Brian Russ Law, Inc. provides trademark registration services for clients in all 50 states, including California.
What are Trademarks and What Do They Protect?
If a company does not have a trademark, it cannot stop competitors from using the same mark in business. For example, if there is a company called Happy Days Nursery School and another called, Happy Days Toy store then the toy store cannot stop the nursery school from naming themselves that.
Registering a trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office allows you to create a monopoly for that trademark and prevents others from using it. Registering marks with the USPTO also allows people to know your trademark is being used.
The Benefits of Federal U.S. Trademarks
A trademarked service or product is identified by a specific company, using their name as a logo. Trademarks are important because they prevent businesses from using a similar logo, which can be grounds to file lawsuits in most jurisdictions.
A federal trademark registration is important because it helps the trademark owner win cases with copycats and be awarded damages in federal court. It’s also helpful when suing in federal court.
Registering a trademark on the USPTO Principal Register provides constructive notice and creates a legal presumption of ownership by the registered owner. This prevents unintentional infringement.
How to Hire a Trademark Attorney and Avoid Doing it Yourself
To legally protect your trademark, hire a trademark attorney, who will also work through the entire process from start to finish. The trademark attorney can also conduct extensive searches for any possible conflicts with your mark.
We always recommend against people trying to secure trademarks on their own, as there are many legitimate online services that can walk you through the process without any assistance from legal counsel. Online services are also awful and drive a lot of business our way to fix the issues these services create for us.
Reaching out to our office will ensure you know how to get the best possible chance of a trademark being accepted. Not only that, but we can advise on when it’s best not to bother applying for a trademark at all.
What is the Difference Between Trademark and Copyright?
Trademarking is a process of protecting the company’s right to use their own name and what they sell, like a product’s name. It helps customers know where to go if they want the product that this company sells.
In a copyright, no one can use your work without your permission. The author or artist still owns the copyright. It’s important to know the difference between a trademark and a copyright so that your company has adequate protection for its intellectual property rights.
Examples of Trademark Needs in Sacramento, California
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 Davis, or driving on Interstate 5, 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 Roseville, 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 Sacramento and Elk Grove, like the Sacramento Kings and the Sacramento River Cats. 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.