US Trademark Registration Lawyer
For most businesses, it would be devastating if any one of these happened:
- A competitor copies your brand.
- You lose sales because your customers are buying from a similar looking brand they think is you.
- You’re forced to rebrand due to the threats and demands of another business.
These problems are serious. Trademarks allow businesses to have exclusive rights to their brands to keep them from happening.
The Power of a Trademark Registration
Only with a U.S. trademark registration in place do you have exclusive rights to your brand — whether that’s your business name itself, a logo, a slogan, a podcast, a product line, and the list goes on.
Technically speaking, obtaining a federal trademark registration is not a requirement to conduct business in the United States. Therefore, many business owners fail to consider trademarks or wait until issues arise. The longer you wait to secure a trademark registrations for your business, the more you put your business at risk. An experienced trademark lawyer can help you through the registration process.
Use of Various Trademark Symbols
Under US trademark law, there are three different kinds of symbols associated with trademarks.
The ™ symbol
This trademark symbol can be used by anyone claiming trademark rights. According to US laws, if you start using a trademark in commerce you automatically have “common law” rights to that trademark. These common law rights are very limited, however, and you only have exclusive protections within your region (an area smaller than your state). You don’t need to submit any kind of application or filing in order to use this symbol.
The ℠ symbol
This little “SM” symbol designates your claim to a service mark. If your brand sells a service as opposed to a product or service, then it’s technically more accurate to claim you own a “service mark.” Like the ™ symbol, the ℠ symbol designates a claim for common law ownership.
The ® symbol
This symbol can only be used once the trademark or service mark becomes registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. It is a powerful branding tool that puts others on notice of your strong trademark rights and deters them from infringing on your brand.
The process of attaining, understanding, and maintaining a U.S. registered trademark is not easy. At Indie Law, it’s our mission to help you attain and harness the power that comes with this simple ® symbol.
Applying for a Trademark Registration
A U.S. trademark registration application can be filed on two different bases. The first basis — referred to as an “in use” application — is for trademark applicants who are already using the trademark they seek to register. The second basis — an “intent to use” application — allows a business owner to apply proactively for a trademark that they have not yet started to use in commerce.
The entrepreneur or business applying for a federal trademark registrations bears the burden of proving certain things. The applicant must show that they have used the specific trademark in commerce with respect to a certain category or “class” of goods or services. The applicant must also be the first to use that trademark or anything substantially to it in relation to similar goods or services. It is important to understand that many applications are refused, and most are challenged in some way during the process. At Indie Law, we can help you through the trademark registration process in the United States and advise you properly before and after applying.
The application process for a U.S. trademark registration is a complicated one that can take 6-12 months or more. There’s a lot of reasons why an application could be refused, and therefore many applications are not successful.
A well-prepared U.S. trademark application will include certain information about the trademark. For instance:
- Before you even apply, a proper and comprehensive trademark search should be conducted to put you on notice of any significantly similar trademarks.
- The application must identify the proper owner of the trademark, whether it’s an individual, an LLC, or some other business entity.
- You must have a good-faith claim to be the first to use your trademark in interstate commerce.
- The application requires you to provide a description of the specific goods or services you sell in connection with the trademark.
- You must identify certain categories, or classes, of products and services that you sell in connection with the trademark, and each class requires an additional filing fee.
- You will need to provide proper evidence showing your use of the trademark in interstate commerce.
Contact Indie Law for Help With Your Trademark Registration Today
United States trademark registration attorney Joey Vitale has the experience and knowledge to help you with your trademark case. While certain areas of intellectual property law may not call for the involvement of an attorney, trademark registration matters are document-intensive, require gathering factual evidence, and the filing fees to the trademark office are not refundable. A bare-bones trademark application with little proof or significant inaccuracies will most likely be denied. Let Indie Law help you file the best trademark registration application possible so as to increase your chances of getting it approved. Call us at (312) 766-6889 or email our office today to learn how we can help you with this important process.