Trademarks form an essential part of your business’s public image. In addition, they let customers and competitors know that an item is the result of your manufacturing technique or a specific brand of service. Being able to inform others of these facts is essential to keep your business growing.
Anytime that your company produces any kind of symbol, advertising phrase, or design, that product may be the subject of trademark registration. The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) grants trademark protection to both individuals and companies looking to protect their intellectual property rights. Reaching out to a West Palm trademark lawyer could help you determine if trademark protection is necessary and how to properly register with the USPTO.
Trademarks are any written or drawn materials that identify an entity’s goods or services. The conceit behind a trademark is that a competitor or potential customer is able to instantly recognize that the product or language is the property of a company. Trademarks can come in two main forms: written words and symbols.
Many companies apply for trademark protection on their name and advertising slogans. By trademarking a phrase and using it when advertising a product or service, that informs others that the offerings are solely that of the company that has identified itself with that slogan.
Another popular way to draw attention to a company is with a symbol or logo. This can include designs on the sides of vehicles, printed upon items such as coffee cups, or letterhead used on correspondence. Symbols are a quick and easy way to identify a brand, which can be beneficial in situations where reading a slogan may be more difficult, such as on a sign along the highway advertising a particular restaurant.
Just because an individual or business created a trademark, it does not mean they automatically have full protection of that intellectual property. Securing the sole rights to use that material is the main benefit of seeking formal registration.
According to 15 United States Code § 1058, registering a trademark grants the owner the sole use of that material for a period of ten years. However, merely submitting an application is not enough to bring this protection. Parties must also submit specimens reflecting that the mark is being used in commerce, providing other declarations or disclaimers, and include all relevant registration fees.
It is also important to select which classification(s) your trademark applies to. There a few dozen different classes, ranging from restaurants to alcoholic beverages to clothing. A trademark holder may only be protected for the use of the trademark within the selected classifications. Letting a West Palm trademark lawyer take the lead in this process will reduce the odds of an error occurring while you are registering.
Infringements on the trademark rights of holders are unfortunately common. Other parties may attempt to capitalize on a company’s community reputation for quality and customer service. Registering a trademark with the USPTO allows holders to bring civil suits forward against infringers.
15 U.S.C. § 1117 outlines the possible remedies that trademark holders can seek from infringing parties. Improper use entitles the owner to the profits received by the infringer, actual damages, court costs, and attorney fees. However, the law offers enhanced compensation in the form of treble damages if the infringement involves the use of a counterfeit mark. Seeking help from a West Palm trademark lawyer is the first step toward collecting these payments.
Trademarks help cement your company’s reputation in the community. These words, designs, or phrases alert the marketplace as to your product’s quality and reliability. For better protection, it is advisable to register those marks with the USPTO as soon as you are ready to integrate them into your commercial display.
A West Palm trademark lawyer may be able to assist you with this registration. This includes submitting the required initial paperwork and the necessary declarations to receive the full ten-year protection period. In the event of an infringement, an attorney fights to protect your intellectual property rights in civil court. Reach out to our experienced attorneys at Lomnitzer Law now to get started.