Texas Trademark Attorney
Does your business have a logo, slogan, or other unique branding that makes it easily identifiable amongst the competition? If so, you have a trademark, and that trademark needs to be vigorously protected. Not only should you register the trademark to establish your ownership of it, but you will also need to be prepared to defend your mark should anyone attempt to replicate it in any way. Hiring an experienced trademark attorney with Eddington & Worley gives you the best chance to not only have your registration approved but also to defend the trademark should anyone attempt to use it without proper approval. We have established a reputation as a preeminent intellectual property law firm in Texas, meaning you can count on us to provide the best representation for your business.
Whether you are seeking to register your mark for the first time, filing an appeal after the denial of an application, or fighting against trademark infringement, our team of attorneys is ready to fight for you. We will provide a risk-free initial consultation where you can speak with an expert and get answers to your questions and guidance on the best steps moving forward. Call our office today at (281) 595-1519 and start the process of protecting the marks that make your brand recognizable and unique.
What is a Trademark?
Popular brand names like Apple or Nike, their slogans, logos, and other items that distinguish their services and products come under the protection of state and federal trademark laws. Think about the Apple “apple” logo or the Nike “swoosh” and the slogan “Just Do It.” Trademarks work differently from copyrights. They receive different levels of protection according to different variables, such as the type of product or service it identifies, the geographic area where the trademark is in use, and customer awareness of the respective trademark.
Is it Time to File a Trademark Application?
Understanding what a trademark is and how it fits along with patents, domain names, business name registrations, and copyrights is important. This makes it easier to determine whether or not a certain legal document is needed.
With a trademark, it’s all about protecting a logo or brand name that’s in unison with specific goods and/or services, whereas a patent is designed to protect an invention. For copyrights, the emphasis is put on any type of artistic and/or literary work. A good example of this would be an individual that creates a brand-new vacuum cleaner and wants to set up a legal document to protect the invention. In this type of legal case, it’s best to move forward with a trademark application to protect the brand name while also setting up copyright documentation for any marketing that’s going to be done for the product.
With a domain name, it’s time to move online as this focuses on a web address that’s linked to a commercial entity. A domain name is part of the IP address for a particular website. An example of this would be something as simple as uspto.gov. The domain name has to be registered as an accredited name to receive full protection from a legal perspective. It’s important to note there’s a difference between a trademark and a domain name. With a trademark, it’s all about a specific good or service that is being connected to a specific source, while a domain name is an intellectual property that’s attached to an online asset (i.e. website). This means it doesn’t come under the idea of a trademark. However, other types of uses can fall under trademark use depending on the implementation. When it comes to registering a domain name through a domain name registrar, this is not enough to gain legal rights over the name. Setting up a domain name is one step but someone else could still hold legal rights over it.
The same idea applies to those with a business name looking to get a trademark for it. The only way to do this is by having a business name that is also connected to commercial goods and/or services. This ensures the trademark goes through for the business name. Each state has its regulations in place to manage registrations for business names and this can include official licensing after the name filing. It is important to file the documents in the state that a business is established. This helps create a legal business entity that is placed under a legal name such as a corporation or limited liability company.
To learn more about what a trademark has to offer and whether or not it’s a good fit, contact our office to speak with an expert trademark attorney.
Is It Necessary to Hire a Trademark Lawyer?
A trademark is an intellectual property right that protects the brand of a company. The idea is to allow the producer of services or goods to distinguish their goods and services from those of other producers. If you buy a hamburger that comes in a bag bearing McDonald’s arches, you can be sure that it came from McDonald’s as opposed to Wendy’s.
Various federal, state, and international trademark laws usually interact with each other. The laws may impact your business, whether you are aware of it or not, and you need to consider this when you develop a business strategy. If a significant part of your brand recognition is tied to a logo or slogan, it is likely in your best interest to consult a trademark lawyer.
Research and Compliance
Sometimes, businesses may find themselves in trouble after failing to properly research a catchy slogan, business name, or product packaging before they roll it out. If a different business is already using similar packaging, name, or slogan it can bring a lawsuit for trademark infringement.
Trademark wars usually end in substantial monetary damages as well as injunctive relief if the offending business is ordered by the court to change its brand, which effectively wipes out any goodwill acquired by that brand. However, it is possible to minimize or avoid these issues with thorough preparation upfront. A lawyer who specializes in trademarks will be aware of all of these issues and can undertake the significant research necessary to ensure that you do not violate any previously existing registrations.
International and Domestic Registration
Trademark law can and should be used for protecting the brand of a company. Various international, federal, and state laws allow businesses to “register” their trademarks, which in turn generally permits them to prohibit other individuals or companies from using such marks without authorization.
Registration isn’t an automated process. Every application is reviewed to be sure that it meets the requirements set by the registration office. Every level of government has different rules when it comes to trademark registration and at times there are ways you can more easily register a trademark in multiple countries simultaneously.
Enforcement and Protection
You still have to take several steps to enforce your registered trademark to protect your registration. If you don’t do that, you can easily lose your registration status. Our lawyers can and will help you come up with a policing strategy and intervene on your behalf if others try to use your trademark without authorization. Your trademark sets you apart and is a unique identifier in an often crowded field of competitors.
Contact Eddington & Worley Today for a Free Consultation
Your business has likely invested significant time and money into developing a unique brand that is identifiable through its logo or slogans. Now that the hard part is over, don’t let someone else benefit from your investment. Trademark protection gives you the right to exclusively use your marks and enforces significant monetary penalties on anyone who violates those rights. The best way to not only register your trademark but also defend it against infringement is by hiring a trademark attorney at Eddington & Worley.
Our intellectual property attorneys are ready to help you with all of your intellectual property needs. We know how valuable your marks are to your business and will work closely with you to obtain and enforce the appropriate protection. Call us today at (281) 595-1519 for a free consultation with our trademark experts.