A trademark is a unique symbol, word, phrase, or design that is used to represent a company’s goods or services. An effective trademark is one that customers instantly recognize as distinguishing the company from its competitors. At SederLaw, we understand the commercial value of a good trademark. We also know how critical it is to your company’s reputation to protect your intellectual property from competitors or others who may attempt to infringe upon it. Our intellectual property attorneys provide comprehensive legal services to owners and those who have been accused of violating another party’s trademark.
What Is A Trademark?
Any word, phrase, symbol, design, or combination of these that identifies your company’s goods or services may be considered a trademark. The point is to help customers readily recognize your business. If used correctly, a customer who sees it should be able to identify your company as the source of a good or service. A successful trademark, therefore, sets your business apart from your competitors.
Is Owning A Trademark The Same As Having It Registered?
From the time you use your trademark in connection with your company’s goods or services, you own it. But your rights are fairly limited unless you take the formal step of registering it with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Federal registration creates a number of enforceable rights. More specifically, registration offers the following benefits:
- Protection against companies or individuals who may infringe upon it
- Nationwide presumed validity
- Helps customers across the country locate you
- Serves as an asset that increases the value of your business
- Opens the door to international trademark protection
How Can an Attorney Help Me?
A skilled intellectual property attorney can provide numerous trademark services. These are just a few of the ways we assist clients with:
If your business doesn’t already have a trademark, we can help you choose one. Trademarks are part of a larger branding strategy, so we review your company’s values and objectives in helping you select a a visual or phrase that truly represents your business. We also assist with screening, which is comparing your desired trademark against others that already exist. Your intellectual property should be unique, which means not easily confused with someone else’s. Also, you want to ensure your desired trademark does not infringe upon another one.
Application and Registration
Once you choose the best trademark for your business, we get to work with the registration process. That means preparing the application and related paperwork to submit to the USPTO. Having an experienced attorney for this step is critical because incorrectly prepared or filed paperwork could jeopardize your rights. Let us take care of this for you.
Maintenance and Renewal
A trademark must be properly maintained by consistently using it in commerce. We advise intellectual property holders on how to ensure they meet this requirement. Additionally, trademarks must be formally renewed at regular intervals to avoid expiration. We keep you apprised of the relevant deadlines and take care of the renewal process.
Your trademark must be rigorously protected against competitors and others who may attempt to infringe upon it. Infringement can take many forms, from someone outright using it on their products and services to deliberately designing one that is misleadingly similar to yours. Our attorneys will take the necessary steps, including litigation, to protect your intellectual property.
Defending Against Infringement Claims
Conversely, you may find yourself having to defend allegations that your trademark infringes on someone else’s. As part of our defense efforts, we appear on behalf of clients before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board and in court if necessary.
We advise trademark holders on the best way to use their intellectual property for maximum value and to ensure the use is consistent with requirements for maintenance. Additionally, we can advise on how business transactions (such as the sale of your business or purchase of another one) may implicate intellectual property matters.
You may wish to license the use of your trademark to a third party. Or, your business may desire to obtain a license to use someone else’s. Either way, we assist with all aspects of the licensing process, including negotiating and drafting licensing agreements.
Web and Domain Name Counseling
The internet is a major forum for intellectual property rights abuses, especially with respect to trademarks. In the event that a website is using your trademark without authorization – including by way of its domain name – there are steps we can take to terminate such misuse and possibly seek damages in litigation.
Contact Our Worcester Trademark Attorney
Trademarks are essential to modern business and have the potential to enhance your company’s market position. Nonetheless, there are constant threats to the rights from rogue competitors and individuals who wish to capitalize on your brand and reputation. Meanwhile, your company could be forced to defend its intellectual property from claims of infringement or misuse.
You deserve a law firm that understands the importance of trademarks and that has a strong grasp of the laws, regulations, and procedures surrounding them. You deserve SederLaw. Contact our dedicated intellectual property team today.
SederLaw helps clients with trademark law in Worcester from their primary office as well as clients throughout MetroWest from their Westborough office.