A “trademark” or “service mark” is defined as distinctive symbol, mark, word (or words) used in association with the offer of the goods or services for sale that is either legally registered or established by use as representing a company or product in the marketplace. Trademarks and service marks are source identifiers. Trademarks often form the basis of a product’s branding. Our firm assists in the registration and enforcement of trademarks, as well as defending against allegations of infringement.
Trademark prosecution and registration is the process of filing a trademark or service mark application, prosecuting the application with the Trademark Office until registration, and then keeping the registration renewed for the length of time the trademark is in use. A trademark will lastas long as it is continuously used in commerce in relation to the goods or services at issue. A trademark must be policed, to prevent a loss of trademark rights.
Federal Trademarks are filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). An application can be prepared and filed online, a sample of use must be provided at the time of applying or shortly thereafter. A USPTO examining attorney will review the application and determine whether the Trademark can be registered, or object to registration through an “office action.” The Law Offices of Linda S. McAleer can assist you through the process from beginning to end, including evaluating the strength of your mark, anticipating potential objections, preparing the application and responding to office actions.
“Infringement” is the act of breaking a law or rules. While it is smart to legally register your trademark, it’s not always necessary to have a registered trademark in order to prove infringement. If you can prove that the mark is 1) legally protectable, 2) you own the mark, and 3) that the infringing company (or person) is causing confusion in the same marketplace by using a mark similar or the same as yours on a product similar or the same as yours, you may be able to establish that there has been a legal violation of your trademark.
While this all seems straight forward, it’s not – which is why it’s important that before you do anything else, you contact an Intellectual Property attorney if you believe your trademark has been infringed upon. An attorney can help you sort out your rights and help you determine the right course of action to protect you and your brand.
The Law Offices of Linda S. McAleer have helped small local clients as well as larger startup companies to develop their Intellectual Property portfolios and protect and enforce their trademark rights. We provide a comprehensive range of services from searching for existing marks and advising on the protectability of a mark before our clients get started, to litigation for trademark infringement and right of publicity, to licensing and monetizing use of the mark. At the Law Offices of Linda S. McAleer we firmly believe that no matter how large or small your company is, you are afforded the same protection under the law – and we will fight to protect your rights.