If you have not formally registered your company’s trademarks, please connect with an experienced San Luis Obispo, CA trademark lawyer on the Sierra IP Law, PC legal team today. It is critically important to have a solid intellectual property protection strategy in place for your company at all times. Failure to address gaps in this plan – such as, but not limited to, lack of formal trademark registration – can leave your company vulnerable to legal challenges, financial losses, public relations hurdles, and loss of brand loyalty among your clients and/or consumers. Speaking with our qualified legal team in a risk-free consultation setting will empower you to make informed choices about your rights and options as an intellectual property creator.
Unlike patents (which protect inventions), copyrights (which protect forms of expression), and nondisclosure agreements (which protect a company’s trade secrets), trademarks protect tools utilized by companies for the purposes of branding. Logos, graphics, slogans, and even company names can be trademarked in order to help those within the marketplace clearly identify a company’s unique presence and offerings. The San Luis Obispo, CA trademark lawyer team at Sierra IP Law, PC assists companies with both formal trademark registration and enforcement of trademark rights as part of a broader approach to intellectual property rights protection.
When a branding tool is created, it may be referred to as a “mark.” But, simply because you have created a trademark doesn’t mean that your work is automatically protected. In order to have enforceable rights to your marks, you need to formally register them with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The formal registration process is, thankfully, not traditionally time-intensive, expensive, and stressful like the patent application process is. Most of the time, formal trademark registration is primarily a formality. An important formality.
Once you have formally registered your company’s marks, you will be empowered by these claims to your intellectual property in the event that another attempts to infringe upon your rights. As trademark infringement can cost your company time, money, and brand loyalty within the marketplace, it is critical that you remain armed with this formal recognition of your rights as an intellectual property holder at all times.
After you have registered your trademark, you should do the following steps to utilize your trademark to the full extent. This means that you should use the ® instead of the ™. You should monitor the USPTO database and the market for infringement. And you should meet USPTO renewal guidelines.
But why should you use the trademark or SM symbols after you have registered your trademark? So, the first two marks mentioned prior show a claim to the trademark, while the ® shows federal claim. Using this symbol means that you have a federal document that backs up your claim.
® is for marks that have been registered with the federal government of the United States; this is an exclusive right of the people that have formally registered their trademarks. And prior to registration, the only symbols that you can use are the ™, and the SM symbol. These are used during the application process because they indicate the ownership of a mark. The ™ stands for trademark and represents physical goods such as clothing. SM means service mark and is going to be used to represent things like a legal business.
In commerce trademark is used to refer to both trademarks and service marks, and ® is universal and can replace either a trademark or a service mark.
We’ve already said that you should monitor to prevent infringement. I need to do this to make sure the other party is not going to be undermining your business because they might use your trademark without permission to better their own business or services.
Trademark law actually requires owners to police the marketplace and eliminate infringement on their own, which integrates trademark protection in the work ownership. So if an outside party can maintain that trademark and it is used for their business for an extended period of time the original owner can lose that trademark right because of their lack of vigilance in protecting the mark. So if somebody else is utilizing a trademark or one that is similar to yours, they need to be dealt with because your neglect can actually play in their favor. They could use that as a defense against legal enforcement brought against them, so if you need to protect your trademark you should talk to a trademark lawyer.
The last elemental trademark ownership is the filing of renewals. Renewals are two, 10 years from the original registration day and each renewal date is followed by a year-long window in which the filing may be made. The trademark can fall into grace and will be at risk of abandonment if the window closes without a renewal.
Renewal schedules are the responsibility of the trademark owner and it is essential to protect their mark following registration.
It is critically important to be proactive about creating a broad intellectual property protection strategy for your company. Trademarks are not the only intellectual property concern that your business has to worry about. If you invent any kinds of new products or product designs, you’ll need to speak with the Sierra IP Law, PC about securing formal patent protections for your inventions. If your business creates any kind of unique creative content, you’ll want to speak with our team about copyright protections. Additionally, no matter what “kind of business” your company is in, chances are that you need to think about protecting your trade secrets. Failure to take these steps can lead to your business losing its edge in the marketplace.
Although speaking with an experienced trademark lawyer San Luis Obispo, CA businesses trust about your company’s trademark needs is a great first step, your intellectual property protection strategy needs to move beyond trademarks alone if your company’s interests are going to be fully protected. Our firm can help you to implement a strategy tailored to your company’s unique needs so that you have access to all the services you require but are not overburdened by any services that don’t apply to your unique business model and company practices.
The knowledgeable legal team at Sierra IP Law, PC has extensive experience assisting businesses of all sizes with each major “kind” of intellectual property protection. Patents (for inventions and product designs), copyrights (for works of original authorship), and trademarks (for branding tools) are all secured through government application processes. Our firm’s San Luis Obispo, CA trademark lawyer team can assist your company not only with securing these protections but also with the timing of each application process. Additionally, in the event that you are accused of infringement or another infringes upon your intellectual property rights, our team can protect your interests in circumstances that become contentious.
Unlike patents, trademarks, and copyrights, trade secrets are not protected via a federal government mechanism. Instead, law firms—including the reputable California team at Sierra IP Law, PC—protect these secrets through the utilization of non-disclosure agreements. Our firm’s San Luis Obispo, CA trademark lawyer team can review your existing non-disclosure model or draft such agreements on your company’s behalf from scratch.
It is important to understand, perhaps more than ever, the importance of protecting your company’s intellectual property rights and of formalizing your trademarks. In this era of digital marketing, failure to register your marks could lead to expensive liability, PR nightmares, and the loss of your company’s distinctive branding to another company looking to brand its services and goods in similar ways. You need to make sure that your brand stands out online and you need to do so in ways that are legally protected. Please allow our firm to help you achieve this critically important goal.
If you have not yet formally registered your company’s trademarks, it is important to do so as quickly as possible. The experienced California legal team at Sierra IP Law, PC can advise you of your rights and options as an intellectual property owner under the law and can assist you with formally registering your marks. Although it can be tempting to simply assume that no other company will take advantage of your intellectual property, failing to be proactive in protecting your company’s branding could lead to serious legal and financial consequences. To learn more about how our firm can help you efficiently and effectively safeguard your company’s intellectual property, schedule a risk-free consultation with a trusted San Luis Obispo, CA trademark lawyer at our firm today; we look forward to speaking with you.
If you have just started a new company, you may be wondering if you need to seek the advice of a trademark lawyer in San Luis Obispo, CA. The name of your company may just be one of the most important business assets that you have because it tells people who you are and what you do. It is a symbol of your reputation and it is how you are known in the world.
When you register your trademark, it gives you the exclusive right to use your business name nationwide in the connection with the goods and services you provide. It also allows you to enforce your trademark by filing a lawsuit in federal courts if someone infringes upon.
Advantages of trademarking a Business Name
A trademark identifies the source of goods or services. If you register your trademark with the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), then it allows for additional protection for your name. If you use your trademark but don’t register with the USPTO, then you only have common law trademark protection. This means you may be able to stop people from using your mark, but only in your immediate geographic area.
If you have more than a local business and registering a trademark grants you several advantages. Some of the most common advantages are:
With the numerous advantages of a trademark registration, it makes sense that so many people have decided that registering with the USPTO is important.
What Kinds of Names Can Be Trademarked?
Not all business names are eligible for trademark registration. The USPTO will only register businesses if they are distinctive and are not likely to be confused with an existing trademark. The more distinctive the name is, the easier it is to trademark. Here are some of the things that will make it easier to register with the USPTO:
If you are still unsure about what a trademark lawyer in San Luis Obispo, CA, can do for you don’t hesitate to reach out to our team today.
"Mark and William are stellar in the capabilities, work ethic, character, knowledge, responsiveness, and quality of work. Hubby and I are incredibly grateful for them as they've done a phenomenal job working tirelessly over a time span of at least five years on a series of patents for hubby. Grateful that Fresno has such amazing patent attorneys! They're second to none and they never disappoint. Thank you, Mark, William, and your entire team!!"
Sierra IP Law, PC - Patents, Trademarks & Copyrights
7030 N. Fruit Ave.
Fresno, CA 93711
(559) 436-3800 | phone
1925 G. Street
Bakersfield, CA 93301
(661) 200-7724 | phone
SAN LUIS OBISPO
956 Walnut Street, 2nd Floor
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
(805) 275-0943 | phone
180 Promenade Circle, Suite 300
Sacramento, CA 95834
(916) 209-8525 | phone
1300 10th St., Suite F.
Modesto, CA 95345
(209) 286-0069 | phone
414 Olive Street
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
(805) 275-0943 | phone
1650 Borel Place, Suite 216
San Mateo, CA, CA 94402
(650) 398-1644. | phone
110 N. San Joaquin St., 2nd Floor
Stockton, CA 95202
(209) 286-0069 | phone
425 NW 10th Ave., Suite 200
Portland, OR 97209
(503) 343-9983 | phone
1201 Pacific Avenue, Suite 600
Tacoma, WA 98402
(253) 345-1545 | phone
1030 N Center Pkwy Suite N196
Kennewick, WA 99336
(509) 255-3442 | phone