Trademarks

Your brand is your identity. Naming, branding, and trademarking your baby should be hassle-free. I’ll handle that end of the legal process so you can free up time to focus on the rest of your business needs. You tell me your ideas, your expectations, and I’ll help you achieve that trademark goal. To learn more about registering your name or logo with the help of Marcella visit www.MarcellaTM.com.

Trademarks

Why do I need to register my trademark?

Registering a trademark with the USPTO – the Principal Register- affords many benefits including putting others on notice of ownership of the mark (aka constructive notice), evidence that the applicant is the owner and has the exclusive right to use the mark in commerce, the right to sue in federal court with the possibility of recovering statutory, punitive damages and attorneys fees; and you establish a basis for filing a foreign registration (which is very beneficial as your business grows and expands). Additionaly, after five years your mark can become “incontestable” meaning you conclusively establish your right to the mark. You also have the exclusive right to use the following symbol:

 

®

What if I don’t register my business name?

If you choose to forego the registration process you will only have common law protection of your business name. This means that you will only be afforded protection within the geographic area where you do business. You will not be able to sue for lost profits, statutory damages, attorneys fees, or treble damages if need be. Furthermore, you will not be able to use the symbol above. The burden is heavier and higher (for those common law users that have not registered their mark) to prove how and when use of the name began. To acquire common law rights in a mark you must’ve had actual and continuous use of the mark which is determined by looking at various factors.

 

Ive been using my name for 15 years without registering the name. Can someone swoop up the name?

It is possible that someone may or may not find out or figure out that you have established common law rights to the mark. If someone attempts to use this mark after a junior user has had continuous and exxclusive use for 15 years you might be able to preclude them from using the name in the geographical area where you have used it. Your recourses and damaged will be limited to state court and you probably will not be able to precliude them from using the name in areas where you did not use the name.

 

What can I trademark?

Any word , phrase, symbol or design that distinguishes the source of goods or services. For most businesses this means you can register the NAME of your business and or any LOGO.

 

Should I register the name or the logo?

You have the option to register both, but not in the same application. Registering the name is typically the primary concern for most clients as logos and designs can change as the company develops,grows and decides to make changes to its look.

 

Why do I need an attorney?

Registering a trademark on your own can be tricky. There are various classes in the application from which you must choose to represent your mark/business. Choosing the right class is crucial to the protection of the mark. If you choose the “wrong class” you will not be protected in the right class. There are various other questions that must be answered in a precise manner to ensure you are afforded the protection that you want. Hiring me to help you through this process means you will be able to ask questions along the way from beginning to end. I will also help explain best practices for making sure you keep your trademark in tact to avoid risking dilution or abandoment of your mark. Additionally, the USPTO may issue office actions along the way. Responding to their raised issues is critical to moving forward in the application process. Many times non-attorneys will find this tedious, cumbersome, and will end up resorting to an attorney.

 

What is the timeline when registering my mark?

The entire process from filing to actual registration can take between 12 to 18 months. After the application is submitted it is assigned to an Examiner at the USPTO. After that it is approved for Publication and it is published for opposition in the Official Gazette for 30 days. As much as we’d love to speed up the application process and put it in the ‘drive-thru’ lane there is not much we can do except to respond to any office actions quickly and diligently.

 

Law skills

  • Business Law
  • Family Law
  • Copyrights
  • Trademarks
  • Traffic tickets
  • Warrants
  • Wills
  • Power of attorney

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