Trademarks

If you own a business, you spend a significant amount of time and effort building it up to be successful.  You need to protect it the same way that you protect anything else that is valuable to you.  What is the best way to do that? With Trademarks.

1) What Is A Trademark?

A trademark is any combination of a word, name, symbol, or device that distinguishes the goods of one person from goods manufactured or sold by others.  It does not just apply to manufacturing businesses, but also to service businesses where it is called a service mark, but is essentially the same thing as a trademark.  Even a particular color that brands your business can be deemed a trademark.  It could also be trade dress, i.e, the particular interior style of a restaurant that is unique to that brand.

2) Why Do You Need One?

The world is competitive enough. Why let someone take what you have worked so hard to build, when there is a remedy to prevent them from doing it?   A trademark will be able to help you protect and brand your business without having to worry about competitors using and diluting your brand, and confusing your customers with a product of lesser quality.  Having a trademark helps you obtain your niche in the marketplace, and helps customers recognize your brand.  As a business owner you spend large amounts of money on advertising, marketing, and other methods of branding your products.  Don\’t let that money go to waste by not protecting your investment in your business.  When you trademark your name, logo, or trade dress, you are protecting both your business and your bottom line.

3)  How Do You Get A Trademark?

There are many different ways to obtain trademark protection.  You can obtain protection through the Lanham Act, which covers Federal Trademark Protection, through individual state laws, and through particular types of usage.  You want to make sure it is done properly so you are getting the protection that you really want.  Your attorney can decide what is best for your business.

4) How Do You Protect The Trademark?

A trademark can be lost when the trade name becomes so generic, or in such widespread use, that it no longer reflects a particular brand, but only the product.  Examples of this are Band-Aid brand adhesive bandages, Scotch Tape brand tape, and Xerox brand copiers.  One way to protect against your trademark becoming generic is  making sure not to use the trademark as a substitute for the name of the product, such as in the examples above.  Make sure the trademark identifies the brand.  Come in and we can discuss what the best procedure for you and your particular business is, and how to protect your trademark once you have it.

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