No,you do not need either, unless you wish to protect a unique, novel and practical aspect of the chemical composition or you wish to protect your trade-name so nobody else can benefit from your product's goodwill.
I suggest you conduct have an attorney conduct a TM search and if available to present an application to the USPTO.
You may need to check with a products liability attorney as to what do you need to protect yourself from law suits derived from the product. Remember that it is a product that could be used on a variety of scalps and a combination of a particular skin condition with your product may not result in the benefits you and your customer expects.
If you are planning to go into business you should have always an IP attorney on your quick dial pad.
USPTO Registered Patent Attorney, Master of Intellectual Property law, MBA I am neither your attorney, nor my answers or comments in AVVO.com create an attorney-client relationship with you. You may accept or disregard my free advice in AVVO.com at your own risk. I am a Patent Attorney, admitted to the USPTO and to the Florida Bar.
Most recipes of this sort are better protected from soemone else using them by a trade secret treatment than by filing for a patent. No registration needed, but you need to take steps to keep it a secret and should talk with an IP attorney about those steps, and the benefits and limitations of trade secrets ("proprietary information")
Trademark is totally separate from the recipe. IMHO a good, distinctive trademark or brand is key to success in selling this product. You should have both a branding (marketing) expert and a T.M. attorney work together on creating your brand identification.
Who knows what junk is in some shampoos, but people buy them for the cool name, the package colors etc ("trade dress") and logo.
Good luck in your new venture.
Information here is general, does not create a lawyer-client relationship, nor a substitute for consulting with an experienced attorney on the specifics of your situation.
Respectfully, I disagree with Mr. Marcus's answer that trade secret would be the best way to protect your idea, for two reasons: 1) Whether trade secret or a patent is better is heavily factor-dependent and should only be determined after a thorough analysis of all the factors. 2) Something like a hair product composition would most likely be reverse-engineerable relatively easily by hiring a lab to do a chemical analysis, in which case the composition of the product probably wouldn't be protected by trade secret.
As the first answer indicated, you do not need to pursue patent protection to begin selling your product. But, if you want to prevent others from making, selling, using, or importing your recipe, you would file a patent application. Even though you have up to one year after you begin selling the product to file a patent application (under the current law), I strongly advise filing a patent before you begin sales. If doing so is not possible/feasible, then file as soon as it is.
A good intellectual property protection scheme ideally involves a combination of the facets of intellectual property law--for example, you could have some aspects of your product (manufacturing/sales) protected by trade secret, some aspects (composition/method of use) protected by patent, and the branding protected by trademark.
No information provided in this post should be construed or used as legal advice. The material provided here is for informational purposes only. No attorney-client relationship is formed except through an express writing from Jeffrey Parry IP.
Make sure it doesn't harm people. I generally agree with the other answers otherwise.
Many hair products are long chain hydrocarbons and soaps; mixtures rather than reactants. See if what you have is sufficiently new. You may want to read some of my articles on the tax advantages of patent.
Curt Harrington Patent & Tax Law Attorney Certified Tax Specialist by the California Board of Legal Specialization PATENTAX.COM This communication is general information and not legal advice, and does not create an attorney-client relationship. This communication should not be relied upon as any type of legal advice. Please note that no attorney-client relationship exists between the sender and the recipient of this message in the absence of either (1) a signed fee contract and (2) remission of an agreed-upon retainer. Absent such an agreement and retainer, I am not engaged by you as an attorney, nor is any other member of my law firm.
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