If you own a company, you need to protect your intellectual property, such as your brand, marks and logo. Daniel Law Offices is a full service Trademark Law firm that engages in the preparation of United States trademark applications, prosecution of filed applications, as well as assignment and licensing registered trademarks. Everyday examples of registered trademarks include Burger King® and the curved shape on a bottle of Coca-Cola®, which is distinct to the brand. Other items that can be trademarked include words (i.e., Aspirin®), names, slogans, abbreviations/initials, designs, a package design, fictitious characters, color (i.e., pink for insulation), sounds and music.
Not only do legal marks protect your brand, logo design and website domain name, but it also gives your business credibility. Typically, preparation of an application is made to protect your symbol in a specific country or region. Once we file your application with the U.S. Trademark Office, an Examiner will be assigned to review your application and to determine whether to allow the mark as submitted. During this process, our trademark lawyer will correspond with the appropriate government agencies and address any concerns the Examiner has regarding your application.
What is the Value of Selecting a Trademark?
Federal trademark registration protects your brand from being used by anyone else, anywhere in the United States of America. Furthermore, a sound (such as the chimes for NBC) or other forms of identification for your company also may be trademarked. When you spend a lot of time creating the perfect logo or jingle that defines your company, you definitely don’t want someone else to steal your work. Not all trademarks receive the same level of protection, so you must consider your company’s needs before selecting the category that is right for your business. Trademarks should be distinctive for use as your company’s logos, service marks, trade dress, brand names or slogans.
Generally speaking, marks can be categorized by the product relationship and basic strength of name to include:
- Coined Marks – A coined mark is a word (or words) that have no meaning other than as a brand name or logo, such as Xerox for copy machines or iPod for portable media player.
- Suggestive Marks – A suggestive trademark suggests rather than describes a product or service. Suggestive marks require a certain degree of imagination, thought or perception, such as Chicken of the Sea for canned tuna or Coppertone for a sun tan lotion.
- Arbitrary Marks – An arbitrary mark is a term that becomes popular in the general vocabulary without a logical relationship to specific goods or services, such as Apple for computers or Comet for household cleansers.
- Descriptive or Secondary Marks – Descriptive trademarks related to purpose, features, qualities or ingredients do not receive protection unless they acquire strength through a secondary meaning, such as RICH-N-CHIPS for chocolate chip cookies or World Book for encyclopedias.
Frequently Asked Questions about Trademarks:
Q: Does registering my business name also protect my logos and other business assets?
A: Registering your business name will prevent anyone else from using an identical or confusingly similar name (think McDarrels) for a particular type of goods or services. Secondary items such as logos, symbols and sayings are separate trademarks.
Q: Do I have to pay extra for a search?
A: You do not have to pay for an expensive search before our attorney in Orlando files a trademark application. This is because we include a direct name search in our basic trademark application fee of $775. If the name you want is already registered, we will notify you immediately and work with you to find a solution that will work for your business.
Q: How much does trademark registration cost?
A: Our flat fee for preparing and filing a new U.S. trademark application is $775, and this price includes attorneys’ fees, the government filing fee and a direct name search. Should the government challenge your application or if there are third party oppositions to your application, your application may require additional prosecution not included in this flat fee. To guarantee your application has the best chance of being allowed, use this website’s contact form, or call us at 407-841-8375 in Orlando or nationwide at 1-866-37PATENT.
Q: How long does the registration process take?
A: Once your application is filed, it could take from six months to over a year for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to register your mark. Once an application is filed, the pending registration grants you certain rights from the date of filing. That means that if someone else filed the same mark after the date of your application, you will be granted full use instead of the person who subsequently filed.
Q: How long does a registered trademark last?
A: A registered trademark will last forever, so long as it is in continuous use and any maintenance fees are met.
Q: My business is small. So, how will registration help me?
A: Obtaining a trademark gives you exclusive rights – in the United States – to the item you registered. This can be almost any phrase, word, design or symbol that distinguishes and identifies your company’s services and/or goods from other companies’ goods and services. Conversely, you don’t want someone creating a logo that is close to yours – if they have a shoddy business, customers could see their one-off logo and assume that the other company is affiliated with your company. That could be devastating to your bottom line as you could lose customers because of that company if they think you are affiliated.