As Trademark Attorneys, Kinney Firm can help you protect your brand and the time and money you’ve invested to develop your business, products and services by registering trademarks for your tradenames, logos, and slogans.
KINNEY FIRM CAN SECURE & PROTECT YOUR TRADEMARK
A trademark is an indicator or source; it’s the colors, image, font, slogan that make people think of your brand. Examples are: the Nike Swoosh or McDonald’s Golden Arches or “I’m Lovin’ It.” When you see the swoosh or the golden arches, even without words, you think of the brand behind it… Nike or MCDonald’s.
Logos, slogans and intellectual property developed for a brand can have significant value. Investors or potential purchasers will want to know you have actual ownership of the brand elements and are able to license, assign or transfer the interests they are looking to acquire.
So, if you are spending the time and money to build your brand, create goodwill and brand recognition and equity, wouldn’t you want to protect protect your investment by making sure you own your name and/or logo and keep others from using your mark? That’s what registering your mark at the federal level does for you.
ADVANTAGES OF FILING A TRADEMARK
Deter potential infringers or your competition from using your mark.
Block importation of similarly branded goods from offshore manufacturers.
Ability to bring an action in federal court with an advantage in terms of burden of proof.
Ability to pursue statutory damages rather than having to prove concrete value of damages.
May entitle you to triple the amount of the actual damages if there is a loss of business due to violation of trademark.
U.S. registration is a local basis for international registration, providing you benefits afforded by overseas Trademark Offices, while still guaranteeing the full protection of U.S. trademark law.
The Trademark Registration Process
1. FILE APPLICATION
The Trademark process generally takes between 6-12 months, with the registration being retroactive to the date of filing. So if you have a mark you are using or are going to use in next six months, you should file sooner rather than later.
After you make the initial application, it generally takes within 3- 6 months for an examining attorney to be assigned. They will review your application and notify you if issues arise or changes need to be made and you must respond to them within the allotted time or risk the application being rejected and losing your filing fee. Federal filing fees are non-refundable and that is why is is crucial that your application be filed correctly and you promptly respond to all Office Actions.
After your application has been amended, if necessary, your mark is published for opposition and if, unopposed your mark will be registered. Many businesses choose to have an intellectual property attorney handle the application to ensure it is done right, the first time and to handle any issues that may arise during the process.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How much is a federal trademark?
Preparation fees vary depending on the attorney or service you use to research, prepare and file your application, and these fees are separate from the federal filing fee. The federal filing fees for trademarks depend on the type of application being filed, generally you can expect to pay $275 or $325 per mark, per international class.
With a federally registered trademark you are able to deter infringement by being searchable in the online database, the ability to sue federally, the right to statutory damages and a lessened burden of proof at trial.
What is the difference between ™ and ® and when can I use them?
Great question! A lot of people are confused about what these symbols mean and the proper way to use them. Regardless of whether you have registered your logo, slogan or mark, or not, you are able to use the ™ symbol to put potential infringers on notice that you are claiming ownership and rights in your intellectual property. You can even use the ™ symbol if federal registration is refused. Use of this symbol does not guarantee trademark protection, but just serves as a notification to others you are claiming rights to the name.
The ® symbol is used, only with and for, registered marks. In the U.S. you may only use the symbol after registration of the mark has been granted.
What does SM mean?
SM stands for Service Mark and functions the same way the ™ symbol does, only it refers to services like banking or counseling and not tangible goods or products.
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