Brian Russ Law, Inc. provides trademark registration services for clients in all 50 states, including Alabama.
Why Trademarks are Important
A trademark is a word, phrase, logo, or other symbol that distinguishes one company’s goods from those of another. If a business does not have a trademark that is in commerce, it can’t maintain exclusive rights to the mark and will be unable to stop competitors from using it. 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.
When you register your trademark with the USPTO, it generally protects your mark for the entire US, in a specific class and related goods and services. It also puts others on notice that you are using that trademark.
U.S. Trademarks: Why You Should Get Them
Trademarks act as an identifier for goods and services. They are used the same way as a logo. Trademarking is important because it prevents others from using your trademark without consent, giving you higher ground to file a lawsuit against them if they do so.
If you want to protect your brand and know you can win against infringing cases, it’s important that you register your federal trademarks. By registering, you’ll have the ability to sue in federal courts and will be awarded higher damages than if you were suing a case in a state court.
If a trademark is registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, it provides constructive notice to others that your trademark exists. Users of trademarks are expected to conduct a search on the Principal Register before using it. This prevents unintentional infringement, which is still illegal.
Learn Why You need a Trademark Lawyer
A trademark attorney can take the process of registering a trademark from start to finish. They will complete your application, conduct an extensive search for any other similar trademarks, and complete the registration process.
We recommend against clients trying to secure a trademark on their own. These online services use automation and legal counsel is still required if you want quality assurance. These services are awful and drive business our way to clean up the mess.
In this way, we can help you avoid a costly and time consuming mistake. There may be times when you are unsure of your mark, so feel free to contact us. We may advise against it or detailed strategies to navigate the process in a successful manner.
How to Distinguish Between Trademark and Copyright
Trademarking protects a brand name, like a product’s name or the company’s name. It also protects trade and service marks. Trademarks are mainly used for advertising purposes, so consumers will always know who to go to if they want that specific product.
In order to prevent other people from using your work without permission, you should register for a copyright. There are additional protections that come with the registration of a copyright and it is necessary to know the difference between copyrights and trademarks so that your company’s intellectual property rights are adequately protected.
Examples of Trademark Needs in Birmingham, Alabama
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 Homewood, or driving on Interstate 20, 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 Birmingham, 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 Birmingham and Indian Springs Village, like the Birmingham Squadron and the Birmingham Bulls. 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.