Trademark. What is a Trademark?

A source identifier. It is a word, phrase, slogan, name, design, logo, or a combination of those things. It can also be a sound, a color, a smell, or anything that identifies the source. A trademark identifies the source of goods, and a service mark identifies the source of a service. But in the real world, the two are often just known as trademarks.

Registered Trademark. Trademark Registration.

Registered Trademark.

Registered Trademark. Trademark.

If you are a business owner, a trademark is an essential part of your business.  It is an asset; one to be protected.

A registered trademark is not required for the protection of your valuable logos, designs, and other source identifiers.  However, to have a registered trademark is a smart business judgment decision.  Taking that extra step in the protection of your valuable trademarks will enhance the value of your company and your brand. By registering a trademark with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office, you increase the odds that your business brand will be protected, you legally discourage others from using your trademarks, and you increase your options in the event of trademark infringement.  A U.S. registered trademark will also afford you some additional benefits:

  1. Places the world on notice that you have a registered trademark and therefore rights.
  2. Prevents someone from saying, “I didn’t know that the trademark belonged to someone else.”
  3. You can also use your trademark registration as the basis for acquiring a foreign registration.
  4. Right to sue for trademark infringement in federal court.
  5. Possibly be entitled to statutory damages and attorneys’ fees.
  6. You have the right to affix the registered trademark symbol “®” next to your trademark.

The more valuable your brand, the greater the trust and goodwill you generate.

Branding. Trademarks. Marketing Strategies.

Oftentimes when customers are looking to purchase a product or service, they choose the product or service with a familiar or well known brand. Why? Because they think it’s reliable, and because they remember the brand components, because they’ve been indelibly imprinted on their brains. When it comes down to making a choice between choosing a business with a trademark symbol next to their brand name and a business that does not, they will naturally choose the company that took the time to register their trademark.

A mark that is identifiable, recognizable, and memorable is the foundation of a successful brand.  Not only can a competent trademark registration attorney help you protect that asset, she can advise you on every aspect of the process. Including how to select a mark that can be protected, how to perform a trademark search, the use of the appropriate trademark symbol, which trademark registration form to use if you choose to register (and how to file a trademark application), how to respond to USPTO Office Actions, and how to protect your trademark after it’s registered. What you do AFTER your trademark is registered is as important to the protection of your brand as the steps you take beforehand.

How to Trademark a Name.

The #1 most important step in the trademark process is the identification of a trademark that can be protected. Selecting a distinctive trademark is key, because it makes it easier for you to get your application through the prosecution process.  A competent trademark attorney can assist you in the process of not only filing the application, but choosing a mark that can likely be protected. If you select the right trademark, you can avoid being challenged by competitors or someone with a similar or identical mark and you will have a strong leg to stand on.

The 2nd most important step in the trademark prosecution process is to perform a “thorough” and comprehensive trademark search. If you bypass this most critical step, you risk being challenged by a prior user for likelihood of confusion or at the worst, trademark infringement.

Copyright and Trademark.

Many online business owners confuse trademark registration with copyright registration.  Trademark registration refers to protecting the brand name, color, design, and /or logo of your business, and provides a means to distinguish your product from others in the marketplace. Copyright registration refers to protecting original creative content, such books, articles, blog posts, photos, website content, videos, music, plays, movies, cartoons, and a number of other items. KNOW the difference and KNOW the LAW!

If you need someone to perform a trademark search or if you need help filing a trademark application with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office, email Francine now. or check out the USPTO website.

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