If you want to register a trademark, obtaining the services of a trademark law firm may be in your future.
A trademark law firm is helpful when you want to create a trademark. But before you create one, you may want to take a few steps or do a few things beforehand. You can do some of these things yourself, but everything can go much more smoothly (and you’ll have more peace of mind), if you have a trademark attorney’s help.
Check to See If Someone Already Registered Your Trademark
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) handles trademarks and their registration in the United States. Before attempting to register a trademark, you’ll want to see if the trademark you want to register is available. This is because you cannot register a trademark that is someone else already owns. Additionally, if the trademark you want to register is very similar to another one, you may not be able to register it.
How do you find out if the trademark you want is available? You (or your attorney) can search the Trademark Electronic Search System database, which the USPTO manages. But just because you find that someone else already has their trademark registered with the USPTO, don’t panic. As a general rule, the person or business that first uses a trademark in a given geographical area will receive trademark protection, not who registers it first. Registering a trademark does not provide absolute trademark protection, although it makes defending a trademark from a challenge much easier.
Develop a Legal Strategy
As mentioned above, if you find that someone is already using the trademark (or a similar one) you want to register, you may still be able to register your trademark. But you may need to take legal action. But this legal action will take time and money that you may not have or may not want to spend.
But making this decision will depend on a variety of factors, such as how important the trademark is to you and whether you can develop a different one that is not similar or the same as one someone else took time to register.
For example, if your trademark is for a brand new business or product that has not yet established itself in a geographical area or with customers, it may easier and cheaper to just create another trademark that no one else is using.
On the other hand, if you have many customers and potential customers that recognize your trademark and losing it would take away the identity of your business, then moving forward with legal action is probably a good idea, or at least worth the legal cost.
You should only make this decision with plenty of information and professional legal advice. And it’s not as if you need to commit thousands of dollars for legal expenses to figure out what you need to do. A simple consultation with a trademark attorney may be all that is necessary to figure out what your legal options are. From there, you can decide on what to do next.
Find out what you need to know about hiring a trademark law firm by calling our legal team at the Wilbanks Law Firm, P.C. at (706) 335-2355.