Posts

How to Trademark a Saying

Regular words, sayings, slogans, catchphrases and expressions can be trademarked if the individual, business or organization that applies to register the trademark can show that it has gained a particular significance as it relates to certain goods or services. This means that you’ll need to prove that the saying is distinguishable from other trademarks in your industry and helps to identify the owner’s goods and services in the eyes of the public.

What are Trademarks?

A catchphrase is basically a trademark. Generally, a trademark can be any word, name, motto, or logo used by an individual or business to distinguish goods and services related to a particular brand from other brands. Like copyrights, trademarks are a type of property known as “intellectual property”.  Owners of trademarks with substantial market value are given significant advantages in the marketplace due to the recognition of their brands by the public and consumers.

Why Should You Register Your Saying?

One of the main reasons people invest in registering their trademarks with the government is to guarantee that they have proof of their ownership in order to distinguish their goods and services from others in the eyes of their market. Great trademarks are often immediately recognized by customers which can increase the value of a good or service in comparison to other brands that are not as readily or easily identifiable.

Unlike copyrights, trademark rights don’t start as soon as a word, image, or expression is initially jotted on paper. Trademark rights stem from the actual or intended use of the mark in commerce. A qualified trademark attorney can help you navigate the distinction to make sure that your trademark qualifies for federal legal registration and protection.

3 Benefits to Registering Your Trademark

Either way, if you develop a catch phrase, you should register it with the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). You may ask why this is important. The answer is simple. The advantages advantages of having a registered federal trademark with the government far exceed the cost.

  1. To begin, registration implies the trademark is lawfully owned by you. This gives you the peace of mind of knowing that if someone uses your trademark without your permission, you can sue them and pursue a legal claim against them in federal court. The mere fact that the application for registration was approved for your trademark often establishes many of the legal requirements needed to sustain such a legal action.
  2. Second, registering a federal trademark puts individuals and businesses nationwide on notice that you are the owner by allowing you to use the Circle-R designation in association with your registered trademark. This also prevents others from attempting to register to own rights to the same trademark in the same industry in a way that would dilute or diminish your ownership.
  3. Third, registering a federal trademark offers privileges as it relates to the damages you can recover in the event that someone infringes or uses your trademark without permission. In the event that someone infringes, or uses your trademark without permission, keep documentation of the infringement and immediately contact your trademark attorney. Your trademark attorney may not only be able to sue for any money related harm that was inflicted by the wrongful action, but an an order from the judge to stop any further infringement or both.

These are just a few of the benefits of registering your saying or phrase as a a federal trademark. Keep in mind that the owner still has the responsbility of maintaining their trademark by renewing it and making sure they are actively using it in commerce in order to keep it active – among other requirements. Contact our trademark attorney for a free consultation to discuss how you can make sure you a properly maintaining and protecting your registered trademark.

To sum it all up, the best way to get the most out of any slogan or catchphrase you develop is to do the following:

  • Develop a unique and valuable catchphrase
  • Use it in interstate business;
  • Hire a trademark attorney to register it with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
  • Enforce your rights anytime someone tries to use it without your permission

These are just a few of the things that you need to know when trademarking a saying, slogan or catchphrase. Contact us today to speak to our trademark attorney for a free consultation to discuss your options.

Schedule your FREE trademark consultation today! (Value: $300)

How to Use Trademark Symbols

If you own a business, nonprofit, product or offer a service, it is important for you to understand how to use trademark symbols. There are three primary trademark symbols that we will discuss in this article: (TM), (SM), or ®

When can you use the ® symbol?

If your application to register a federal trademark for your logo or company name has been approved by the United States Patent & Trademark Office, then you are legally permitted to move forward with using the ® symbol in association with your logo, slogan or company name.

The ® symbol means that the trademark is a registered trademark with the United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO).

When should trademark symbols be used?

In addition to the ® symbol, common trademark symbols include the (TM) or (SM) symbol. These symbols are both often used in association with trademarks (slogan, logo or company name). When you utilize the (TM) or (SM), you are telling the general public that you have the right to use the trademark. The purpose of you using these symbols is to prevent others from using your trademark without your permission. If you desire to use the (TM) or (SM) symbol, you do not have to have a registered federal trademark in order to use them.

However, there are serious risks involved with using these symbols when you have not applied and received a registered trademark. In essence, competitors and other industry players often know that these symbols do not signify that your trademark is registered with the federal government. As a result, using the symbols prior to registering may result in these competitors researching your mark only to discover that you have not filed a federal trademark application to register your trademark.

You see, the law gives certain benefits to owners of registered trademarks versus individuals that are simply using trademarks that have not been registered and are using the (TM) or (SM) symbol. These benefits include being able to sue infringers (people that use your trademark without permission) in federal court as well as being able to sue for additional money damages. These benefits, among others, are not afforded to people or organizations that have not registered their trademarks with the federal government.

How should people use trademark symbols?

Now that you are familiar with the most common trademark symbols, including the (TM), (SM), or ®, it is important to know exactly how and when you should incorporate trademark symbols in association with your trademarks. The best way to use the trademark symbols is to position them in superscript in the upper right-hand corner of your company name, logo or slogan.

If you have any other questions regarding trademark symbols or the use of such symbols, feel free to schedule a free consultation with our trademark attorney in Orlando. Although our law firm is based in Orlando, we provide federal trademark services for clients nationwide. Contact us today!

 

Schedule your FREE trademark consultation today! (Value: $300)

Helpful Tips for your Trademark Application

There are several things that you should know before applying for trademarks. Here are a few things that you should know. Let’s begin with the process of deciding which type of application you should file.

Online v. Paper Applications

There are two ways to submit your application for a federal trademark. The first way is to use an online application. The second way is to use a paper application.

It is not mandatory to apply online, but we strongly recommend it. Here is why.

Applying online offers two major benefits. The first major benefit to applying online is that the USPTO offers a discount in filing fees for online applications that allow electronic communication versus other application methods. The second major benefit to applying online is that online applications are also received by the USPTO before applications that are mailed via regular postal service methods.

Applicant Information

The application must incorporate the applicant’s name or organization name, residence or enlisted office and location. A trademark can be applied for by either an organization, an association or a private individual.

Trademark Information

You must let the USPTO know the exact trademark that you wish to register. If you are applying to register a slogan, logo and company name, you will need to file a separate application for each mark.

In the event that your mark is a word mark (e.g., company name), you will have an opportunity to input it directly in the application. Be sure to list it exactly as you would like it to appear in the public records.

Making Changes

If you need to make changes to your trademark application, you may be able to depending on the nature of the change. The USPTO has very strict rules regarding amendments that can be made to applications that have already been submitted versus amendments that would require the filing of an entirely new application.

Paying Filing Fees Online

If you decide to use an online application to apply for a federal trademark, you will pay the application filing fee by using a major credit or debit card when you have finished the application. The individual who pays the filing fee will immediately receive an electronic receipt for their records. After paying, the USPTO website will direct you to a page that confirms that your application was filed and received.

Conclusion

In summary, the federal trademark registration process can be intimidating. Let our trademark attorney speak to you about your goals. Schedule your free consultation today!

 

Schedule your FREE trademark consultation today! (Value: $300)

Why You Need Strategic Trademark Advice

Defining a Trademark Strategy

The first step when determining your trademark strategy is to recognize that every trademark you create (company name, logo, slogan, etc.) potentially has market value and deserves to be legally protected. Once you have committed to legally protecting your trademarks, you can move forward with finding a trademark attorney that you trust to help you develop a short-term and long-term strategy to provide you with maximum legal protection.

Trademark Advice

It’s important to get advice from an experienced trademark attorney when you are developing your trademark strategy.

Why is this important? Because building a long-term strategy to legally protect as well as maximize the profitability of your trademarks is more than just filing an application to register your trademarks. You need actual legal advice regarding the timing of the filing of your applications, a comprehensive name search to identify any competitors that you should be concerned about, as well as strategies to protect your intellectual property (trademarks) while you await the approval of your mark.

Our trademark attorney can help you with all of this and more.

We start with a confidential one-on-one consultation to help determine your goals and then work aggressively to implement an agreed upon trademark strategy to help you win in a competitive marketplace.

We also take the time to advise you on ways to select effective trademarks that you will be able to legally protect.

Some of these strategies include choosing trademarks that are:

  • Easy to pronounce
  • Easy to spell
  • Easy to remember
  • Easy to recognize among trademarks used by competitors.

Keep in mind, in order to qualify to be registered, a trademark should not be:

  • A name that is already being used with other comparable products and services.
  • A regional name that may not be suitable for a brand intending to expand globally
  • Misleading

Get in Touch

If you would like to learn more about trademarks, developing a trademark strategy, and how our trademark attorney can help you legally protect your trademark in order to reach your goals, feel free to contact us for a free consultation. Call today!

Schedule your FREE trademark consultation today! (Value: $300)

The Best Way to Create a Trademark

Creating or selecting a trademark is no easy task. It’s more than just picking a name that you like. Here are a few helpful tips to help you select a trademark that is most likely to be approved for registration by the federal government.

Make sure it satisfies legal requirements

First, you should try your best to ensure that your potential mark meets the requirements of federal trademark trademark law so that you can legally protect it. There isn’t much of a benefit to creating a name, spending money on a website, business cards and marketing only to realize that you cannot register it with the federal government in order to protect your legal rights. The best way to fully understand the legal criteria for a federal trademark is to hire an experienced trademark attorney to help you with the process. However, here are just a few things you may want to consider when creating a trademark:

  • The mark should not be difficult to spell, pronounce or recall;
  • Make sure it does not have an offensive meaning in other languages;
  • It should have no unfriendly significance in slang or undesirable essences;
  • It should be suitable for a variety of markets, particularly if you plan to market the item abroad;
  • It should not be perplex;
  • It should be versatile and be able to be used in various forms of media.

Strategies for Creating Your Trademark:

You may use the following strategies for creating your trademark:

  1. Created words (or fanciful words): These are assembled words with no genuine importance in any dialect (e.g. Kodak or Exxon). The benefit to using a word you concoct is that they are easier to legally protect. The downside is that they may be difficult for shoppers to recall. This means you may have to spend more money marketing the word to create market awareness so that the public associates it with your goods and services.
  2. Self-assertive words – These are trademarks that comprise of words that have a genuine significance in a given dialect. The importance of such words may not have any true connection to the item itself or to any of its qualities (e.g. Mac for a Computer). Similar to the case with created words, they are simple words for customers. However, there is no immediate relationship between the word and the item that you are promoting which may require more marketing funds.
  3. Suggestive words – Suggestive words are words that describe one or a percentage of the qualities of the item. These words create an immediate relationship in the psyche of buyers between the trademark and certain qualities of the item. The primary risk is that these words may not be distinctive enough to meet the legally standards to register your trademark on the federal level in order to provide maximum legal protection for your brand.

Overall, there are a number of ways to create a trademark for your business, brand or nonprofit. However, the most important thing is to make sure that it meets the legal criteria needed so that you can register it and protect it. Our trademark attorney  is based in Orlando but has a nationwide trademark law practice that focuses on helping clients create trademarks and legally protect them. Give us a call today for a free consultation to discuss how we can help you create yours!

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.