Trademark Preparation, Protection And Prosecution
Trademark Matter Specialists | Trademark Registration Assistance
A trademark or service mark (®, TM, SM) is a legal mechanism that protects brand names and logos used to promote or identify goods and services. A trademark can be a word, phrase, symbol, sound, design, color, or a combination thereof. Trademarks are created to identify the sources of goods or services, and to carry the goodwill associated with the name of those sources. They are legally protected through federal registration (recommended) and common law use.
You And Your Trademark: Federal Registration Protects Your Rights
A statement from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office: “Filing a trademark application at the USPTO starts a legal proceeding that may be complex and will require you to comply with all requirements of the trademark statute and rules. Most applicants hire an attorney who specializes in trademark matters to represent them in the application process and provide legal advice.”
A trademark attorney assures registration will be done correctly. Contact us today!
Trademark Or Service Mark?
A trademark is usually applied to the goods offered by a company. A service mark is generally applied to the services offered. Trademarks and service marks are essentially the same and often are jointly referred to simply as trademarks.
® Or TM/SM?
When your trademark is registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, your product or service lawfully may carry the ® symbol. This is the preferred method of trademark identification because it provides notice that the mark enjoys a federal level of protection.
However, you can establish common law rights simply by using it. Under these circumstances, you should use the symbol TM or SM with your brand name, logo, or service as a sign of limited protection of your mark. You may not use the ® symbol since that symbol indicates federal registration and unregistered use could result in diminished enforceability
What Does The USPTO Say About The Advantages Of Registration?
“Owning a federal trademark registration on the Principal Register provides a number of significant advantages over common law rights alone, including:
- A legal presumption of your ownership of the mark and your exclusive right to use the mark nationwide on or in connection with the goods/services listed in the registration
- Public notice of your claim of ownership of the mark
- Listing in the USPTO’s online databases
- The ability to record the U.S. registration with U.S. Customs and Border Protection to prevent importation of infringing foreign goods (ed. note: “knockoffs”)
- The right to use the federal registration symbol “®”
- The ability to bring an action concerning the mark in federal court
- The use of the U.S. registration as a basis to obtain registration in foreign countries”
Why Hiring A Trademark Attorney From HPK Is A Smart Idea
Right up front, your Hunt Pennington Kumar PLLC trademark attorney can tell you whether your trademark is, in fact, a trademark and whether it is registrable, but not necessarily if you may obtain a registration.
Our attorneys can advise you on what is needed to file for registration. For example, it is necessary to file for registration in color or black & white? An incorrect filing can cause unnecessary loss of rights, costs, and delays. The process of obtaining a registration of your trademark can be complex. You avoid difficulties by using a Hunt Pennington Kumar PLLC attorney.
Our attorneys understand the ins and outs of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s electronic searching and filing systems. Hunt Pennington Kumar PLLC can help you avoid pitfalls of the Trademark Electronic Application System. Delays can occur. Our attorneys understand the procedures and can track your application’s path through the duration of the application and registration process. Approval is not automatic. Our attorneys may need to contact the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board to initiate the process of getting your mark registered.
Do you know that you must file additional Trademark documents after five, six, or even 10 years after registration in order to avoid abandonment? Are you concerned about foreign infringement of your trademark? Ask one of our attorneys for additional help recording your trademark with U.S. Customs and Border Protection in order to keep knockoffs from entering your market.
HPK Is An Accomplished Intellectual Property Firm
You have worked tirelessly to provide your customers with the best quality goods and services possible. Don’t let your competitors enjoy a free ride on your reputation. Protect yourself!
Proper branding along with trademark protection and enforcement serve to help reduce the risk of someone else unfairly profiting from, or even ruining your company’s hard-earned reputation. Let us help you handcraft and implement a trademark strategy that’s customized to your company’s unique combination of needs and goals.
Reach out to our approachable attorneys today for all the queries related to your case. We return calls within 24 hours.
Trademarks And Applications
Branding your products and services is a major investment at the heart of your business. Unknowingly adopting a brand that conflicts with an existing one, or losing your trademarks to opportunistic competitors is a damaging, gut-wrenching experience to be avoided. We can help protect your brands by searching for conflicting trademarks prior to your adopting a brand name or logo, and properly filing and processing federal trademark applications. Following registration, We can assist in the work required to police and maintain your brand, respond to demand letters, and to resolve disputes due to the actions of competitors.
The need for properly developing and protecting your trademark rights, including the filing of a trademark application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office is so important we have devoted an entire section of our website to this subject.
What Is Protected Once A Trademark Has Been Established?
An established trademark protects the trademark owner from others who may try to hitch a ride or damage the goodwill that is associated with that trademark. For example, an entrepreneur may put out a confusingly similar trademark on related goods or services. Secondarily, an established trademark protects consumers from being misled into buying a product or service from an unexpected provider. In other words, trademarks allow consumers to have confidence that the products or services they purchase come from a particular provider. Read more
What Is A Trademark Search? Why Do We Need One?
A trademark clearance search is generally a search of registries, markets, and other avenues of commerce to see if your prospective trademark may be “confusingly similar” to the prior mark. The analysis of what is confusingly similar depends on more than just the mark itself. On the federal level, it is generally determined by the DuPont factors, of which there are 12. By far, the two most important of these to consider are the appearance or presentation of the mark itself, and the goods or services with which it is used. Read more
How Long Is My Trademark Valid For? Does My Trademark Ever Expire?
If properly maintained, a trademark registration may exist indefinitely provided it is continuously being using in commerce in association with the claimed goods and/or services it covers. Trademarks are assumed to be abandoned after three years of consecutive non-use or excusable non-use, but this may be rebutted under certain circumstances. Read more
How Can I Protect My Trademark Or Patent From Being Infringed Upon?
One way to protect a trademark from infringement is to select a strong mark. There is something called the spectrum of distinctiveness in trademark law, which goes from something that is generic (i.e., having no distinctiveness whatsoever), to something that is fanciful (i.e., completely made up and therefore highly distinctive); the more distinctive a mark, the stronger the mark. Read more