Trademark Protection: Safeguarding Your Business Assets

Understanding the Importance of Trademark Registration

If you own a business, it’s crucial to shield your intellectual property, including your brand, logos, and marks. Garrity Traina is a trusted and experienced Trademark Law firm, located in Orlando, that specializes in preparing United States trademark applications. Additionally, we handle the prosecution of filed applications, as well as the assignment and licensing of registered trademarks.

Registered trademarks, such as Burger King® and the distinctive curved shape on a Coca-Cola® bottle, play a vital role in establishing brand identity. Other elements that can be trademarked include words (e.g., Aspirin®), names, slogans, abbreviations/initials, designs, package designs, fictitious characters, colors (e.g., pink for insulation), sounds, and music.

Trademark Application

Apart from protecting your brand and logo design, obtaining legal trademarks bolsters your business’s credibility. Typically, the application process focuses on safeguarding your symbol within a specific country or region. Once our Orlando Trademark Attorneys submit your application to the U.S. Trademark Office, an Examiner reviews it to evaluate its suitability. Throughout this process, our expert trademark lawyer liaises with government agencies and addresses any concerns raised by the Examiner.

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The Value of Selecting the Right Trademark

Federal trademark registration shields your brand from unauthorized usage throughout the United States. Moreover, sounds (e.g., the chimes for NBC) and other forms of identification for your company can also be trademarked. When you invest time in creating the perfect logo or jingle that defines your company, the last thing you want is for someone else to steal your work. It’s important to note that not all trademarks receive the same level of protection. Therefore, it’s crucial to carefully consider your company’s needs before selecting the appropriate trademark category for your business. Trademarks must be distinctive and suitable for use as your company’s logos, service marks, trade dress, brand names, or slogans.

Trademarks can generally be categorized based on their product relationship and the strength of the name. These categories include:

Coined Marks

A coined mark is a word or phrase that holds no meaning other than as a brand name or logo. Examples include Xerox for copy machines or iPod for portable media players.

Suggestive Marks

A suggestive trademark implies rather than directly describes a product or service. These marks require a certain degree of imagination, thought, or perception. Examples include Chicken of the Sea for canned tuna or Coppertone for sun tan lotion.

Arbitrary Marks

An arbitrary mark is a term that gains popularity in general vocabulary without a logical relationship to specific goods or services. Examples include Apple for computers or Comet for household cleansers.

Descriptive or Secondary Marks

Descriptive trademarks describe a product’s purpose, features, qualities, or ingredients. However, they do not receive protection unless they acquire strength through a secondary meaning. Examples include RICH-N-CHIPS for chocolate chip cookies or World Book for encyclopedias.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Trademarks:

Q: Does registering my business name also protect my logos and other business assets?

A: Registering your business name prevents others from using an identical or confusingly similar name for a specific type of goods or services. Logos, symbols, and sayings are separate trademarks.

Q: Do I have to pay extra for a search?

A: No, there is no additional charge for a search. Our attorney in Orlando includes a direct name search in our basic trademark application fee of $975. If the desired name is already registered, we will promptly notify you and work together to find a solution that suits your business.

Q: What is the cost of trademark registration?

A: The flat fee for preparing and filing a new U.S. trademark application is $975. This comprehensive price covers attorneys’ fees, the government filing fee, and a direct name search. However, if your application faces challenges from the government or third-party opposition, additional prosecution may be necessary, which is not included in the flat fee. To ensure the best chance of approval for your application, please reach out to us via the contact form on our Garrity Traina website 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 filed, it can take anywhere from six months to over a year for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to register your mark. During this period, your pending registration grants certain rights dating back to the filing date. If someone files the same mark after your application date, you will be granted full use rather than the subsequent filer.

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Q: How long does a registered trademark last?

A: A registered trademark remains valid indefinitely, as long as it is continuously used and any maintenance fees are met.

Q: What are the benefits of registration for a small business like mine?

A: Obtaining a trademark provides exclusive rights within the United States to the registered item. This can include phrases, words, designs, or symbols that distinguish and identify your company’s services and/or goods from those of other businesses. Conversely, you don’t want another company creating a logo similar to yours. If the other company has a negative reputation, customers may mistake them for your business, leading to potential loss of customers and damage to your bottom line.

Protect your business assets and establish your brand identity by securing the appropriate trademarks. Contact Garrity Traina today to get started!