Brian Russ Law, Inc. provides trademark registration services for clients in all 50 states, including Virginia.
Learn How to Protect Your Business with Trademarks
If a company does not have a trademark that is used in commerce, they are unable to stop competitors from using the mark and will not be able to have exclusive rights. For example- if someone creates a name like “Happy Days” for a nursery school, the owner of Happy Days toy store would be unable to stop them.
To protect their trademark from being used by another company, a company should register it with the USPTMO. The USPTMO gives registrants exclusive rights to the trademarks in commerce for specific goods and services. It also asserts notice about the user of said trademark.
Learn the Benefits of Federal U.S. Trademarks
Trademarks are used to identify goods and services, like a logo. By trademarking, you better protect yourself against others who try to use your trademark without consent.
A federal trademark registration can be 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 additional remedies and penalties can be awarded.
The other benefit of registering a trademark is that, if placed on Principal Register, you give others constructive notice. Registering marks allow others to search the list. If they use it and are unintentionally infringing, they’re still liable for the infringement.
Importance of Going to a Professional Trademark Attorney
You should hire a trademark attorney to make sure that your trademark is legally protected. The process of trademark registration can be detailed and complicated, and a trademark attorney can help guide you through the process from start to finish. They will conduct an extensive search for any similar trademarks that might conflict with yours.
We advise our clients to avoid seeking a trademark law on their own. There are many easy online tools that walk users through the trademark process without legal counsel. These services are helpful because they are so awful, and bring more business our way to fix them up.
When you’re applying with us, don’t worry about mistakes or making a mess. You’ll get to keep all the proceeds of your application and there will be no messy confusion when it’s time to apply for a trademark on someone else’s mark.
Why Trademarks are Different from Copyrights
Trademarking, which protects a brand’s identity and name, is also mainly used for advertising purposes. A trademark allows customers to know who to go to for a specific product or service.
A copyright protects an author or artist and prevents others from using their work without permission, but the creator still owns it. A registered copyright provides more protections, which is important for companies with intellectual property. It’s important to know the difference between copyrights and trademarks so your company’s own intellectual property is protected.
Examples of Trademark Needs in Norfolk, 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 Carrollton, or driving on Interstate 64, 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 Norfolk, 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 Norfolk and Smithfield, like the Norfolk Admirals and the Old Dominion Monarchs. 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.