Brian Russ Law, Inc. provides trademark registration services for clients in all 50 states, including Illinois.
Why Trademarks are Important
Successful brands use trademarks to differentiate themselves from competitors. If you do not have a trademark, you are unable to stop competitors from using your company name or logo. For example, if someone creates the name “Happy Days” for nursery school and starts using that mark in their businesses, the Happy Days toy store cannot stop them from doing this.
If you want protection for your trademark against others’ usage, register it with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in order to have exclusive rights to it and to prevent others from using it.
What are the Benefits of US Trademarks
Trademarks are used to identify the goods and services that come from a specific company. They help prevent other people from using your trademark without your permission because they protect you more when it comes time to take legal action.
One benefit of federal trademark registration is that you can get additional damages and increased remedies. Moreover, it is easier to win cases against infringers if you have federal trademarks instead of just state trademarks (or common law trademarks).
The USPTO Principal Register provides notice to people who are searching for a trademark. Checking the Principal Register prevents unintentional infringement, which is still actionable.
The Benefits of Using a Trademark Attorney Over Doing it Yourself
You should hire a trademark attorney to make sure your trademark is legally protected. The process of trademark registration can be difficult because there are many steps that need to be taken in order for you to be eligible for protection. A trademark attorney will take care of all the paperwork for you, as well as carry out an extensive search for any previous trademarks that might conflict with yours.
We almost always recommend against our clients trying to secure a trademark on their own. There are many automated services that do an awful job of guiding someone through the process and it often results in bad content for our clients. We like these services because this is where a lot of our business originates.
It’s important to work with a reputable lawyer who will make sure you submit your trademark application the first time. Our office can advise on how best to position one’s application or whether it not to apply at all. Sometimes a trademark application is not necessary if an entity already own the mark.
Compare Trademark and Copyright
Trademarking is when a company uses their trademark to show that they are the manufacturer or product who owns what they are selling. Trademarks also help people choose where to go when looking for a specific product.
Copyright is a protection for an author or artist, meaning that no one can use their work without permission. Though not necessary, copyrights provide additional protection when you register them. Be aware of the difference between trademarks and copyrights to protect your company’s intellectual property rights.
Examples of Trademark Needs in Chicago, Illinois
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 Near North Side, or driving on Interstate 90, 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 Englewood, 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 Bridgeview and Oak Park, like the Chicago Bears and the Chicago Cubs. 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.