Brian Russ Law, Inc. provides trademark registration services for clients in all 50 states, including Washington.
Why Trademarks are so Important
A trademark is a distinguishing word, phrase, logo, or symbol that differentiates a company’s goods, both in business and in the marketplace. A company without a registered trademark cannot stop competitors from using the same mark in commerce because they do not have exclusive rights to it.
The trademark can be registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. If a new business decides to use another company’s trademark, they will get strict legal recognition so they can’t continue to sell their products while the other company is already in business.
Why Federal U.S. Trademarks are Beneficial
Trademarks are used to identify a company’s goods and services. It gives companies legal grounds if someone tries to use their trademark without their consent. The owner of the tradmark can sue the trademark user under property law.
You should have federal trademarks for two reasons: 1) it is easier to win a case against infringers if you have a federal trademark instead of only state trademarks (or only common law trademarks). 2) You are able to sue for damages in a federal court instead of state court, which means you may receive additional damages awarded to you and increased remedies.
You can search for a trademark of common terms before using them. Searching for another’s registered trademark in the USPTO Principal Register will give you constructive notice. You can still file suit not intentional infringement if caused by deceptive trade practices directed at consumers.
Why You Should Hire A Trademark Attorney & Avoid Doing It Yourself
It’s not always easy to know your trademark rights, which is why it’s a good idea to hire a lawyer. The process of trademark registration can be tedious, but a lawyer can help take the load off by conducting an extensive search for any other similar trademarks that might conflict with yours. A lawyer will also finish the application for you.
Our general advice is against our clients trying to secure trademarks on their own – and these automated online services have awful electronic processes, but they’re so bad that they actually drive business our way.
If you’d like us to help with your application, contract our office and we can advise you. Sometimes it’s not necessary to apply for a trademark if somebody else already has the same one.
The Nitty-Gritty of Trademark and Copyright
Using the Trademark symbol on products is to show who owns that product. It’s mainly used for advertising purposes, so a person knows where to find a specific product.
A copyright is a protection for an author or artist, which means no one can use their work without permission. However, when the creator registers the copyright, additional protections come with it. Without registering the copyright, anyone can use the content. It’s important to register copyrights so your company’s intellectual property rights are adequately protected.
Examples of Trademark Needs in Spokane Valley, Washington
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 Vera, or driving on Interstate 90, 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 Spokane Valley, 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 Spokane Valley and Irwin, like the Spokane Shock and the USL1 Spokane. 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.