It's a common misconception that names are patented. While handled by the United States Patent and Trademark Office, the actual process for registering names is called either a trademark or a service mark. Patents are for objects, ideas or processes. The following article walks you through the steps for securing a trademark for your name.
Trademark Vs. Servicemark
Determine what you need. Trademarks are used to differentiate the products a company makes from products made by another company. A service mark is used when a company provides a service and to differentiate that service from what another company provides. However, a name can be either trademarked or service marked, depending on what your needs are. If you have a product to sell, you'll need a trademark. If you are a provider of some kind of service, then you'll need a service mark.
Choosing the Name
Choose the name you'd like to trademark. Make your name memorable and easy to spell, but not a common word. Then, search for a similar name. You'll need to know if the name you've chosen is already trademarked or if something similar exists. You can do a preliminary search yourself to determine if your name is already in use at the United States Patent and Trademark Office website. Make a list of several names in case your first choice is not available.
Determining the Type
Determine your class of service. Trademark application filing fees ranges, depending on the classes of service chosen and the method of filing of the application. These are the things an attorney can help you sort out. The application fee will not be refunded if the application is not approved, so using an attorney is a wise choice.
There are 45 classes of service, which determine where the trademark falls. For example, class 14 refers to jewelry and class 18 refers to leather goods. If you make leather jewelry, an attorney can determine if you need to file in two classes of service.