Generally speaking, when someone uses the term “trademark” they intend to register the name or logo with the U.S. Patent and trademark Office. Federal registration is important to providing important benefits regarding trademark ownership, however, trademark ownership is normally determined by who uses the mark first in a commercial setting. Therefore, by using a name, logo or symbol to identify goods or services in the marketplace, a trademark has been established.
A trademark is any name, logo or symbol used to distinguished a product from competing products in the marketplace and to identify the products source.
A service mark is any name, logo or symbol used to distinguish a service from others in the marketplace and to identify the source of the service.
There is no legal difference between the two.
A certification mark is any name, logo or symbol used or intended to be used in commerce with the owners permission by someone other than the owner, to certify regional or geographic origin, material, mode of manufacture, quality, accuracy or other characteristics of another’s goods or services or that the work or labor on the goods or services was performed by members of a union or other organization.
A collective mark is a trademark or service mark used or intended to be used, in commerce, by members of a cooperative or association or other collective group or organization, including a mark, which indicates membership in a union, an association or other organization.
The typical time to get a trademark registered is between 7 and 12 months. However, while your trademark application is pending it will appear on the USPTO database, putting would-be users on notice.
Once you have received a filing receipt containing the serial number of your application, you may check on the status of your application directly on the USPTO website. However, if you have any questions you can always email us at email@example.com including the serial number assigned to the application. Applicants should check on the status of their pending applications every six months.
Not a problem. You can use the mark and simply file another application to register the new use of the mark under the appropriate class if the mark is not being used by another business for a similar product.
If that mark is being used by another business for a similar product, then you will need to assess whether your original product filing is similar enough to your new product to justify extending your trademark registration to it.
This is something that is best handled by an experienced trademark attorney. Consequently, we are pleased to help you with these matters on either an hourly basis or flat fee, depending on complexity. Call us to discuss with an experienced trademark attorney.
A logo, name and slogan are all separate trademarks. Since you may only register one trademark per application, you will need a separate application for each. However, you can then use then separately or in combination.
Like many things in the law, the answer is “it depends.” It depends on where the original mark was being used. If the mark was being used nationally, as is usual with the internet, your trademark could be subject to cancellation.
Unfortunately, your registration will not protect you from a trademark infringement lawsuit if the first user can prove that your use of the mark created a likelihood of customer confusion.
If the mark was only being used locally, you would be permitted to use it an any area of the country where there would not be likelihood of confusion.
This issue raises a very important point; it is for this reason that a through search and examination for existing marks should be done by a qualified attorney.
There are at least three good reasons to take this precaution:
A common law trademark is any name, logo, symbol, etc., that is being used to identify a business’s goods or services in the marketplace and has not been federally registered. The owner of a common law trademark, when that mark is used across state or international borders is entitled to use the federal courts to enforce its rights.
Those rights normally include:
An excellent question, and one we hear quite often. Simply, federal registration makes an infringement lawsuit a lot more financially feasible. An infringement lawsuit is the only way, ultimately, to enforce trademark ownership. Federal registration makes it a lot easier to win a federal lawsuit against later users by establishing certain presumptions (i.e., facts that you don’t have to prove in court). These include the presumption that you are the mark’s owner and that the later user deliberately copied the mark, making it much easier to recover large damages and attorneys’ fees.
A trademark search is the process of looking for trademarks similar to your proposed mark that is already being used by other in the marketplace. We perform a full and comprehensive trademark search examining a variety of sources including:
The is no end to the searching which can be performed, however, more important is that the search is performed and analyzed by a qualified attorney. We will provide you with the most comprehensive search by an attorney which will provide you with greater security that the trademark you wish to use and register is free from potential threats. In other words, the more extensive the trademark search is, the less risk a business will contact you in the future and challenge your rights to the trademark.
Your potential liability for using someone else’s trademark is enormous. If the owner discovers your use and decides to sue you for damages, you could be ordered to pay:
Punitive damages in the amount of three times the amount of damages or profits awarded the owner.
Attorneys’ fees and costs incurred by the owner in bring the infringement lawsuit. This amount alone can be substantial and is often in excess of $100,000.
Yes, you may apply to register your domain name as a trademark so long as it is being used to market goods or services on the internet.
A state trademark is one used only within the confines of a state. A federal trademark is used across state or international borders (this will be the case of marks which appear on the internet to market goods or services). The term “federal trademark” is generally understood to mean that the trademark has been federally registered, as opposed to a common law trademark.
The answer again is “it depends.” Even if the original owner to out of business or is still in business but no longer using the mark, the mark may have been assigned to another business which is using the mark. Also if the mark consists of a graphic such as a log, it may still be protected by copyright law (which protects creative works or expression).
Generally speaking, the answer is no. If the name associated with your logo is the same as or extremely similar to a name that is federally registered or used, you will be precluded from using or registering the name / logo combination, even if the appearance is completely different to that of the mark appearing in the federal register.
You are responsible to keeping track of the required renewal dates. If you miss the deadline your trademark registration will be cancelled. This does not affect your ownership of the mark, assuming you are still using it in the marketplace, but you will have to re-register it in order to enjoy the benefits of registration. Additionally, there is a grace period of 6 months at the end of 6 years during which the renewal may be filed, however, the USPTO chares a penalty of $100.
However, while you are responsible for keeping track of your renewal dates, we provide a renewal service and will take care of the filing for you. Simply, go to the “Renewal” section of our website and fill out the required forms.
Rights in a federally registered trademark can last indefinitely if the owner continues to use the mark on or in connection with the goods or services in the registration and files all the necessary documentation with the USPTO at the appropriate times.
There is no such thing as an international trademark. It is possible to file one application for the European Union, however, even if the application is granted, separate procedures are required for protection in each country.
In addition to filing trademarks and copyrights for US based businesses we also provide these services to foreign businesses that do business in the United States and wish to have their marks registered with the USPTO.
The basis for a foreign applicant to file an application for registration is:
The prices for our foreign clients are the same as our US based clients for basic application. Call for a detailed discussion regarding your application if you are a foreign applicant.
We also provide international registration services with countries in the European Union and Argentina as we have offices in Italy and Argentina. As this is a complex procedure, please contact us for a consultation and pricing.
An excellent question. Unlike a discount trademark registration website, you are hiring expertise. Will not simply file your proposed mark without first providing you with a detailed attorney opinion as to whether your proposed trademark is likely to be registered by the USPTO.
If there are no unforeseen problems your trademark application will be filed within 5 to 7 days. Be wary of companies promising to file your trademark application within hours to 3 to 5 days. Proper comprehensive trademark searches take time. We provide one of the most comprehensive searches in the industry, performed by an attorney.
Once your trademark application is filed with the USPTO it typically takes 7 to 12 months for your trademark to actually become registered (however, it is protected during the application process). If the USPTO has questions regarding your proposed trademark it may take longer.