Types of Trademarks

Do you need to register your trademark but are not sure which type of trademark you need to register? If so, this article is for you!

Types of Trademarks

Are you at the point where you feel that you are ready to register the trademark of your company, nonprofit, product or service? Or maybe you are in the beginning stages of launching your own company or product? In either case, if you are not sure about the various “types of trademarks” – have no fear. Our goal is that you will be more familiar with the different types of trademarks after reading this article.

There are several different types of trademarks that you can use to legally protect your business, nonprofit, product or service. There are rules that govern each type of trademarks and the rules vary. The good news is that most of them all have to follow a few basic principles.

The first thing that you need to know is that your trademark serves the important purpose of helping your customers or the public know who you are or recognize your product, service, business, or nonprofit easily. Here are just a few of the different “types of trademarks” that exist and how you can use these to create a trademark that you can use to build and grow your brand:

  1. Word Marks: This is a type of trademark that is made up of words or a combination of numbers and words. For example, HP or CNN would be examples of word marks. This type of trademark (word mark) could consist of one or two words, for instance, COCA-COLA or simply one word, Microsoft. A word mark is usually registered in a standard typeface. This means that if you have a logo that accompanies your word mark, you will need to apply to register it within a separate application.
  2. Shape marks/logos: Shape marks are trademarks made up of a shapes or logos in combination with words. Shape marks also include word marks designed with a specific font, which could be black and white or in color.
  3. Collective mark: This is a type of mark, logo, word, phrase, symbol, label, or other marks used by members of a group, business, or company to recognize goods, members, products and services they make. Collective marks are frequently used to confirm membership in a union, organization, or other associations. The use of a collective mark is limited to mark the group itself.
  4. Certification marks: The certification mark is a specific type of trademark which offers a guarantee (certifies) that the products, business, or services bearing the mark meet a certain defined standard or has a particular attribute. Here ,the owner of the mark will define those standards or attributes. These types of marks are mostly registered in the name of trade associations, government departments, or similar bodies.
  5. Three-dimensional trademarks: This type of trademark is used when a particular product or its packaging has a specific shape. For instance, most perfume or liquor bottles have a specific shape used to recognize them. The shape of a particular container must be obviously different from what is common in the market among competitors.

If you would like to discuss your trademark, call us for a free consultation at 1-800-254-6140. We have a 100% success rate with our filings. Disclaimer: Past results do not determine future outcomes.

Everything You Need to Know about Trademark Renewal

Trademark Renewal

In order to maintain your trademark once it has been registered with the federal government, you will need to renew it regularly. One of the easiest ways to lose the rights that you have worked so hard to acquire through your trademark is to fail to renew your trademark.

What is the Renewal Process?

Trademark renewal is simply the act of undergoing the renewal process in order to keep your trademark registration updated with the federal government.

When Do You Need to Renew Your Trademark?

  • First Filing Deadline: You must file a Declaration of Use (or Excusable Nonuse) between the 5th and 6th years after the registration date. See 15 U.S.C. §§1058, 1141k. If the declaration is accepted, the registration will continue in force for the remainder of the ten-year period, calculated from the registration date, unless cancelled by an order of the Commissioner for Trademarks or a federal court.
  • Second Filing Deadline: You must file a Declaration of Use (or Excusable Nonuse) and an Application for Renewal between the 9th and 10th years after the registration date.*See 15 U.S.C. §1059.

Requirements in Successive Ten-Year Periods*

What and When to File:

  • You must file a Declaration of Use (or Excusable Nonuse) and an Application for Renewal between every 9th and l0th-year period, calculated from the registration date.*

The renewal can be paid by any person and the renewal of registration does not have a limit.

Why is Renewal Important?

Renewal is very important because it allows the federal government to make sure the information they have on file for the trademark owner is accurate.

It also allows the government to know if you are still continuously using your trademark in commerce – or if you have abandoned your legal rights.

What Happens When Trademark Is Not Renewed?

When your trademark registration time has elapsed and your registration expires, you will no longer be legally entitled to the benefits associated with federal trademark registration.

How Do I Know I Have Renewed My Trademark Registration?

You might be wondering how you know if your request has been renewed. The trademark office will provide you with written confirmation that your renewal registration has been accepted.

The attorney at our office has made Trademark Registration Renewals an easy and flexible process. This is a solution that provides you skilled support when you need it alongside the following benefits that the trademark attorney at our office can help you with:

  • Protection
  • Efficiency
  • Cost effective
  • Flexibility

If you would like to discuss your trademark, call us for a free consultation at 1-800-254-6140. We have a 100% success rate with our filings. Disclaimer: Past results do not determine future outcomes.

 

What is a Trademark?

If you have ever wondered what a trademark actually is – this article should help to clear things up.

Trademarks are usually among the most essential and valuable assets of a business, brand, product, service, nonprofit or a company.

Why? Because trademarks allow the general public to identify goods or services in the marketplace. The more your customers or clients are able to know that your goods and services belong to you – the more likely they are to purchase from you. In the business world, the goodwill of a company which is largely be influenced by the strength of a company or brand’s trademark and reputation in the marketplace has actual value when it comes to determining the overall worth or valuation of a business.

So what exactly are trademarks? Trademarks are simply defined as a slogan, logo, or combination of characters or words that will uniquely identify your product, service, business or company. Trademarks help familiarize products and services to customers and/or clients. They also set products and services apart in the midst of their fellow competitors. Trademarks also give the owner the legal right to opposed any unauthorized use of the mark.

The primary purpose of a trademark is to help the community to recognize the goods or services as originating from a particular company or business as well as being associated with a particular product or service.

Does a trademark, copyright, and patent protect the same thing?

The answer is NO. Each of them protect different things.

A trademark normally protects names, logos, or slogans used for goods and services.

Copyrights protect the exclusivity of creative, dramatic, literary or musical work.

Patents protect an innovation or discovery.

For instance, if you invent a new kind of electric cooker, you would apply for a patent to protect your invention. You would apply to register a trademark to own the name, logo and slogan of the electric cooker. You might register a copyright for the TV commercial that you use to market the electric cooker.

 

5 Ways to Protect Your Trademark

Have you ever been curious as to what you need to do to protect your trademark both before and after you have it registered? Well, hopefully this article will answer that question as we will share “5 Ways to Protect Your Trademark”

Overview

Your rights are protected through Federal Registration, Maintenance, Renewal, Inspection, and Enforcing Your Rights. If you implement these protective measures, in conjunction with proper use of your mark, you will help preserve the ability of your marks to indicate the source of a product or service to consumers.

  1. Federal Registration:

    Registration gives a party or business the right to use the mark nationwide, subject to the limitations. Registration constitutes nationwide constructive notice to others that the trademark is owned by the party. Registration enables a party or business to bring an intrusion suit in federal court. Registration allows a party or business to potentially recover treble damages, attorney’s fees, and other remedies. After five years, your registered trademark can be considered “incontestable.” This means that you have the exclusive right to use the mark and this right is conclusively established.

  2. Maintenance:

Now that we understand how to protect our trademark rights through registration, let’s learn about maintenance. You must maintain the actual mark (company name, logo or slogan) by using it properly and being diligent. The main thing that you need to do to maintain your trademark is to always keep in mind the main purpose of your trademark. Remember, marks identify the source or origin of products and services. If your trademark is not serving this purpose, it is no longer recognized as a mark. Instead, the law views it as a generic term. You can avoid this from happening by continuing to maintain your mark and use it in connection with identifying your products or services.

       3.  Renewal:

It is important to renewal your registration timely. Once your registration is approved, you are given a certain period of time before you will need to renew your registration. Otherwise, it may be canceled by the government. Contact our trademark attorney for information on how to know when it is time for you to renew your trademark.

          4. Inspection:

Many trademark owners list their most important marks with a trademark “inspection service”. Inspection services notify trademark owners if someone attempts to register a trademark that conflicts with their mark. This notice is important because it lets them file their opposition to the registration within the requisite time period. Receiving these notifications are helpful so that you do not find yourself attempting to grow your business only to realize that someone else has already registered your trademark in a competing market. This outcome might have been avoided if a trademark inspection were in place.

      5. Enforcing Your Rights:

Trademark enforcement consists of pursuing adverse users. An adverse user of a trademark can be defined as someone who uses a trademark without the permission of the registered owner. It can also be defined as someone that uses a trademark in a less than proper manner. Enforcing your rights means that when you are made aware of infringements, you immediately contact your trademark attorney and have them legally provide notice to the adverse user to stop infringing or wrongfully using the trademark.

These are 5 ways you can legally protect your trademark. If you have more questions or need the assistance of a qualified trademark attorney, please feel free to contact us. Our consultations are always free.

What does a trademark protect?

If you have been hearing people talk about the importance of “trademark protection” for your business or nonprofit, but you don’t seem to understand what that means, don’t worry. Our trademark attorney is here to help you understand with another great article called “What does a trademark protect”.

What does a trademark protect?

If you own a business or nonprofit, or if you are planning to start one at some point, it is very important that you know what a trademark protects. A trademark legally protects the owner of a mark (name, logo, or phrase) by ensuring that the trademark owner has the exclusive legal right to use the mark to identify their goods or services. The law also gives a trademark owner the legal right to give someone else permission to use their trademark in exchange for payment.

How long can you expect your trademark protection to last?

The period of time that a trademark provides legal protection varies. However, if the registered trademark expires, a trademark owner can continue to renew the registration simply by filing the renewal application and paying the required filing fees. Trademark protection is enforced by the courts of the jurisdiction in which it was obtained. This means that the law protects the trademark owner and allows for the recovery of legal damages in cases of trademark infringement.

What is the purpose of trademarks?

Overall, the fact that governments allow trademarks to be registered encourages individuals to innovate and protect their brands via registration. This legal protection allows trademark owners to safeguard the goodwill that they have built and established within their brands and allows them to benefit from profits generated from both use and licensing of the marks. Trademark protection also serves to deter the unscrupulous actions of unfair competitors, such as counterfeiters, that desire to exploit trademark owners by using similar distinguishing signs to market inferior or different products or services. The system rewards individuals that are creative, enterprising and innovative by allowing them to produce and market goods and services in the fairest possible conditions which encourages economic growth as well as trade.

Give us a Call

If you have any questions about protecting your business or brand, give us a call and we are more than happy to offer a free consultation to discuss your brand and how we can help you protect it legally.

Why Register a Trademark

Have you ever wondered why it is important for your business or nonprofit to register a trademark? What is the benefit to you? In this article, we will share exactly why you should invest in registering a federal trademark to protect your brand.

Why register a trademark?

Businesses with a strong local reputations must take action to register their trademarks to protect their rights in a brand name, as branding strategies are becoming increasingly international. Preferably, registration should be done when a business is setup so that you are not limited when it comes to expanding the territory that your company serves.  When setting up a new business,  you cannot base your decision to use a name off of if the domain name is available for purchase. Just because a company did not purchase the domain name for its company name, does not mean that it has not already established trademark rights in the name.

How can you legally protect yourself?

At Chisholm Law Firm, our trademark attorney performs a Comprehensive Name Search and conducts prior name availability research before our client’s invest large amounts of time and money on initial branding. This ensures that the name that they are planning to build their local, regional, or national brand around is not already owned by someone else. Knowing that the name that your business or nonprofit is using is available can help reduce the risk of trademark infringement lawsuits from the rightful owner of a name.

Trademarks Symbols

You may also wonder what the various symbols mean as it relates to trademarks that you see on a daily basis. How do you know the ones that are registered versus the ones that are not? A trademark may be designated by the following symbols:

  • (the “trademark symbol”, known as the letters “TM”, is used to represent trademarks that have not been registered with the United States Patent & Trademark Office “USPTO”)
  • (known as the letters “SM” in superscript, are used to denote a mark for a service based company that has not registered with the USPTO)
  • ® (the letter “R” with a circle around it means that this mark is a registered trademark with the USPTO)

These are some common examples of marks that cannot be registered as a trade mark:

  • Marks that are descriptive (e.g. super, best, cheap, one dozen)
  • Marks that are common to your trade (ones that have become well accepted in relation to your trade and do not distinguish the goods or service you are offering)
  • Marks that could offend or promote immoral behavior
  • Deceptive marks (these marks can erroneously state the quality of their services or goods, the type of services or goods offered, as well as the actual location or origination of those goods or services)
  • Marks that are the same as marks that were previously registered and have not been abandoned
  • Marks that could cause confusion (similar or identical to an earlier mark and in relation to similar or identical goods or services provided by the owners of the earlier mark)
  • Marks that are exactly the same as popular or widely identifiable marks

Protect Yourself and Your Business

However, one of the best ways to legally protect you and your business as it relates to trademarks is to hire an attorney to check to see whether the mark you wish to register is similar or identical to an earlier mark. This is accomplished by conducting a Comprehensive Name Search that examines all of the common law names, business names registered in all 50 states that have available databases as well as trademarks registered in both state registries and the federal register. This should be done before you file your trademark application.

We Want to Hear from You

Our Trademark attorney has extensive experience in registering and researching trademarks for a range of industries. For more information on whether your business’s brand name, phrase or logo, could be registered as a trademark or how to register a trademark please contact our trademark attorney.

What is a trademark used for?

Have you ever been worried about how to protect the uniqueness of your business and services? Or how to distinguish yourself from your fellow competitors in business? Our trademark attorney is here to enlighten you on what a trademark is used for and how you can use trademarks to protect yourself and your business.

What is a trademark used for?

A trademark is a sign or symbol that you can use to distinguish or unify your business goods or services from those of fellow competitors. A trademark is a right that is granted to own a word, phrase, logo, or aspect of packaging.  A registered trademark is legally enforceable and gives you exclusive rights to commercially use, license or sell it for the goods and services that it is registered under.

What do trademarks do?

The vital function of a trademark is to exclusively identify the commercial source or origin of products or services. So a trademark, as it is properly called, indicates the source or serves as a badge of origin. We can as well say that trademarks serve to identify a particular business as the source of goods or services. The use of a trademark in this way is known as trademark use. Certain exclusive rights attach to a registered mark.

How to do you get  Trademark Rights?

It should be noted that trademark rights generally arise out of the continuous use of, or maintaining exclusive rights over, certain products or services, assuming there are no other trademark objections.

Different goods and services have been classified by the International Classification of Goods and Services into 45 Trademark Classes (1 to 34 cover goods, and 35 to 45 services). The idea behind this system is to specify and limit the extension of intellectual property rights by determining which goods or services are covered by the mark, and to unify classification systems around the world.

How to avoid unauthorized use of someone’s trademark

Unauthorized use of trademarks results when you produce or trade fake consumer goods without the permission of the trademark owner. This is known as trademark infringement.

If you own a registered trademark, you can legally sue for trademark infringement if someone wrongfully uses your trademark without your permission. In the U.S., as well as many places around the world, you are required to formally apply to register your trademark with the governing agency in order to have the right to file a cause of action for trademark infringement.  How can you avoid the unauthorized use of someone else’s trademark? You need to conduct a Comprehensive Name Search. At Chisholm Law Firm, our Trademark Attorney takes the time to search common law trademark owners as well as those that have registered their trademark rights for our clients before applying to register new trademarks. This means that we identify unregistered trademarks that are still in use that may jeopardize our client’s ability to have their trademark registered. If we identify a threat to their registration, we provide them with a written legal opinion letting them know if we recommend that they move forward with registering their name, logo or slogan or if we advise that they build their company brand around something different. Our goal is to protect our clients’ legal interests. Although common law trademarks offer the holder less legal protection than registered trademarks, they can still compromise a registration.

Get in Touch

If you or someone you know is interested in registering a federal trademark to protect your brand, feel free to contact us. Our trademark attorney has a 100% success rate with trademark registrations (Disclaimer: Past results do not determine future outcomes) and we would love to speak with you during our free consultation about how we can assist you with your goals.

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