Trademarks - General Guidance from Skilled Trademark Attorneys

A Trademark is a word, symbol, name, or device, or some combinations of these things, that is used in conjunction with certain goods to identify the source of those goods. A Service Mark is such an item when used in conjunction with services instead of goods. Trademarks and service marks are often called “brands”. The purpose of a trademark or service mark is to distinguish the source of goods or services of one party from those of other parties, which becomes part of the goodwill of a business. Trademarks and Service Marks may also be used to protect certain other distinguishing aspects such as color, and in some cases may even protect sound, scent, flavor, and motion.

US trademark or service mark rights ordinarily arise when a mark is placed into actual use in commerce on goods or services. A qualifying trademark or service mark may be registered with the US Patent and Trademark Office, which provides several advantages to the holder of the registration. Among those are: a legal presumption of ownership of the mark and the exclusive right to use the mark nationwide on the listed goods or services; the ability to bring a lawsuit in federal court to enforce the mark against infringers; the right to use the ® symbol in connection with the mark; and the opportunity to recover increased damages and attorney fees in the event of a willful infringement. The US Patent and Trademark Office also allows applications for registration to be filed prior to establishing use of the mark, if the applicant has a bona fide intention to use a mark. The process for applying for US trademark protection can be challenging and complicated, an experienced trademark attorney should be consulted at the earliest possible opportunity to represent, assist, and guise the applicant through the process.

Foreign Trademark Protection. Because trademark protection beyond the United States is frequently important to its clients, Sierra IP Law, PC - Patents, Trademarks & Copyrights has established connections with trademark law firms in many foreign countries, and can act as a liaison between its clients and these law firms to assist its clients in pursuing foreign trademark protection.

Enforcement. If trademark rights are infringed, the attorneys at Sierra IP Law, PC - Patents, Trademarks & Copyrights have the experience and expertise to enforce those rights or defend against them, through state or federal court litigation if necessary, on behalf of their clients.

Licensing. The attorneys at Sierra IP Law, PC - Patents, Trademarks & Copyrights also have experience and expertise in transferring or receiving US trademark rights from one party to another, in whole or in part, whether by way of sale, license, assignment or otherwise.

Difference from Patent or Copyright. A patent provides protection for an invention (such as a process, machine, manufacture, composition of matter, or improvement thereof; an ornamental design; or an asexually reproducible plant). A copyright provides protection for certain works of original authorship (expressions) including literary works, musical works, dramatic works, choreographic works, pictorial, graphic and sculptural works, audiovisual works, and sound recordings. Visit our patent and copyright pages for more detailed information about these other forms of intellectual property.

Pursuing Registration of your Trademark is highly recommended

At Sierra IP Law, PC, we understand that your business identity and product name are critical assets in your industry. Our team is highly skilled in protecting clients’ important brands and identities. The process of developing and claiming intellectual property is multifaceted and complex, and requires expertise. The trademark attorneys at Sierra IP Law can help secure the right type of trademark protection as a valuable intellectual property tool for your business.

New business owners and entrepreneurs often do not fully appreciate the importance of a trademark registration. This is valid, considering the legal costs of filing and prosecuting an application. However, your business assets are valuable and need to be protected against potential counterfeiters. Without registering your trademarks, you leave yourself vulnerable to those who would opportunistically use your trademark or a similar mark to usurp the benefits of your hard work. Registrations provide exclusivity of the brand that your have built through your investment of time, energy, and finances.  Without registration, you do not enjoy the following benefits of registration:  

® Symbol Use
Constructive Notice
Better Deterrence
Social Media and Internet Commerce
Customs and Border Protection
Improved Trademark Licensing
Intangible Asset
Security for Financing
Priority for Foreign Trademark Rights
Particular Legal Remedies

Business owners should consult with a Trademark Attorney

Trademark registrations are an invaluable tool for protecting the brand and reputation of a business. For most businesses it is well worth the monetary investment to pursue a trademark registration. While many businesses attempt to pursue trademark registrations without the assistance of an attorney, there a many subtleties in the requirements, rules, and process for obtaining a registration that may prove treacherous for the unwary. The USPTO regularly recommends that applicants seek the assistance of an experienced trademark attorney in pursuing a trademark registration, and provides explanations of the benefits of hiring a trademark attorney here.

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    Practice Areas

    Utility Patents
    Design Patents
    Provisional Application
    Plant Patents
    Plant Variety Protection Act
    Trademark Registration
    Trade Dress
    Trade Secrets
    Trade Secret Fundamentals
    Digital Privacy Laws

    Client Review

    "The team at Sierra IP Law was extremely professional, helpful and knowledgeable with regards to assisting me with my Trademark services! They were alway quick to respond to emails and phone calls and I would highly recommend them for any of your trademark needs!"
    David O.
    Client Review

    "Sierra IP Law, PC - Patents, Trademarks & Copyrights exceeded our expectations
    and continues to provide our firm with excellent results."
    Bret Engelman - Engleman Cellars     [Attorney Advertising Notice]

    Sierra IP Law, PC - Patents, Trademarks & Copyrights

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