Brian Russ Law, Inc. provides trademark registration services for clients in all 50 states, including Florida.
The Importance of Trademarks to your Company
A trademark is a word, phrase, logo, or other symbol to distinguish one company’s goods from those of another. If someone has not trademarked their product, they cannot stop competitors from using it because the owner of the mark doesn’t have exclusive rights to it. For example, if someone creates the name Happy Days for their nursery school and starts using it for their business, the owner of the original store cannot stop them from doing so.
To prevent others from using their trademark, they would need to file for protection with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Filing a mark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office generally protects the mark in all 50 states across all international classes of goods and services. It also puts others on notice that you are using the mark.
Benefits of Applying for Federal U.S. Trademarks
Trademarks are used to identify people or products that come from a specific company. They are used the same way someone might use a company logo. Trademarking is important because it allows you to protect your trademark without having to sue them, and use their trademark as grounds for filing a lawsuit against them.
In order to protect yourself from future infringement, it’s important to register your federal trademarks. Federal trademarks provide protection in addition to state and common law trademarks because you can bring a case in federal court for damages alone rather than going to state court where additional damages may be awarded.
A trademark can also protect the original user from unintentional claims. If someone is using your trademark without your permission, you can take action through the USPTO. Conducting a search in that database also protects you from inadvertently using a similar mark.
Trust a Trademark Attorney and Avoid DIY
You should hire a trademark attorney to make sure your trademark is legally protected. The process of trademark registration can be detailed and complicated. A trademark attorney can help guide you through the process from start to finish by completing the application, conducting extensive research and handling any other possible conflicts with other existing trademarks.
We generally recommend against people trying to obtain a trademark on their own. There are tons of online services that walk you through the process but they aren’t very useful and they drive a ton of business to our company to clean up all the messes.
We want our clients to be confident that their trademark application is filed correctly and maybe not even to file the application at all. We can also advise you on how to position your proposed trademark in an application process.
What Are The Main Differences Between Trademarks & Copyright
Trademarks protect a company’s identity, such as their name or the product, so that customers can tell who has made the product. Trademarks are also used for advertising purposes, so that people know where to go if they want to buy the product.
Copyright is a government protection in which your work cannot be used by any third party without your permission. A trademark on the other hand, relates to brand recognition and can describe a variety of things–it doesn’t have anything to do with ownership. It’s important for companies to know the difference so their rights can be adequately protected.
Examples of Trademark Needs in Fort Meyers, Florida
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 Bonita Springs, or driving on Interstate 75, 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 Fort Meyers, 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 Fort Meyers and Cape Coral, like the Florida Everblades. 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.