Brian Russ Law, Inc. provides trademark registration services for clients in all 50 states, including Florida.
Why Trademarks Make A Difference
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.
To receive exclusive rights to their trademark in commerce and prevent others from using it, they would need to register the mark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Registering a mark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office generally protects a mark for the entire United States in the specific international class and related goods and services. It also puts others on notice that you are using the mark.
The Benefits of Federal U.S. Trademarks
To protect your brand by preventing others from using its trademark without your consent, use a trademark. Trademarking is important because it allows you to file a lawsuit against infringers.
Trademarking your company’s name is important for two reasons. First, it’s easier to win a case against infringers if you have federal trademarks instead of only state trademarks (or only common law trademarks). Second, you can sue for damages in a federal court instead of state court, which means you can get additional damages awarded to you and increased remedies.
One of the benefits is that if you register a trademark on the USPTO Principal Register, the Principal Register gives others constructive notice of your trademark. The USPTO recommends that before using a mark someone should search the Principal Register to prevent unintentional infringement. Because unintentional infringement is still infringing, it shouldn’t be ignored and can be remedied by filing for an opposition.
Expert Advice from a Trademark Attorney
Trademark registration can be complicated and the process requires legal knowledge to navigate. A trademark attorney can help guide you through the process from beginning to end, completing everything from filling out the application to conducting a comprehensive search for any other trademarks that might be similar.
Most of the time we advise our clients against applying for trademarks on their own. Many services exist to manage trademark applications without the help of a lawyer; these services are terrible and drive plenty of business our way.
Our goal is to make your life easier by providing helpful advice on the best customs to put in place. We want to avoid making a mess and allowing you to go right the first time. Sometimes, not applying is acceptable if there is a logo already registered in your mark’s name.
In rare cases, it is necessary not to apply for a trademark if your mark already exists. In some situations, not filing can be accepted if your mark is already registered under somebody else’s application.
What’s the Difference Between Trademark and Copyright
To trademark a company’s name or product, it must be distinctive from all other trademarks. This means that people will know where to buy it and identify the brand when it is advertising. Trademarks are mostly used for advertising purposes so you can find out what products are being sold by legitimate stores who use them.
Copyright ensures that no one can use someone’s work without their permission, but it also gives the creator ownership rights. Sometimes copyrights are granted when registration of a product is completed by a company in order to claim intellectual-property rights for them. It’s important to understand the difference between trademarks and copyrights so your company is protected its intellectual property rights.
Examples of Trademark Needs in Lakeland, 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 Dixieland, or driving on Interstate 4, 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 Lakeland, 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 Lakeland and Highland City, like the Lakeland Magic and the Florida Tropics. 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.