A trademark is a word, phrase, or symbol that represents a brand and helps distinguish it from other brands. To qualify as a trademark, the word, phrase, or symbol must be used in commerce that is “distinctive.” This means that the mark has to be used to distinguish the owner’s products or services from those offered by others. When an owner has successfully proven that their mark is distinctive and has been used in commerce, they have five years to apply for trademark registration. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) does not review or approve trademarks before granting registration.
A trademark does not have to be registered in order to receive protection from infringement. However, registering your mark can help you establish ownership of the mark and prevent others from using it without permission. Registration with the USPTO also allows you to take action against third parties who may be infringing on your trademark rights.
What to Do If You Have Issues with Your Trademark
This San Diego trademark lawyer protects the interests of the business by studying and enforcing the appropriate use of a business’ trademarks, as well as by exploring opportunities for new trademarks. A trademark lawyer does not protect personal interests. Rather, they explore how to get a business and its goods and services recognized by the public through their trademarks.
Trademarks are used to identify specific goods or services, and a trademark lawyer will ensure that the public recognizes that these trademarks are associated with your business. A trademark lawyer will look at how your business is marketed and operated and ensure no confusion among the public about who is producing or providing goods or services.
By protecting intellectual property, lawyers ensure that a brand or business name is not used by unauthorized parties or those who intend to use it illegally. A trademark lawyer can help protect trademarks and give you the legal advice you need to maintain your trademark, preventing others from copying your brand and profiting off it while also protecting your company’s credibility and reputation.
How to Choose a Trademark
Hire a trademark attorney: Choosing a trademark attorney is the first step in protecting your business from potential legal problems. A trademark attorney should be able to help you select a unique name for your company while also providing advice on how you can best keep others from infringing upon it.
There are free services that allow you to conduct preliminary searches for trademarks through the USPTO website, but these are not complete and do not offer the advice or assistance of an attorney. It is best to consult with an attorney who will help you ensure that your trademark won’t conflict with already existing trademarks and will, protect your rights and advise you on what steps you can take to prevent others from infringing upon it.
Consider the strength of the trademark
To avoid infringing on someone else’s registered mark, you should determine whether your proposed mark is distinctive enough to be registered as one that identifies your goods or services. If it sounds like something an ordinary customer would say about the quality, characteristics, ingredients, or origin of your goods or services, it isn’t likely to be registered.
A trademark’s benefits are that it provides someone exclusive rights to use a brand name, sign symbol, or design. Before a trademark is registered, with explicit permission from the owner, that trademark is not protected and may be used by another individual or business.