Brian Russ Law, Inc. provides trademark registration services for clients in all 50 states, including Florida.
The Importance of Trademarks
Trademarks are words, phrases, logos or symbols distinguishing one company’s goods from those of another. If a company has no trademark that is used in commerce, it cannot have exclusive rights to the mark and will not be able to stop competitors from using it. For example, if someone creates the name ‘Happy Days’ for their nursery school and starts using it for their businesses, the owner of the Happy Days toy store cannot stop them from doing so.
In order to ensure exclusive rights, a company would have to file with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. This registration is a way of acknowledging your ownership in the mark, as well as giving notice to any who might still be using that similar mark.
Who Should Apply For Federal U.S. Trademarks
With a trademark, or service mark, a company differentiates their goods and services from the rest. They are the same as the company’s logo and give that company grounds to take action against someone who is infringing on it without their consent.
Trademark registrations are important for two reasons: first, it’s easier to win a case against infringers; second, you can take cases in federal courts instead of state courts and receive an increased amount of damages as well as increased relief.
With a USPTO trademark, you have the opportunity to build up value for your trademark by informing others of it. Conducting trademark searches first allows you to avoid infringement that would otherwise be unintentional. Infringement is still actionable, even if it was accidental.
Avoid Common Mistakes When Trademarking Your Own Brand
In order to protect a mark in the U.S., individuals must file an application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The process can be time-consuming and an attorney can help you through the complexities of the trademarks registration process, from start to finish. You should hire an attorney to complete your trademark application and provide guidance in avoiding other similar marks that could conflict with yours.
We almost always recommend against our clients trying to secure a trademark on their own. There are many, many automated online services that walk folks through the trademark application process without the advice of legal counsel. And, honestly, we kind of love these services because the services are awful and drive a lot of business our way to fix them up.
When it comes to content production, we offer intuitive consultation that teaches you to do it right the first time. So speak to our team and we can advise on positioning your content in a way that will have the greatest impact on readers and engagement.
It is not always necessary to apply for a trademark, and you can decide if your mark is best left unregistered, or to instead let somebody else’s apply.
Trademark vs Copyright
Trademarking is a legal protection for companies to protect their company’s name and/or their product’s name. This technology helps ensure that the customers know that what they’re buying is a piece of property owned by the company and not someone else. This advertisment technique allows people to find products that match what they need quickly.
Copyright is a protection for an author or artist, which means no one can use their work without permission. With the copyright, you own it and if you go through the process of getting a copyright assigned to you, additional protections come with it. It’s important to know the difference between trademarks and copyrights when establishing your company’s intellectual property rights.
Examples of Trademark Needs in Sarasota, Florida
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 Southgate, or driving on Interstate 68, 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 Sarasota, 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 Sarasota and Kensington Park, like the Tampa Bay Rays and the Tampa Bay Lightening. 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.