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Trademarks And The Protections They Provide

In this article, you will learn:

  • The protections provided by trademarks
  • The types of trademarks
  • What to share with your trademark attorney
  • The importance of selecting a mark

A trademark is one type of intellectual property. It can be a word, a phrase, a design, or even a combination of these, and its purpose is to identify the source of goods or services and distinguish them from other goods or services. The trademark registration protects the trademark owner from other individuals or businesses using its trademark, or something confusingly similar to it, in commerce. This is what is referred to as infringement.

Different Types Of Trademarks And The Process Of Creating And Registering One

In addition to preventing people from infringing, there are some great benefits to federal trademark registration: (1) You can stop the registrations of other identical or confusingly similar trademarks; (2) You could use that federal registration as a basis for filing a trademark in another country; (3) It also gives you the right to bring a lawsuit in federal court and obtain attorney’s fees, which if you do not register, you do not get attorney’s fees; (4) You can also use the small little R symbol, which shows others that you are registered, so it warns people off of infringement; and (5) You can record your registration with the US Custom & Border Protection, and they can stop the importation of goods with an infringing trademark. So, any counterfeits that are coming in with a mark that is infringing on yours, this can stop it at the border.

In the long run, your trademark can become a very valuable asset for your business. I have had a lot of sales transactions where the main asset sold was the trademark of the business. You can also license your trademark and make money that way. In sum, trademarks are very valuable.

How To Know Whether You Need A Patent Trademark And/Or Copyright Protection?

It depends on what you are trying to protect. So, for example, a patent is focused more on protecting an invention, a novelty. If you are trying to protect a photograph or a book, you would need a copyright. A trademark, as I mentioned, is more about protecting a brand, whether it is the business name, logo, or slogan. When it’s a slogan, logo, or a brand name, that’s when you use the trademark.

Different Types Of Trademarks, Changes In The Process Of Creating, And Registering A Trademark

The term “service mark” is used to refer to a mark whether logo or brand, related to service. A trademark is a mark used when you are trying to protect the mark related to a good. However, the word “Trademark” is used generally to encompass both service mark and trademark. The application process is the same for both types of marks.

The Helpful Information And Documentation When Someone First Meets To Discuss Their Trademark Needs

It is important to know what services or goods your mark is, or will be, used to identify. Also, whether the mark is already in use in commerce or if it is going to be used in the future. If it is already in use, we will need the date that the mark was first used in commerce, and that can be a picture of the logo on the actual packaging or a flyer advertising the service to the public. There are different ways to obtain this information, but those are just two examples.

The Importance Of Selecting A Mark Important Their Registrability With The US PTO

Selecting a mark is significant. I always recommend my clients go as original as possible because not every mark is registerable or legally protectable. For example, a trademark will not be registered if it’s nearly descriptive or if it’s primarily geographically descriptive. An example would be if I’m selling coffee and my trademark is “Miami’s best coffee,” that mark is just describing my product, it is not original, and the USPTO will not register it in that case. Government symbols such as flags are not registerable, either. So many people like to put those in their logos, but they are taken out. Vulgar or disparaging words are also not registerable.

For more information on Trademark Law In Florida, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you seek by calling (305) 912-4247 today.

Portalatin Law Firm

Call Now For A Consultation
(305) 912-4247

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