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411 on TM (trademarks)

Updated: Jan 14, 2019

AL Harvey Professional Law Corporation Trademark Law

What is a trademark?

A trademark is a word, phrase, symbol, and/or design that identifies and distinguishes the source of the goods of one party from those of others.

What is a service mark?

A service mark is a word, phrase, symbol, and/or design that identifies and distinguishes the source of a service rather than goods. Some examples include: brand names, slogans, and logos. The term "trademark" is often used in a general sense to refer to both trademarks and service marks.

Why should I use a trademark attorney instead of a service?

When you use an attorney to search and register your trademark you will receive a detailed search of the mark with analysis about whether there  is a likelihood of confusion between your mark and another mark that is already registered.  Unlike with a service this analysis will help you determine if  you want to proceed or if you need to change your mark.  During the registration submission portion, an attorney who has education and experience in trademarks will assist you in determining the correct classification of the mark so that your mark has less of a chance to be rejected for registration by  the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). 

Do I HAVE to register my mark?

Registration of a mark is not required, but it is highly recommended if you  want to protect your brand and your use of the mark. While you can establish a common law right to the mark based solely on your use of the mark in commerce, registration has many benefits. One is the legal presumption of your ownership nationwide.  Another benefit is the notice to the public of your claim to the mark.  further the registration will give you the exclusive right to use the mark on or in connection with the goods and services set forth in the registration. 

I've already registered my business with the secretary of state's office and purchased my domain, don't I already own the mark? 

No. Registration is the only way you have legal protection for use of the mark.  Registering your business with the Secretary of State's office doesn't provide any protection.  Having the domain also doesn't provide you with legal protection.  Registration with the USPTO is the only way you have the protected legal right to the mark.

Isn't using an attorney way more expensive?

No. When you use a service instead of an attorney it can end up being much more expensive.  If you don't properly identify the right class, or description, or your mark is identified as similar to the mark, goods or services of another you will have to work through a lengthy and expensive process, probably with an attorney, to correct that problem.  When you use a service they don't help you  identify these problems prior to submitting your registration.  

Our firm offers flat fee fixed pricing.  That means you know what your fees will be up front.  There is no question about how  much you will pay for the search and registration.  Using our firm will provide you with the knowledge you will need to determine if you should submit the mark or whether you should change it.  You will be provided with an analysis of whether you should anticipate any issues.  All of which provides you with peace of mind - something we think is priceless. 

How Do I Get Started?

Just set up a free initial consultation with our firm by clicking on this link.

We can't wait to help you!

This blog and the website is made available by both the lawyer or law firm publisher is for educational purposes and only to give you general information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice. By using this blog and/or website you understand that there is no attorney-client relationship between you and the publisher of the blog and/or website. The blog and/or website should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state.


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