If you are an inventor or business owner, you probably take great pride in your invention or business. But merely having an invention or a company isn’t all it takes to have a successful business.

Building your brand is crucial to the future growth and success of your business. Thus, it is important to start thinking about what you can do to build and protect your brand. But how do you go about doing that?

One great way to do so is to begin the process of registering a trademark. A trademark is a fantastic way to set yourself apart from other competing companies. By registering a trademark, you can help potential consumers distinguish your company from the rest. This, in turn, will allow you to more effectively further the success of your business.

If you have not yet registered a trademark for your company, it may be time to hire a trademark attorney.

Even though you can technically complete a trademark application on your own, the process of registration is not always simple. The benefits of having a trademark lawyer to help guide you through the complexities of the registration process cannot be overstated.

If you want to know more about the trademark registration process and how a trademark attorney can help you, contact John C. Laurence Law, PLLC, today. Trademark attorney John C. Laurence has dedicated his practice to helping businesses protect their brands, and he will fight to do the same for you.

What Is a Trademark?

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) defines a trademark as a word, phrase, symbol, and/or design that identifies and distinguishes the source of the goods of one party from those of another party.

Common examples of things you can trademark include:

  • Logos,
  • Slogans,
  • Product names, and
  • Brand names.

If you want to set your invention or brand apart from others on the market, a trademark is a great place to start.

Benefits of Registering Your Trademark

You can actually acquire a trademark automatically by using the mark in “commerce” in connection with your goods or services. However, taking the steps to register your trademark with your state or the USPTO also provides you with additional advantages.

Some of these advantages include:

  • Presumed ownership of the mark in the event a dispute arises;
  • Notice to other parties that you own the mark;
  • Exclusive right to use the mark statewide and nationwide;
  • Rights to prevent others from using the mark; and
  • Enforcement rights against others who do use the mark.

A trademark does more than just set your brand apart. A properly registered trademark can help you protect and expand the reach of your brand.

Are Trademarks Different from Patents or Copyrights?

Yes, definitely.

Patents, trademarks, and copyrights all fall under the general umbrella of intellectual property (IP). However, each one protects separate and distinct rights. 

Another distinction between these types of IP is the duration of protection.

Unlike patents and copyrights, trademark rights last forever as long as you continue to use the trademark in commerce, make required periodic filings, and pay the requisite fees.

Why Hire a Trademark Attorney?

So if you can file a trademark application on your own, you might be wondering, Why hire a trademark attorney at all?

It might seem tempting to go ahead and file on your own in an attempt to save money on hiring an attorney. However, hiring an experienced trademark attorney can be a great benefit that can actually save you time and money in the long run.

Assistance with Pre-Registration Trademark Clearance Search

Before you register a trademark, it is important to do a preliminary check for other marks that already exist that may be similar to the one you’re considering. Otherwise, you risk applying for a mark that could potentially be blocked from registration due to similarities to an existing mark.

A trademark attorney can conduct a comprehensive clearance search for trademarks in the USPTO database that may conflict with yours.

These types of precursory searches can prevent costly litigation down the line arising out of disputes where another company alleges your trademark is so similar to their own that you are creating confusion within the marketplace.

Application Process

After confirming there are no similar marks already registered, a trademark attorney can help prepare your trademark application. The USPTO has complex requirements that must be met before your trademark application can be accepted.

In some cases, the USPTO may issue  an “office action” with questions, requests for clarifications, or a rejection of  your proposed mark. An attorney can prepare responses to an office action to address any potential issues that are raised by the examiner.

Trademark attorneys are used to going through this application process and can help you ensure that you take all of the appropriate steps to  maximize the possibility of your nark being registered.

Post-Registration

After you register your trademark, this is not the end of the road for your brand. It is your responsibility to monitor the use of your trademark in the marketplace.

Understandably, most business owners are more concerned about operating their business than monitoring whether other people are using their trademark. However, this is still important to ensuring that others are not diluting the strength of the brand you’ve built.

This is another function that  a trademark attorney can help with. A trademark attorney can monitor new filings with the USPTO, keep track of any unauthorized use of your trademark by other entities, and advise you on the best ways to enforce your trademark rights and prevent further infringement by the other  parties.

Additionally, the USPTO requires you to renew your trademark registration after the fifth from registration and every 10 years after that . A trademark attorney can ensure that all the required documents are filed accurately and in a timely manner so your trademark registration will not lapse.

Instead of policing the use of your trademark and keeping up with these periodic filings, let an attorney take these things off of your plate. That way you can focus solely on running and expanding your business.

Contact John C. Laurence Law Today

Why hire a trademark attorney? The answer is simple: to help you protect your brand.

John C. Laurence is an experienced trademark registration attorney who has helped countless entrepreneurs, inventors, and creators as they grow their business and brands. He understands the value of intellectual property, and he will fight to help you protect yours.

If you have questions about trademark registration and how to move forward, contact John C. Laurence Law online or at 917-997-9967 for your free consultation.

Author Photo

John Laurence

John C. Laurence is the founder of John C. Laurence Law, PLLC. He received his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Polytechnic University and his J.D. from New York Law School. He is a member of the New York State Bar, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (Patent Bar), and the District Court of the Southern District of New York.

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