Brian Russ Law, Inc. provides trademark registration services for clients in all 50 states, including Nebraska.
What is a Trademark and how it helps in Business
A trademark distinguishes a company’s goods and has the power to exclude them from competitors. For example, if someone creates “Happy Days” as the name of their school and starts using it in business, the owner of Happy Days toy store cannot stop them from doing so.
Owning a trademark will make advertising exclusive. If a company wants to prevent other companies from using their trademark, they would need to register with the US Patent and Trademark office. This makes it more difficult for others to copy or use your logo, as it establishes them as an active trademark.
What a Federal U.S. trademark is and its benefits
A trademark is like a logo that identifies the products of one a company. It prevents others from using your product by giving you legal ground to file a lawsuit against them.
Having a federal trademark helps you win cases because it has a clause that allows you to sue in federal court. You can get damages and additional remedies by getting what is allowed by the laws given to you by the government.
The other benefit to registering for a trademark is that it grants others constructive knowledge of your trademark. With a registered trademark, those who use the mark are expected to search the Principal Register. People who conduct such a search may find themselves less likely to unintentionally infringe on other copyrights. Both intentional and unintentional copyright infringement is still considered actionable infringement.
Why you need to contract a trademark attorney instead of doing it yourself
It is not enough to just file a trademark, you need a trademark lawyer to make sure it is registered. Making this process simple and straightforward, the lawyer will register your trademark, search for other similar trademarks that might conflict with yours, and file the paperwork on your behalf.
We always recommend that our clients seek legal advise before applying for a trademark. There are many online services that will take you through the process of applying for a trademark and offer no legal advice. These services can cause major problems and result in lots of work for us to patch things up.
We pride ourselves on making sure you apply for a trademark right the first time, rather than having to deal with legal issues down the line. If you do have to reach out to our office, we can advise which position will give your application more of a chance of final approval.
What is the difference between a registered trademark and copyright?
Trademarking is to protect a company’s identity and show a product at that it belongs to a particular company. Trademarks are mainly used for advertising purposes.
The copyright is a protection for an author or artist, so that no one can use their work without permission. Without registration, copyrights exist regardless. It’s important to know the difference between trademarks and copyrights because not knowing the difference can result in your company’s intellectual property rights not being adequately protected.
Examples of Trademark Needs in Omaha, Nebraska
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 Boys Town, or driving on Highway 680, 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 Omaha, 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 Omaha and Elk Louisville, like the Omaha Storm Chasers. 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.