Experienced California Trademark Attorneys
If you own a small business, you have likely worked hard to cultivate a certain image and reputation within your community, and perhaps even across the country. Often, your logo may be an important part of that image, conveying to potential customers the type of company you are and the type of product you offer.
While logos are great, they can easily be copied or ripped off by other less scrupulous business people if you do not have the proper registrations and protections. Logos are not inherently protected, but require specific registration as part of the federal trademark process.
How Do Trademarks Work in Rancho Cucamonga?
Trademarks can be registered or unregistered. Registered trademarks are registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, which is operated by the federal government. Once a trademark is registered with the office, it has special protections and the owner of the trademark is entitled to certain legal rights.
Unregistered trademarks may still be entitled to certain regional protections, but are not able to assert the broader rights that come with a registered trademarks. As a result, unregistered trademarks are more likely to be subject to infringement, or copying of the trademark by another.
Registering your trademark is a relatively straightforward process. You must file an application with the USPTO. You must show that you currently have a business that is using the trademark so that it is “in Commerce.” Alternatively, you may also file an intent to use the trademark, and then update your registration once the trademark is being actively used.
In order for your registration to be successful, your proposed trademark, or a similar mark, must not already be in use by a different company operating in a similar type of good or service as you. For example, if you make pasta, your trademark cannot be identical or similar to an existing trademark for another food company. However, it is likely okay if your trademark is similar to that of a washing machine company.
What Registering Your Trademark Protects
Going through the process of trademark registration may at first seem like a lot of work for little reward, but the reality is that trademark registration entitles you to very important protections.
After you register a trademark, if a competing company in a similar market tries to use a brand name or logo identical or similar to yours, you can file a lawsuit to protect your mark in federal court. If the court finds the competitor is infringing on your mark, your competitor will be ordered to stop using its name or logo. Additionally you can also seek monetary damages against the infringer, including damages your business suffered as a result of the competitor using a similar mark.
California Attorneys Helping You Protect Your Brand Image
If you’ve taken the time to create and perfect a name or image for your company that your customers recognize and respect, it is also worth the time and effort to protect your creation against being copied or misused by others. At CKB Vienna LLP, our transactional attorneys have guided countless clients through the trademark process and are available to answer any questions you may have about trademarking. For more information, contact us online or at 909-980-1040.