a lot about doing mine, too.

    • Thanks, Lisa. It was an ordeal, but see how I played nice? I can’t wait until you’re rocking that R-ball, too! ® will look so good on you!

  23. Congrats love, now help me do mines!! lol

  24. This is really great information to have on hand. Thank you so much for sharing – and yes, it does give you more klout!!

  25. This is really helpful info on a topic that is overwhelming for me! It’s definitely something I need to look into further to protect myself.

  26. thanks for posting, this is great information. This is something that ill being in the near future.

  27. This just sealed the deal for me. I had been thinking about it but this convinced me.

  28. Thank you for typing it all up and giving us directions. I’ve thought about doing it, but I haven’t. And, it’s not too pricey to do it on your own.

  29. Sounds kind of spendy, but I’m sure the $1000 is worth it! Thanks for sharing how you did it!

  30. This is really helpful. I pinned this because I have a new site I’m launching soon and I need this info!

  31. I’m book marking this post so I can come back to it later. I’ve been meaning to do this for a while now. Glad to know it’s so easy. Congrats on getting your blog trademarked!

  32. I really want to TM, but I think I’d have to do so in Canada and the US, and it’s a huge expense. I appreciate this post, I know where to go if I have questions!

  33. Great tips! I trademarked through Legal Zoo I’m lazy. HA! Best thing I did for my business was my Trademark and DBA.

  34. I had been considering trademarking my blog, I had been worried about the price though. Being a stay at home mom, I don’t make much money at all. Thank you for the tips! Love your blog!

  35. I think it’s important to protect your brand. Thanks for sharing this.

  36. Wow, what great info. This is all so interesting to me. I actually think about changing my blog name every other day, so I wouldn’t want to trademark until I stop being a spaz about that. lol

  37. I LOVE that you posted it. I am going to save up and then trademark SensiblySara!

  38. I thought about it… but trademarking RUNNING in front of my name RACHEL seems silly. If I had a clever name like yours… I would totally trademark it 😉

  39. Thanks so much for sharing! I definitely want to trademark my blogs in the near future. Thanks for sharing your tips. Congrats on the trademark!

  40. VERY cool! I have been meaning to stop by and read this post since you shared it the other day- glad I finally got to it! now, do you HAVE to use the (r) all the time (I know you WANT TO!) but I wondered if you HAVE to?

  41. I never thought about this now you have me thinking for sure. Congrats to you

  42. I love your site name! Great advice too. 🙂

  43. Great tips! This is helpful, it’s something I’ve been considering lately.

  44. What a superb detailed post on how to get things done. Thanks for all the great information.

  45. This is something I have considered doing this myself, the cost holds me back. Good for you! Maybe I will do it in the future.

  46. You are amazing! Thank you for sharing this. My friend and I have been talking a lot about trademarking our site names. This is such a big help!

  47. This is SO true! I am SO glad that I trade marked my blogs!

  48. I’m so happy you wrote this post. What a great lot of information to process, and helpful info. too!

  49. I’ve been thinking about trademarking my blog and I just have’t done it yet. So thank you for this post because I know now that I need to get this started ASAP!! Thanks so much for sharing.

  50. Great post! I had heard a bit about trademarking your blog before, but I wasn’t sure why- or how- I should do it.

  51. Great info, Virginia. I really appreciate your putting it all together so well for us!

  52. Interesting. I’m DBA and I’m fine with it. Hubby is an IP attorney and says having a federal TM registration only matters if you have to enforce it against somebody. I’ll stick with common law for now.

  53. Great informative post! I think I need to file one for me.

  54. I wonder if I could trademark my site name…part of the problem is is not for sale – I tried.

  55. Wow! Congrats first of all. this is so informative and I should really look into doing this. It sounds like along process but well worth it

  56. You have great points. And easy
    To follow instructions. Thank you!

  57. Very interesting and something I have never thought of. Thank you for sharing!!

  58. Maria Oller says:

    wow great points all.I seriously never thought about it, but makes a lot of sense, thanks for bringing it to my attention. I just bookmarked your post.

  59. Oh my goodness, I have never ever thought of trademarking my blog. Sounds like such a great idea now that you have brought it up. Thanks so much!

  60. Thanks for sharing! I’ve wondered about this but it seemed so confusing. Thanks for sharing your process.

  61. Thank you so much for the information. I was talking with a couple bloggers about the trademark process the other day. I think more and more are thinking about it.

  62. That is really cool. I never even thought to do a Trademark. I was impressed I thought to go for a LLC, which I haven’t done yet

  63. This is great information. I really should look into it. It seems like a lot to pay but well worth it to protect our own brands. Congrats!

  64. I really need to do this and on the surface it seems so simple, but I think I’d get caught in the same place you did, and the initial specimen would be rejected, BUT I don’t have a media kit (ten years in, you’d think I would!) yet in order to provide that specimen. It still seems like such a daunting task when I look at the forms involved.

  65. I defiantly need to trademark my site. I think taking any and all legal actions to protect your intellectual property is a smart idea.

  66. Great info. Thanks so much for sharing your experience.

  67. I’m wondering. If you have two domains I’m guessing that you need two different trademarks?

  68. This is a great how to! It will be very helpful to anyone considering doing this on their own!

  69. I’ve been through the trademark process with a lawyer. It’s a pain, but totally worth it to protect your business investment.

  70. Thanks for this! I’ve been waiting for your tips! We have been talking to a lawyer about this and just got quoted $1500 when all was said and done! Crazy!

  71. Great information. I’ve thought of trademarking my site as well but it always seemed so overwhelming.

  72. Pretty cool!! Thank you for all this information!!

  73. Great points, this is very well organized and put together! It must have been awesome moment when the ‘”official” paperwork finally arrived. Congrats!

  74. i toss this idea back and forth. I wonder how long i’m going to continue blogging and think if it’s worth it still

  75. I’m so glad you put it all out there in a post because I was planning to send you a message to ask! Thank you!!

  76. Thank you for posting all this info. Such an interesting endeavor…. considering how far the internet has come since we were all kids. I am interested but still not sure I am at that place yet.

  77. Congrats!! We arent quite ready for it, but thank you so much for this info!

  78. Super interesting! My husband is a lawyer and he has often suggested that I take the time to make this happen, but since it’s not “necessary” I’ve pushed it off.

  79. Yes! Trademark your blog!! It’s so important! It’s a great way to protect yourself and your hard work!

  80. Thank you so much for this. It is so important to protect your rights!

  81. I have thought about it for many years, thank you for putting all the information out there for us and I love seeing a picture of your trademark. 🙂

  82. Thanks for the info! There is so much to do as you start up a blog….it’s easy to forget about things like trademark.

  83. This is some really great information, thank you so much for sharing your journey with us. And, Congratulations!

  84. It does look good next to your blog name! I keep meaning to do this and need to get on it, too. I also keep meaning to get the legal rights to my tagline etc. Thank you so much for sharing this post with me/us; it was a really great read. Congrats!!

  85. Thanks so much for this article. This information is so helpful and something all bloggers could use.

  86. This is actually quite a big step! Congratulations!

  87. Great info! I’m in the beginning stages of trademarking right now. Can’t wait until it’s done!

  88. Well you know how I feel about it! I am anxiously awaiting after your advice and help.

  89. It is important to trademark the creative names that are used in blogs and social media. If there is a source of income, it is worth the investment to protect all you have.

  90. This is really interesting because I had no idea how the whole process worked. It’s definitely something I want to do.

  91. I need it to do this. I’m just a sole prop.

  92. I have never thought about someone taking my name and then having to rebrand. ugh that would be horrible! Thanks for the info.

  93. This is valuable information. Thank you so much for sharing it with us because I have been curious about this topic a lot lately.

  94. I love your blog!! Thank you for sharing this information;)