Brian Russ Law, Inc. provides trademark registration services for clients in all 50 states, including Virginia.
What Goes into a Trademark?
It is important to have a trademark to identify your goods. If you do not have a trademark, you will not have rights over that mark and competitors can use it. For example, if someone creates the name “Happy Days” for a nursery school and starts using it for their business, the owner of the Happy Days toy store cannot stop them from doing so.
Companies need to trademark their mark in order to prevent other businesses from using it. Registering means that you have exclusive rights to the specific goods and services that are related.
Advantages of Trademarks in Federal Law
Trademarks protect the manufacturer of a product, either by the logo or a distinctive name. Trademarking can be used when you want to stop someone else from using your product without your approval.
If a company has federal trademarks, it’s easier to win against infringers. They can also sue in federal court and be awarded damages that are not awarded by state courts.
You can also search for other brands with the same name, or you can use a different trademark to avoid infringing on another’s.
When You Should Consider Hiring A Trademark Attorney
To protect your trademark, you should hire a lawyer. The process might be complicated and detailed. The lawyer will help guide you through the process from start to finish. A trademark attorney will complete the application for you, as well as conduct an extensive search for any other similar trademarks that might conflict with yours.
We recommend against clients trying to secure trademarks on their own. Many online services walk through the trademark application process without legal counsel, and we kind of love these services because they are awful and increase business because of this.
We pride ourselves on not making a mess and helping you do it right the first time. We can help you figure out how to best position your trademark or not even apply for one if another person is using that same mark.
What is the Difference Between Trademark and Copyright?
A company’s trademark is used to protect their brand – like the company’s name or product name. A trademark is also mainly used for advertising purposes, so someone looking for that specific product knows where to look. Trademarking protects a company when they are selling their products.
When creating a copyrighted work, the author retains ownership of it and no one may use it without permission. However, there is a difference between copyright protections and trademarks. The latter are used to identify the trade name or product of a company in the marketplace and have additional legal benefits for protection.
Examples of Trademark Needs in Richmond, Virginia
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 Wakefield, or driving on Highway 301, 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 Richmond, 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 Richmond and Bon Air, like the Richmond Spiders and the Richmond Flying Squirrels. 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.