Words, designs, or anything that represents a brand identity or a brand name related to products or services needs to be properly protected. The brand identity usually starts with the primary product’s name or the company name of a service-based company. A brand is developed through use, regardless of your legal assessment of the trademark or service mark you have chosen. That does not mean you have the legal right to use it or that the mark you have chosen even qualifies as a trademark and/or service mark under the law.
There is no statute of limitations as to how long a mark can be used, as long as it is used in commerce and all procedural requirements are followed and maintenance fees paid. As long as all of the technical elements remain in place, a company’s benefit from obtaining legal protection is indefinite. Ovaile Law Group can make sure that the common errors made by individuals who file their own applications are avoided and ensure you are successful in obtaining registration. Your brand represents your reputation. It is imperative that your mark, the symbol of your hard work, is protected. A strong brand allows consumers to quickly and easily distinguish your business from your competitors.
It is in your best interest to register your mark, slogan, logo or other source identifier as soon as it is developed and before you use it. Just because you created it, doesn’t mean it is yours or that your competitors can’t use it. There is a process involved that includes conducting a search in a number of databases that includes the United States Patent and Trademark Office database (“USPTO”). This search ensures that no-one else is already using the mark that can sue you for your use. Searching goes beyond looking at Google® or searching for identical marks on the USPTO website, but instead looks for phonetically similar marks, synonyms, foreign equivalents and all the other variations from your proposed mark that would legally be considered infringing on someone else’s rights.
It can be disappointing to learn that a mark has already been used, but it is a great way to ensure that you do not become the subject of a very expensive lawsuit. You do not want to pay large sums of money to build a business to then find out that you have to change your logo, slogan, or even your brand name. In addition, you don’t want to have to defend yourself in an infringement lawsuit and pay damages because you used a mark that is similar to theirs.
Registering Your Trademark
Ovaile Law Group can register your trademark by filing applications with various offices, including:
+ The USPTO for protection within the United States; and
+ The Madrid Protocol, which is an international trademark registration filing system that allows U.S. applicants to obtain registrations in other member countries.
Trademark protection is border specific, which means you only get protection in the countries or locations that you physically use the mark or have obtained legal protection. Once your trademark is registered, you have automatic protection in each of the places you have applied for. If an individual would use a mark similar to yours, you would have the right to stop their use of the mark. Registration gives you statutory rights that you would not otherwise have. For instance, someone willfully using your mark could be prosecuted and the damages you receive could be three times the amount of the actual damages.
Filing Made Easy
Ovaile Law Group is able to file all of the applications you require so that you can successfully register your trademark. To get started, call 612-326-9733.