If you’ve poured your heart and soul into creating an amazing idea, you need to protect it. Working with an intellectual property attorney is your first step in protecting your hard-earned and fought for work.
A trademark is a word, phrase, symbol, logo, and/ or design that identifies and distinguishes the source of goods of one company from another. Google and Volkswagen are examples of trademarks. Owning a trademark allows you to distinguish your goods from the goods of competitors.
It’s important to note that the term “service mark” is often used in conjunction with trademark, but it differs in the fact that it identifies and distinguishes the source of a service rather than goods. Some examples include: brand names, slogans, and logos.
Registering Name Does Not Automatically Mean Name is Trademarked
While use of a business name does not necessarily qualify as trademark, use of a business name as the source of goods or services may qualify it as both a business name and a trademark.
It’s common in most states and local jurisdictions that a business owner must register a business name, either as part of obtaining a certificate to do business or as an assumed name filing. Such is the case when you file for a corporation or limited liability company. During this process, you would select a name for the business entity.
If no other company has already applied for that name in that state, and you comply with all other requirements, the state will issue you a certificate and authorize you to do business under that name. However, a state’s authorization to form a business with a particular name does not inherently mean that you also have trademark rights. For this reason, other parties are able to try to prevent your use of the business name if they believe a likelihood of confusion exists with their current trademark.
One of the main reasons you’ll want to register your trademark is to protect your product from infringement.
Trademark infringement happens when two businesses use confusingly similar trademarks simultaneously. A trademark owner has the legal right to defend their right when confusingly similar uses occur. If a trademark is not defended or protected‚ it can lead to a loss in trademark rights. As such‚ all trademark owners should regularly search for similar uses of their trademark to ensure they are protected. Should a search yield an example of infringement, it’s pertinent that the trademark owner contact a trademark attorney. It’s typically advised that a cease and desist letter be issued.
Trademark infringement actions are typically about the right to use, rather than about money. What that means is that most infringement cases (except in cases involving counterfeiting or willfulness to divert sales) focus on being able to continue using the mark.
Typically, a cease and desist letter is issued. If that letter is ignored, the party issuing the cease and desist letter may choose to file a lawsuit in federal court. This involves the filing of a Complaint by the plaintiff‚ an Answer or motions to dismiss by the defendant‚ discovery such as document requests and depositions‚ dispositive motions‚ and finally trial.
Should your trademark be infringed upon, you’ll want to work with an intellectual property attorney. We prosecute trademark infringement on behalf of clients and also defend clients from trademark infringement lawsuits.
The skilled attorneys at Reilly Intellectual Property Law Firm will help you prepare and submit your work for trademark protection and will help protect you against any possible infringement claims.
Reilly Intellectual Property Law Firm
Reilly Intellectual Property Law Firm provides patent services to protect the inventions that change and shape our world. We handle handles patents, trademarks, copyrights and licensing legal services in Denver. Our experienced attorneys provide strategic guidance, patent counseling and prosecution, new product clearance and licensing, as well as counsel regarding patent enforcement and how to avoid possible infringement issues.
Our patent attorneys actively and aggressively represent plaintiffs and defendants in a wide variety of proceedings before courts both domestically and internationally. We provide solutions that anticipate our client’s need to protect their intellectual property so that their business thrives. We would love to work with you to develop a dynamic strategy that addresses your patent, trademark, copyright, and licensing concerns.