Trademark Attorney based in New York & Serving all of the USA.
Protecting Your Brand
Branding is an essential part of your business. It tells customers who you are and helps them to remember you.
According to Global Banking and Finance Review, 71% of consumers report that brand recognition is important to their purchase decisions, and 82% of investors rely on brand recognition to guide their investment decisions. Furthermore, consistent presentation of a brand can increase revenue by as much as 33%.
If you have not yet taken steps to protect your brand legally, you should seriously consider reaching out to a trademark attorney in NYC.
- Why TCP Law, PLLC?
- What Is A Trademark?
- What Are the Types of Trademark?
- Who Is A Trademark For?
- Why Does Your Brand Need Trademark Protection?
- What Is Trademark Infringement?
TCP Law, PLLC has dedicated many years to helping businesses develop, grow, and preserve their brand recognition and goodwill.
TCP Law, PLLC is based in New York City, a hub of innovation in the United States. The firm has helped businesses across the U.S. and even internationally with their branding needs. No matter where you are located, TCP Law. PLLC can help you build your brand and preserve your intellectual property rights.
When it comes to intellectual property law, you need a New York-based attorney with extensive experience, who will strive to understand your particular business’s specific and local needs.
John worked as an electrical and computer engineer before becoming an intellectual property attorney. This experience positions him well to see things from a client’s perspective and provide businesses and innovators with the tailored services they need most.
John has prepared and prosecuted numerous trademark applications for a variety of different businesses. John has also helped clients with proceedings before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board. He has experience helping clients protect their trademarks against unauthorized use and defending them against claims of trademark infringement.
Just like you, John takes pride in his work and his brand. TCP Law, PLLC has a reputation for excellence built from providing comprehensive, quality services to clients.
TCP Law, PLLC has many satisfied clients, as demonstrated by John’s 5-star rating on Avvo. Other recognition includes being named as a Rising Star by Superlawyers.com.
If you need help with any intellectual property law matter, consider setting up a consultation with John to learn more about what he can do for you and your business.
A trademark is a name, phrase, or symbol identifying your brand or product and distinguishing it from other brands and products. For example, you can trademark a logo, a product name like iPad, or a slogan like “You’re in Good Hands with Allstate.”
Owning a trademark gives you the right to use it exclusively for specifically defined goods and services. It also allows you to prevent other people from using the same or similar marks in a way that could cause confusion in the marketplace.
Generally, there are three main types of trademark: word marks, design marks, and a combination of word and design marks.
Word marks include only standard characters without any accompanying style choices like color or font.
Design marks are comprised of stylized words, letters, numbers, and/or design elements. These are often referred to as a logo. The Apple logo, the Nike “swoosh,” and the McDonalds “M” are famous examples of a design mark.
Composite may consist of a word or words combined with design elements. Some well-known examples include the Starbucks logo (the mermaid design with “Starbucks Coffee” around the outer ring) or the Samsung logo (the oval design with a stylized “Samsung” in the middle).
You may also have heard of certification marks. Unlike trademarks, a certification mark does not indicate the source of goods or services. Instead, a certification mark indicates the product’s adherence to some level of accepted standards with respect to that product. The seal indicating that a food is “USDA Organic” is an example of a certification mark.
Every business uses trademarks. Trademarks help you:
- Make your brand memorable;
- Distinguish your brand from others;
- Communicate attributes of your brand;
- Increase the value of your brand; and
- Use the Internet to advertise your brand.
You may already own trademarks without even realizing it. Names, logos, and other identifying marks are automatically provided common law trademark rights based solely on their use. Nevertheless, to fully protect your trademarks, you must register them.
Although registration is not required, you should seriously consider registering your trademark with either your state government or the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Registering your trademark gives you the following protections:
- The exclusive right to use the trademark nationally;
- Presumptive evidence that you own the valid trademark;
- Notice to others that you own the trademark; and
- Increased remedies for trademark infringement.
If you are operating your business only locally, registration with your state may be sufficient. However, registering your trademark at the national level with the USPTO has become increasingly important as more small businesses participate in e-commerce. It will also provide significant protection to your business if you want to expand into other states in the future.
Trademark infringement occurs when someone uses a mark that is identical or similar to your trademark in a manner that is likely to cause confusion in the marketplace as to the source of defined goods and services.
To prove trademark infringement, you must demonstrate three things: that the trademark is protectable, that you own it, and that someone used your mark in a way that causes a likelihood of confusion in the marketplace as to the source of the goods and services.
For a mark to qualify for protection, it needs to be distinctive. The distinctiveness of the mark is based on where it fits on the following scale, with fanciful being the most protectable and descriptive being the least protectable:
- Fanciful names have no meaning in relation to the goods and services provided under that name, such as Google;
- Arbitrary names have a meaning that is unconnected to the goods and services provided under that name, such as Camel cigarettes;
- Suggestive names suggest a characteristic of the goods and services provided under that name, such as Netflix; and
- Descriptive names describe the goods and services provided under that name, such as American Airlines.
Generic names generally aren’t protectable. For example, if you wanted to name your candy store “The Candy Store,” it’s doubtful that you would be able to trademark that name for these goods.
Generally, to prove ownership of a trademark, you need to show that you used it first with the defined goods and services. A trademark registered can be compelling proof of ownership and make protecting and enforcing your trademark much easier.
Finally, you need to prove the infringing use of your trademark presents a likelihood of confusion relating to the goods and services provided under that trademark. Evidence of this can include:
- How related the goods or services are;
- How much the trademarks sound or look the same;
- Whether the trademarks have a similar meaning;
- Whether anyone has actually been confused by the marks;
- How sophisticated your consumers are; and
- Whether you market your product or service in the same geographic area as the infringer or are likely to expand into the same area.
It’s essential to have a trademark attorney help you with a trademark infringement matter. They can ensure you pursue the proper claims against the right people and that you have the necessary evidence to support your claims.
You have several potential remedies for trademark infringement. The most common is to seek an injunction ordering the infringer to stop using your trademark. The court can also order any infringing goods to be destroyed.
Additionally, you can seek monetary damages for the improper use of the trademark. These are usually based on:
- Profits made by the infringer,
- Losses you suffered as a result of the infringement, and
- Your attorney fees and costs.
If you have registered your trademark with the USPTO, additional options are available to you under the federal Lanham Act. For example, if the infringement involved counterfeiting, you can ask the court to triple your damages. If your actual damages were minimal or difficult to prove, you can alternatively seek statutory damages. Depending on the circumstances, statutory damages could be as much as $2,000,000 per counterfeit mark.
How much a trademark costs depends on whether you file it with the USPTO or your state. State filing fees differ. In New York, trademark registration costs $50 for each classification of goods or services claimed.
The USPTO filing fee may be up to $350 per class of goods and services. Additionally, you will need to file periodic reports to keep your trademark protection alive, each of which will incur a filing fee.
Applying for a trademark involves several steps.
You must verify that no existing trademarks may be cited against your application before you attempt to register your mark. TCPLaw, PLLC will perform at least a knockout search for your mark to ensure no identical marks for the same type of goods and services existing within the USPTO database that may block your trademark application. TCP Law, PLLC can also supervise and analyze a trademark clearance search covering the U.S. and other territories where you may wish to protect your brand.
If your mark is not sufficiently distinctive, your trademark application could be rejected. Additionally, a distinctive trademark will be easier to protect down the road. TCP Law, PLLC will help you analyze the distinctiveness of your mark in relation to goods and services offered under that mark.
For a USPTO trademark registration, you will need to verify that you are already using the mark in commerce or that you intend to do so in the future.
Additionally, your application will need to include:
- Personal identifying information;
- A description and/or drawing of the mark;
- A description of the goods or services offered under the mark;
- If already in use, date when you first used the mark;
- If already in use, a specimen showing use in commerce of the mark for the described goods or services; and
- Your filing fee.
It’s essential to consult an attorney as you prepare your trademark application. Although it may seem like a simple form, the information you provide can significantly impact your ability to use and protect your trademark. A New York trademark attorney can advise you on how to give your trademark the broadest possible protection.
A trademark attorney in NYC can answer any questions you have about trademarks and help you with any legal issues that arise.
It’s always a good idea to consult with an attorney before filing your trademark application. Your attorney can:
- Advise you of where to register your trademark;
- Help you determine whether anyone has previously registered your trademark;
- Help you select a trademark that is legally protectable;
- Make sure you properly identify the goods and services covered in your trademark application;
- Help you prepare your initial application as well as subsequent reports to maintain your trademark; and
- Help you choose a specimen for your application that adequately shows how you will use your mark.
Once the application is filed, an Examining Attorney will perform a search and either allow the mark or issue an office action rejecting your application. There are many reasons why an application may be rejected, including a likelihood of confusion with existing registrations or applications. TCP Law, PLLC has experience prosecuting trademark applications, including drafting responses to office actions that may be issued by the USPTO or other trademark offices in territories outside the U.S.
There are many circumstances where you may want to grant a license to someone to use your trademarks. For example, you may want to permit a vendor to use your trademark for advertising your product. Conversely, you may want to license a trademark for your use of an identical or similar mark with related goods and services.
You want your licensing agreement to be thorough and address such details as:
- The specific circumstances where the licensee can use your trademark;
- The geographic area where the licensee can use your trademark;
- Whether the trademark license is exclusive;
- How long the license will last;
- How the license can be terminated;
- Remedies for violations of the license agreement;
- How much the licensee will pay you for the license; and
- Your rights to control the quality of products and services associated with your trademark.
Licensing agreements are formal legal documents that should always be prepared and reviewed by an attorney.
Whenever you are involved in a trademark infringement lawsuit—whether as a plaintiff or a defendant—it’s essential to have an attorney represent you. Your attorney can help you:
- Identify the right plaintiffs;
- Meet filing deadlines;
- Negotiate with the opposing party;
- Gather important evidence;
- Draft legal documents in support of your claim; and
- Argue your case at trial, if necessary.
Trademark infringement is a complex area of litigation. It is not something you want to face on your own. An experienced trademark litigation attorney is essential to protecting your intellectual property rights.
If you are ready to protect your trademarks, look no further than TCP Law, PLLC. John has the experience necessary to help you with all your intellectual property needs, including trademark, patent, and copyright issues. He has helped businesses all across the country file for trademark protection and enforce their intellectual property rights. Call or contact our office today to set up an initial consultation, and learn more about what John can do for you and your business.
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