Brian Russ Law, Inc. provides trademark registration services for clients in all 50 states, including Minnesota.
The Importance of Trademarks and the Ways They Can Help Your Business
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.
The US Patent and Trademark Office lets you register a trademark. If you have exclusive rights to your trademark, anyone who uses it without your permission can be fined and charged for damages.
Find out the Benefits of Receiving a Federal US Trademark
Trademarks are important because they promote the authenticity of your goods, while also giving you grounds to sue if someone is trying to take credit for your work. Using trademarks may also keep your company’s logo relevant and prevent others from changing it without permission.
A federal trademark registration allows you to sue for damages in a federal court, which means you can also receive additional damages. In addition, there are two benefits to filing for a federal trademark. First of all, it’s easier to win cases against infringers if you have federal trademarks instead only state trademarks (or only common law). Second, with a federal trademark registration, you’re able to sue for damages in a federal court rather than state court.
Additionally, by registering your trademark through the USPTO, you will have constructive notice of it. This means that people who use the mark are expected to do a search in the Principal Register first and if they don’t intend to infringe, they are committing unintentional infringement. Unintentional infringement is still actionable.
Why You Should Always Hire A Trademark Attorney & Avoid Doing It Yourself
Working with a trademark attorney will help you have legal protection for your trademark. It can be a confusing process and they can assure that you are well protected with their expertise. They will complete the application form and work to ensure that there aren’t any other trademarks in the same area as yours which might cause conflict.
We never recommend to our clients to try and trademark something on their own – there are many companies that can do this for you and typically, these companies are terrible at what they do. If you get yourself a trademark, we will have to clean up the mess for you when the people providing the service are terrible at it.
Let’s face it, no company wants to make a mess. Reach out to us and we can help you do it right the first time through. You can also avoid generating your own content if somebody else has already registered your mark.
The Difference between Trademark and Copyright
Marks help protect a company’s idea, like the product name or company’s name. Trademarks are used in advertising and are primarily used to show customers that they have ownership over the product they’re selling or brand they own.
Copyright is a protection that makes sure no one can use the work without permission. If you don’t register it, you still have copyright, but with registration you get additional protections. It’s important to know the difference between trademarks and copyrights so that your company is adequately protected
Examples of Trademark Needs in Minneapolis, Minnesota
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 Stillwater, or driving on Interstate 94, 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 Inver Grove Heights, 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 Minneapolis and Mendota Heights, like the Minnesota Mullets and the Minnesota Golden Gophers. 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.