What is a trademark or service mark?
In short, a trademark is a brand name. A trademark includes any word, name, symbol, device, or any combination, used, or intended to be used, in commerce to identify and distinguish the goods of one manufacturer or seller from goods manufactured or sold by others, and to indicate the source of the goods. A service mark is any word, name, symbol, device, or any combination, used, or intended to be used, in commerce, to identify and distinguish the services of one provider from services provided by others, and to indicate the source of the services.
Must all marks be registered? No, but federal registration has several advantages, including a notice to the public of the registrant’s claim of ownership of the mark, a legal presumption of ownership nationwide, and the exclusive right to use the mark on or in connection with the goods or services set forth in the registration.
What We Can Do to Help You Avoid Potential Pitfalls
Filing a trademark application at the USPTO starts a legal proceeding. Most applicants hire a private attorney who specializes in trademark matters to represent them in the application process and provide legal advice.
Mableson Law can help you before, during, and after the trademark application process, including policing and enforcing any trademark registration that may issue. While you are not required to have an attorney, an attorney may save you from future costly legal problems by assisting with name selection and name searching before you file your application. Name searches are important because other trademark owners may have protected legal rights in trademarks similar to yours that are not federally registered. Therefore, those trademarks will not appear in the USPTO’s Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS) database but could still ultimately prevent your use of your mark. In addition, we can help you during the application process with several things that could seriously impact your trademark rights, such as determining the best way to describe your goods and services and preparing responses to refusals to register that an examining attorney may issue. Finally, we can also assist in the policing and enforcement of your trademark rights. The USPTO only registers trademarks. You as the trademark owner are responsible for any enforcement.
Mableson Law knows how to protect your brand identity and can advise you in all aspects of choosing a mark that is not confusing similar to your competitor’s mark, filing an application, and post-registration issues. We also handle:
- Trademarks & Servicemarks
- Trademark searches and availability
- Trademark Registration and Maintenance
- Trademark ownership disputes
- Licensing, transfer and assignments
- Trademark License Agreements
- Trademark Infringement Lawsuits
Trademark, Patent, or Copyright?
A trademark is a word, phrase, symbol, and/or design that identifies and distinguishes the source of the goods of one party from those of others. A service mark is a word, phrase, symbol, and/or design that identifies and distinguishes the source of a service rather than goods. The term “trademark” is often used to refer to both trademarks and service marks.
A copyright protects original works of authorship, such as writings, music, and works of art that have been tangibly expressed.
A patent is a limited duration property right relating to an invention, granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office in exchange for public disclosure of the invention. Patents are prepared by registered Patent Attorneys.
Innovation Solutions & Strategic Protection
Highest Professional AV Rating
Areas Of PracticeSelect an area of practice to learn more.
RECENT ARTICLES FROM OUR BLOG
IP Audit to-do for Jan. 2018
January 2018 To-Do for Individuals and Companies who Own Intellectual Property By Connie J. Mableson If you individually own or if you have an interest in a company that owns intellectual property (IP) assets, January is a good time to prepare an IP audit for you IP assets. An IP audit is simply a list or database […]
- 03 January, 2018
- Read More
Fellow Attorney and Client, Kerrie Droban, Publishes New Book: Another History Channel Series in the Making?
Client and fellow attorney, Kerrie Droban, just published her 6th best-selling (just watch!) True Crime book from St. Martin’s Press. THE LAST CHICAGO BOSS: My Life with the Chicago Outlaws Motorcycle Club (St. Martin’s Press, 2017), is Peter “Big Pete” James’ explosive memoir about becoming “The Godfather” of the Chicago Outlaws. Over 20 years, Big Pete […]
- 21 October, 2017
- Read More