Brian Russ Law, Inc. provides trademark registration services for clients in all 50 states, including Louisiana.
What do Trademarks do for 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 “Happy Days” for a nursery school and starts using it for their businesses, the owner of the Happy Day toy store cannot stop them from doing so.
In order to keep other people from using your trademark, one must register it with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Registration with the USPTO generally protects the mark for a whole country and class of goods, but not services. It also gives notice to others that you are the owner of the trademark.
The Benefits of Acquiring a Federal U.S. Patent for a Trademark
Trademarks are used to identify the goods and services that come only from a specific company, just as some logos are used. Trademarking is important because it prevents others from using your trademark without your consent by giving you greater grounds to file a lawsuit against them, should they do so.
First, a federal trademark is easier to register. Second, registering your brand federally will allow you to win more damages in court and request additional remedies.
Registering a trademark gives others constructive notice about your trademark. Conducting a search on the USPTO Principal Register prevents unintentional infringement, which is still actionable.
What You Need to Know About Trademarks
You should hire a trademark attorney to legally protect your trademark. Along with this, the process can be complicated, so a lawyer can help guide you through the entire process from start to finish. They will file your application and conduct an extensive search for conflicting trademarks at the same time.
We almost always recommend against clients trying to secure a trademark on their own. There are many online services that walk clients through the application process without the advice of legal counsel, and these services are awful and bring business to us after they make mistakes.
Don’t make the same mistake of others, reach out to our office for a consultation about your application and we will advise you on which is the best option for you. We can help you through everything from mistakes in your trademark application or not even requiring one at all.
What is the Difference Between Trademark and Copyright?
A trademark is a symbol demonstrating the company’s ownership of a product. Trademarks are mainly used for advertising as well, because customers will know to make purchases on sites with that specific trademark.
A copyright provides protection to an author or creator, making it so no one can use their work without permission. Copyright protection is given even if not registered, but it also gives additional protection when registered. It is important to know the difference between copyrights and trademarks in order to protect a business’s intellectual property rights effectively.
Examples of Trademark Needs in New Orleans, Louisiana
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 Davis, or driving on Interstate 5, 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 New Orleans, 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 New Orleans and River Ridge, like the New Orleans Saints and the New Orleans Pelicans. 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.