Brian Russ Law, Inc. provides trademark registration services for clients in all 50 states, including Georgia.
Example of Trademark Needs in Alpharetta, Georgia
A lot of people ask us, ‘Why do I need a trademark for my business?’ And the simple answer to that is your businesses name, logo, and branding are inherently valuable. You want to ensure that you’ve protected your business as your brand’s value grows and continues to appreciate over time. For example, if you’re in Alpharetta, or driving on Highway 120, you’ve probably seen tons of billboards for corporations and mom-and-pop shops alike. And they’ve all got a certain feel to them, their branding. And that branding is valuable. You want to make sure that if you start a shop in Johns Creek, that somebody two states over isn’t going to steal your idea and name and do the same business.
A great example I love to use is professional sports teams. Their need to have a protected brand name, logo, slogan, and such is invaluable because so much of their team’s value is wrapped up in their identity. There are lots of sports teams, but for fans, there’s always ‘my team’. Think about the teams near Duluth and Holly Springs, like the Atlanta United FC and the Atlanta Crackers. You can probably picture their logo in your mind, and you know that nobody else is using their names and logos to promote a professional sports team.
How Trademarks Play a Role in Success
A trademark is a word, phrase, logo, or other symbol that distinguishes one company’s goods from those of another. A business that does not have a unique trademark used in commerce cannot exclusively use the mark and will be unable to stop competitors from using it themselves. For example, if someone creates the name ‘Happy Days’ for a nursery school and starts using it for their businesses, the owner of the Happy Days toy store cannot stop them from doing so.
If you want exclusive rights to your trademark and prevent others from using it, you need to register it with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Registering a mark with the USPTO generally protects it in the entire United States in the relevant class of goods and services.
Why You Need a U.S. Federal Trademark
Trademarks are used to identify products and services that come from a specific company. They differ from logos because they cannot be confused with them. Trademarking is important because when other people infringe on it, you can sue them and gain the rights to keep your trademark.
Having a federal trademark registration can be useful because it’s easier to win a lawsuit and you can get additional damages. The registration also means your case will be judged in a federal court instead of state court, potentially leading to increased remedies.
Registering a trademark on the USPTO allows for constructive notice of your trademark, even if you haven’t registered it with them. This lets other people know that they are not to use your trademark because it is already taken, but it doesn’t stop someone from unintentionally infringing. There needs to be some kind of registration done in order to register an infringement claim against someone else.
Learn Why You Need to Hire a Trademark Attorney
You should hire a trademark attorney to make sure your trademark is legally protected. The process of trademark registration can be a complicated one, so it can be helpful to have an expert on hand for the duration. They will help you through the steps, as well as perform any necessary searches to make sure your trademark is untainted and/or dissimilar from others in circulation.
We almost always recommend against our clients trying to secure a trademark on their own. However, there are many automated services that walks folks though the process without the advice of a legal counsel and we kind of like them because they create more business for us, who fix the mess that is created as a result.
At our office, we pride ourselves on providing quality work for companies. We help you figure out the best way to position your trademark application, or not even file at all if it’s already registered by somebody else.
What is the Difference Between a Trademark and a Copyright?
It’s common for a company to trademark their name or product names so customers know who they can go to when looking for that product. This is mostly used for advertising purposes, to let people know where they can purchase the company’s products.
Copyright is a protection for authors or artists which means no one can use their work without permission, but the creator still owns it. Copyright exists whether registered or not, but additional protections come with the registration. You must know the difference between copyrights and trademarks so your company’s intellectual property rights are adequately protected.