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How Trademarks Protect Your Business

The Basics of Trademark Law

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TopConsumerReviews.com provides unique articles that you won't find anywhere else on the internet. These articles are designed to help you make the most informed decisions possible.

The Basics of Trademark Law

Whether you have a service business or have your own product line, there is probably some part of your business that is unique. That makes it necessary for you to consider obtaining a trademark.

Typically, a trademark is any symbol, expression, word, sign or logo that specifically identifies your specific product or service and is unique to your business or service. A trademark protects the branding or the name of the product. To be trademark eligible the name or expression must be unique rather than generic.

Obtaining a trademark gives you several benefits and protects you and your business in the marketplace.

First, a trademark illustrates to consumers and clients that you own this product or service. Second, since you register a trademark with the federal government, you can enforce your rights regarding your trademarked product or service in federal courts. That means you can defend your rights anywhere in the U.S. no matter what size business you own. Last, having a registered trademark protects your product or business from foreign competition and is a beginning step in establishing your international rights in case your business goes international.

There are two types of trademarks. Trademarks are used by the owners to identify physical commodities which may be natural or manufactured and which are sold and distributed in the marketplace. Service marks are used to identify services and their providers.

Both types of trademarks are obtained through an application process with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The application can be obtained online and filed on the internet using the Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS). Prior to filing the application, you may want to use TEAS to search existing trademarks online to ensure what you want to trademark has not already been trademarked by another company. Whether you undertake this step or not, staff members of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office will undertake this search as part of your application process to ensure your trademark will not infringe on the rights of another.

Once you have filed an application for trademark, you may have to wait for up to six months to be granted the trademark. Registered trademarks last forever unlike patents and copyrights which expire. However, you can lose your trademark if you fail to use it, if the term or name loses its meaning or through improper licensing such as simply giving it away.

Once you obtain approval of your trademark from the federal government, you may use the symbol in all your print and online business pieces.

Obtaining a registered trademark should be part of your overall business plan so that your business benefits from the protections that it offers.

China Trademarks: Too Good to be True

About a year ago, American Lawyer Magazine did an article, That Law Firm's Website Might Not Be for a Real Law Firm on "a new white paper [that] examines a growing trend of fraudsters posing as attorn...

Published:  Wed, 17 Oct 2018 05:12:00 GMT



Warner Media Opposes Trademark Filed By Actual 'Wicked Witch' Over Its Wizard Of Oz Trademarks

Thanks to the convoluted nonsense that is copyright law, readers here will likely be familiar with the insanity that is intellectual property rights revolving around The Wizard of Oz. Thanks to some o...

Published:  Fri, 12 Oct 2018 19:42:00 GMT



Trademarks: What Entrepreneurs Need to Know about Securing and Protecting Trademarks

Last week, we took a look at patent issues for nonprofit and for-profit start-ups. For our second installment in this series, we will examine another key area of intellectual property for start-up bus...

Published:  Sun, 07 Oct 2018 04:16:00 GMT



Shanghai sets up office to protect trademarks

Shanghai established a new trademark protection office in Xuhui district on Wednesday to help local trademark owners in overseas trademark infringement disputes, thepaper.cn reported. The office will ...

Published:  Wed, 17 Oct 2018 04:03:00 GMT



China Trademarks: The Dunhill Lessons

Last week, the Foshan Intermediate People's Court awarded RMB 10 million (nearly $1.5 million) in damages to the well-known British luxury goods brand Alfred Dunhill, finding Chinese copycat brand Dan...

Published:  Tue, 16 Oct 2018 08:08:00 GMT



Tesla Trademarks 'Teslaquila' For Real This Time

Earlier this year, Elon Musk tweeted a joke product for April Fools Day - a Tesla branded tequila. We all had a good chuckle over the obvious prank. But now it looks like its happening for real. And i...

Published:  Sun, 14 Oct 2018 16:43:00 GMT



Heisman Trust Tackles Website For Using Its Trademarks

Law360 (October 3, 2018, 8:52 PM EDT) -- The Heisman Trophy Trust on Wednesday sued a website that tracks the competition for the Heisman Trophy in New York federal court, claiming the site has used t...

Published:  Wed, 03 Oct 2018 17:58:00 GMT



Brand Trademarks 'Leucadia,' Sends Cease and Desist Letters to Local Shops

In a statement to NBC 7, the clothing brand acknowledged serving the cease and desist letters was a mistake. When the owners of Leucadia, a clothing brand few locals have heard of, sent cease and desi...

Published:  Fri, 05 Oct 2018 18:01:00 GMT



Supreme Court Asked to Consider Immoral or Scandalous Trademarks

Previously, I wrote about changes in the landscape for disparaging trademarks in the first year since the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Matal v. Tam, 137 S. Ct. 1744 (June 19, 2017). In that articl...

Published:  Thu, 11 Oct 2018 05:09:00 GMT



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