Trademark

Clients Rate Lawyers on our Platform 4.9/5 Stars
based on 3,331 reviews

Jump to Section

Need help with a Trademark?

CREATE A FREE PROJECT POSTING
Post Project Now

Trademarks are a great way to protect the essence of what makes your company special. A trademark is a great way to ensure that your company’s brand elements remain yours for exclusive use, from design elements to slogans. You may want to consider registering your trademarks to receive additional legal rights as well.

Below, we’ve detailed what business owners should know about trademarks and intellection property protection:

What is a Trademark?

Trademarks are a form of intellectual property protection for brands. They signify that a company protected its recognizable signs, designs, or expressions. Business owners can denote trademarks with the TM symbol, or ™, on product and service marks.

Here is an article that defines trademarks.

Purpose of a Trademark

The purpose of a trademark is to prevent competitors from infringing upon your company’s trade dress . Trade dress is the portfolio of brand elements that make your company unique, including logos, slogans, and more. Registered trademarks offer additional legal protection by giving you the authority to file claims against infringers.

Trademark vs. Copyright

A trademark protects items that distinguish one business from another, whereas a copyright protects original work. Affixing a trademark symbol to the element creates a trademark. On the other hand, you receive copyright protection upon creation.

Trademark vs. Patent

Patents allow inventors to protect new ideas or prevent others from commercially exploiting those ideas without permission. On the other hand, Trademarks are unconcerned with how new inventions work. Instead, trademarks would protect the branding and trade dress if a business commercially sold the invention.

Here is an article that goes further into trademarks.

What is Trademark Registration?

Trademark registration is the formal legal process of staking a claim over a name, symbol, figure, letter, word, logo, or a combination of these. You can also include scent and sound in trademark registration. A company uses a trademark to identify its goods and services from others.

Registering a trademark is essential to asserting your foothold over your brand and associated design elements. This action supports a long-term brand strategy.

Meet some lawyers on our platform

Albert M.

8 projects on CC
View Profile

Briana C.

51 projects on CC
View Profile

Ryenne S.

47 projects on CC
View Profile

Michael M.

87 projects on CC
View Profile

What is a Trademark Search?

A trademark search tells brand owners whether they have the right to use their intended mark. Brand owners can use a trademark search to determine if they can register a mark.

Companies may have to adjust their brand strategy accordingly based on the results of a trademark search. Before using a trademark commercially, conducting a trademark search is critical for developing a successful brand strategy and can save owners time and money in the long run.

Here is another article also about trademarks and searches.

How To File a Trademark

A trademark is a way to prevent other companies from using your brand name or logos when selling products or services. Consumers can also quickly recognize a product or service as belonging to a specific company.

It’s important to remember that a trademark can protect not everything. You can’t trademark generic words or phrases, for example, unless rarely used.

Furthermore, you cannot trademark anything that already has a trademark. Trademarks can last indefinitely if you continue to use them, file documents, and pay fees every ten years or so.

Below, we’ve outlined the seven steps for how to file a trademark:

Step 1. Prep Your Trademark Application

You’ll need to know if your trademark can be registered before you apply. Check the database of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for assurance.

Get started by heading to the USPTO application website. Then go to print the forms you’ll need for your trademark application . While you can submit your application digitally, having a physical copy ensures that you comply with the rules of evidence.

A physical copy is also helpful in case a dispute arises.

You may want to hire a trademark lawyer at this point to assist you with the process. While residents of the United States are not required to hire an attorney, it is strongly recommended due to the various legal complexities. Making legal mistakes can end up costing you far more than the application itself, so legal representation is a worthy investment.

Step 2. Ensure Your Application Is In Compliance With Trademark Law

Once you’ve collected all of your forms and are ready to submit, ensure that your application complies with all legal requirements. Trademark law is vast and complicated, even for a relatively simple designation. You could also miss nuances and rules, so legal help is always vital to the best possible outcome.

For example, your trademark must be:

  • Federally registerable
  • Identifiable
  • Filed properly

Also, keep in mind that you must comply with all deadlines because this is a legal proceeding. You could also run your documentation by trademark application lawyers to support an approval.

ContractsCounsel Trademark Image

Image via Pexels by Miguel Á

Step 3. Work with the USPTO Examining Attorney

After you’ve submitted your application, you’ll need to keep an eye on its progress. This strategy will inform you of your next steps and deadlines of importance.

The application is sent to a USPTO examining attorney when moving your application forward. This individual will look over your application, look for any conflicts, and see if you followed all applicable rules and statutes.

The attorney may deny your application in some matters. If that’s the case, they’ll send you a letter explaining why and what you need to do to fix it. You must respond quickly if this occurs to ensure the best possible outcome for your situation.

Step 4. Receive Approval or Rejection

After application review, the USPTO inform you of their decision. The decision is either an approval or denial.

If your trademark is approved, they will publish it in the “Official Gazette,” a weekly publication of the USPTO. This publication allows aggrieved parties to respond and file an opposition. You’ll also have to endure a separate legal process if this happens to you.

If everything goes well, the USPTO will issue you a certificate of registration.

Step 5. Defend Your Legal Rights

Many people mistakenly believe that the process is complete once you have the certificate in your hands. Unfortunately, that’s not the case yet.

To keep the registration active, you’ll need to keep filing specific maintenance documents. If you don’t keep up with your trademark, it will be canceled or expire. When this situation arises, you’ll have to reapply for protection.

Step 6. Add the TM Symbol for Enhanced IP Protection

The final step is to add the TM symbol to your trademarks. This designation lets competitors and the general public know not to use your works. You don’t have to add the symbol to invoke protections, but you need to give infringers a chance to remove content if you choose not to use it.

Step 7. Speak with a Litigation Attorney If You Discover Infringement

It’s a good idea to build a relationship with a lawyer if someone infringes upon your legal rights. They have processes and technologies that help clients discover instances of infringement. Your attorney can also act quickly when finding wrongdoings.

Get Legal Help with Trademarks

Register your trademarks with the USPTO for the greatest possible protection if you want to protect your company’s brand. Trademark lawyers can assist you in this capacity. They can also help you safeguard other IP rights, such as copyrights and patents.

Post a project in ContractsCounsel’s marketplace to get started on your Trademark Application. All lawyers are vetted by our team and peer reviewed by our customers for you to explore before hiring.

How ContractsCounsel Works
Hiring a lawyer on ContractsCounsel is easy, transparent and affordable.
1. Post a Free Project
Complete our 4-step process to provide info on what you need done.
2. Get Bids to Review
Receive flat-fee bids from lawyers in our marketplace to compare.
3. Start Your Project
Securely pay to start working with the lawyer you select.

Meet some of our Trademark Lawyers

Simon C. on ContractsCounsel
View Simon
Member Since:
August 5, 2021

Simon C.

Corporate Attorney
Free Consultation
Get Free Proposal
Utah
18 Yrs Experience
Licensed in UT
Brigham Young University Law School

Corporate counsel with years of in-house experience working with and reporting to board / executive-level and upper management, along with extensive regional / national law firm background in commercial transactions and contracts, complex commercial litigation, and employment matters. Skilled at executing corporate priorities, driving profitability by implementing goal-oriented processes to achieve revenue and productivity targets, and managing company litigation and outside counsel. Recognized for creating policies and practices to address ethical dilemmas and resolving misconduct.

T. Phillip B. on ContractsCounsel
View T. Phillip
4.8 (5)
Member Since:
August 10, 2021

T. Phillip B.

Attorney
Free Consultation
Get Free Proposal
Illinois
26 Yrs Experience
Licensed in IL
Drake University Law School

Attorney creating plans and strategies to help individuals create, build, protect and pass on wealth.

Keidi C. on ContractsCounsel
View Keidi
5.0 (5)
Member Since:
August 25, 2021

Keidi C.

Principal Attorney
Free Consultation
Get Free Proposal
Boston, MA
24 Yrs Experience
Licensed in MA, NY
New England Law | Boston

Keidi S. Carrington brings a wealth of legal knowledge and business experience in the financial services area with a particular focus on investment management. She is a former securities examiner at the United States Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) and Associate Counsel at State Street Bank & Trust and has consulted for various investment houses and private investment entities. Her work has included developing a mutual fund that invested in equity securities of listed real estate investment trusts (REITs) and other listed real estate companies; establishing private equity and hedge funds that help clients raise capital by preparing offering materials, negotiating with prospective investors, preparing partnership and LLC agreements and advising on and documenting management arrangements; advising on the establishment of Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs/Token Offerings) and counseling SEC registered and state investment advisers regarding organizational structure and compliance. Ms. Carrington is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University with a B.A. in International Relations. She earned her Juris Doctorate from New England Law | Boston and her LL.M. in Banking and Financial Law from Boston University School of Law. She is admitted to practice in Massachusetts and New York. Currently, her practice focuses on assisting start ups, small and mid size businesses with their legal needs in the areas of corporate and securities law.

Jim S. on ContractsCounsel
View Jim
Member Since:
August 13, 2021

Jim S.

Attorney
Free Consultation
Get Free Proposal
Florida
36 Yrs Experience
Licensed in NY
Notre Dame

Jim Slattery most recently served as General Counsel at Regional News Network, a large owner of broadcast television stations. Jim is an experienced attorney with broad-based expertise. He is a seasoned negotiator who has been involved in negotiations as complex as the Olympic Games. Jim spent 18 years as Vice President for Business and Legal Affairs at NBCUniversal. Previously, Jim worked in the media industry in various roles at All American Television. Jim’s success can be attributed to his ability to properly analyze data, manage projects, lead teams, develop creative solutions for complex problems, focus on strategically optimizing assets, manage/allocate risk and collaborate with divergent constituent groups to achieve objectives. Jim received a J.D. and a B.B.A. from the University of Notre Dame.

Namrita N. on ContractsCounsel
View Namrita
4.9 (11)
Member Since:
August 18, 2021

Namrita N.

Attorney at Law
Free Consultation
Get Free Proposal
Plano, TX
2 Yrs Experience
Licensed in MN, TX
Mitchell Hamline School of Law

Retired Dentist transitioned to Law, with a special interest in Commercial Real Estate, Startup businesses, Asset Purchase Agreements, and Employment Contracts. I love to help dentists and physicians with legal issues pertaining to licensing, credentialing, employment, and general business-legal questions.

Jonathan H. on ContractsCounsel
View Jonathan
Member Since:
September 18, 2021

Jonathan H.

Owner
Free Consultation
Get Free Proposal
New York
10 Yrs Experience
Licensed in NY
Pace Law School

I’m an attorney focusing my practice on concierge corporate and intellectual property law for startups and high-growth companies. I also serve as outside General Counsel to several businesses in various sectors. Since founding my practice I've worked with hundreds of clients across a variety of industries. My experience as a former General Counsel of a premier edtech company gives me unique insight into the challenges my clients face and how to resolve them efficiently and cost-effectively.

George F. on ContractsCounsel
View George
Member Since:
August 18, 2021

George F.

Attorney
Free Consultation
Get Free Proposal
Astoria, NY
21 Yrs Experience
Licensed in NY
Fordham University School of Law

The Law Office of George K. Fuiaxis, from the very beginning in 2002, has built a reputation with its clients as an unmatched, diligent, hands on law practice that is always on duty to find the best course of action for its clients. With a supreme pledge of exceptional service to its clients in the areas of Real Estate (Commercial & Residential), Loan Modifications, Intellectual Property, Corporate Law & Business Transactions, Wills, Trusts & Estates, the Law Office of George K. Fuiaxis creates solutions for the many faceted problems faced by its clients. The office represents several various clients, including well known lending institutions, foreign and domestic corporations, sellers and buyers of residential and commercial real estate, residential and commercial landlords and tenants, well known restaurant and business owners, automobile dealerships, airline companies, well known fashion, sports and entertainment industry individuals and corporations, information technology (IT) startups and well known IT companies.

Find the best lawyer for your project

Browse Lawyers Now

Want to speak to someone?

Get in touch below and we will schedule a time to connect!

Request a call