Brian Russ Law, Inc. provides trademark registration services for clients in all 50 states, including Kansas.
What is a Trademark
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 used in commerce, it can’t have 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.
One way to register a trademark is by registering it with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Once registered, people know that you are using that trademark and they will be unable to use it themselves.
Ensuring Your Business Is Protected With Federal U.S. Trademarks
Trademarks or service marks identify a company’s goods and services. They are similar to logos, and often help one company from being mistaken for another. Registering for a trademark at the time of launch is important because it prevents others from using the trademark without the original company’s consent, giving the company greater authority to file against competitors in court.
Having a federal trademark registration is important because it’s easier to win against those who infringe on your copyright. You also don’t need to limit your damages to the state in which you are suing, or the jurisdiction in which you live. Federal courts are more experienced with this issue and offer awards for additional damages as needed.
If a trademark is registered in the USPTO Principal Register, then other users of that trademark must search the USPTO. Doing such prevents unintentional infringement. Even if it’s an innocent mistake, unauthorised use is still punishable.
The Dangers of a DIY Trademark Application
You should consult an intellectual property attorney until you secure a trademark to make sure it’s legally protected. The process can be quite detailed and complicated, which is why you should hire someone who will guide you through the process from start to finish. They will also do an extensive search for other trademarks that might conflict with yours.
We always recommend our clients not to try and secure a trademark on their own. There are many, many automated online services that walk people through the trademark application process without the advice of legal counsel. And frankly, we love these automated services because they drive more business our way to clean up the mistakes made during the process.
We pride ourselves on helping you do it right the first time. Reach out to save yourself unnecessary work.
Trademark vs. Copyright and how they work
Trademarks are mainly used to show customers who owns a product and for advertising because a customer will know where to go if they want that specific product.
Copyright protects the originality of your work because it prevents people from being able to use your content without permission. Copyright protection exists whether you register or not but the extra protections come with registered copyrights. You need to know the difference between trademarks and copyright so that you can protect all of your company’s intellectual property rights.
Examples of Trademark Needs in Kansas City, Kansas
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 Merriam, or driving on Interstate 70, 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 Kansas City, 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 Kansas City and Liberty, like the Kansas City Monarchs and the Kansas City Current. 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.