Brian Russ Law, Inc. provides trademark registration services for clients in all 50 states, including Washington.
Why Getting a Trademark is Important
A trademark is used to identify products and it protects a company’s intellectual property. If a business does not have a trademark, the business owner cannot stop other companies from using the name. For example, the Happy Days toy store could not claim that someone from the school is infringing on their trade.
To prevent others from using your trademark, register it with the US Patent and Trademark Office. Registering a mark can protect it in all industries with which the US specializes. It also alerts other people that you are using the trademark.
Brand Protection and Registration of a Federal Trademark
If a person wants to identify that they are giving out goods or services that come from a specific company, they can use trademarks as opposed to using logos. If someone has a trademark and another company starts using it without the consent of the holder, they have greater grounds to file a lawsuit against them.
With federal trademarks, you have better legal protection and are more likely to win in a court of law. You also have the option of suing violators in a federal court.
The USPTO creates constructive notice for trademark protection by registering a trademark on the Principal Register. Doing a search for any confusingly similar trademarks prevents unintentional infringement and willful infringement of another’s rights.
Hiring a Trademark Attorney Can Help Your Business Grow
A lawyer can help you with trademark registration, a difficult process that requires very specific information. Lawyers will conduct an extensive search for any other trademarks that might conflict, and complete the application for you.
We recommend our clients not to try to secure trademarks themselves. There are many online services that help people apply for trademarks, and these services tend to cause a lot of issues. Because these services make it easy for consumers that might not have the know-how, we still manage to get the business to fix their mistakes.
With our advice, you can avoid filing for a trademark and save time not filing. If the mark is a common word, as it often is, we might advise you to use it without registering it with a trademark holder.
What is the difference between a trademark and copyright?
Trademarks are a way to protect a company’s identity and ensure that they will be the place where they can find their product, as well as advertising. Trademarks are mainly used for this purpose.
Copyrights are a protection for the author or artist against people using their work without permission. You need to register a copyright to gain additional intellectual rights, but it is not necessary for them to be registered in order for them to exist.
Examples of Trademark Needs in Spokane, 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 Highland, or driving on Interstate 81, 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, 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 and Millwood, like the Spokane Chiefs and the Spokane Indians. 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.