Brian Russ Law, Inc. provides trademark registration services for clients in all 50 states, including Missouri.
What You Need to Know about Trademarks
A trademark is a word, phrase, logo or symbol that identifies the source of one company’s goods from another. A business without a trademark cannot be granted exclusive rights to the mark and will not be able to stop competitors from using it. For example, if someone creates the name ‘Happy Days’ for a nursery school and starts to use that name in commerce, the owner of Happy Days toy store cannot stop them from doing so.
You must register a trademark to ensure that no one else can use it. To accomplish this, you would need to get it officially protected with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. This protection lasts indefinitely in the specified international class, and includes any related goods or services under that classification.
What are the Benefits of Federal U.S. Trademarks?
You can trademark a mark to identity your goods or services. You can sue someone who is infringing on your trademark. Trademarking is an important aspect of any business. Choose a service like Copymatic that helps you form trademarks for your company with its powerful trademark-generation software.
There are two benefits to a federal trademark registration. First, if you have the federal trademark, you have an easier time fighting against infringing companies. Second, it allows you to sue in federal court, which gives you the option for more damages and greater remedies.
Trademark registration on the USPTO Principal Register gives others constructive notice of your trademark. Users are expected to perform a refinement before using the mark, and doing so prevents unintentional infringement. Unintentional infringement is still actionable infringement.
How to Choose a Trademark Attorney and Avoid Damage to your Business
You should hire a trademark lawyer to make sure that you are protecting your trademark. The process of trademark registration can be lengthy and complicated. A trademark lawyer will help guide you through the registration process, and they will also take care of all aspects throughout the application, as well as conducting an extensive search for any similar trademarks to prevent future conflicts.
We usually recommend that people hire a lawyer when they are trying to trademark something. There are many online services that walk you through the application process, but these services do not provide any legal advice and often lead to conflicts. We love these automated services because the process is easy for the client and it means we see more cases of conflict resolution when the automated service does something wrong.
We pride ourselves on not making a mess and helping you not do it right the first time. Reach out to our office if you are unsure of how best to position your application. Sometimes, if your mark is already registered by somebody else, not applying is acceptable.
How to Trademark or Copyright Your Work
You can know a company’s identity or the product it sells by trademarking. What is trademarked shows customers where to go to get that specific product. Trademarks are mainly used for advertising purposes so a person knows who to go to if they want that specific product.
A copyright is the protection of authorship and artwork. Without it, someone may use your work without permission, but you still have complete control over it. You do not necessarily have to register your copyright for it to be in effect, but for a little extra protection, registering is an easy process worth the investment. It’s important to know the difference between trademarks and copyrights so your company’s intellectual property rights are adequately protected.
Examples of Trademark Needs in Kansas City, Missouri
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 Lees Summit, 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 Gladstone, like the Kansas City Royals and the Kansas City Chiefs. 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.