Trademark Lawyer Helping Business Owners Protect Their Brand
If you have any sort of business, you know brand protection is vital when it comes to building customer confidence. Counterfeiters and imposters will try to capitalize on your reputation by delivering ostensibly the same product or service at a lower cost, but unfortunately at a lower quality. When this happens, your brand suffers while they capture the profits that should have been yours. Obtaining and actively defending a trademark can be a key component of your brand protection. An experienced trademark attorney from ESQgo® can help you get the trademark protection you need as well as defend it should someone infringe upon your rights.
What Is a Trademark?
A trademark is any symbol, word, design, phrase, or combination thereof that identifies the source of goods or services. In some cases, trademarks may extend to other unique aspects of a product such as the color or packaging. Here are some examples of trademarks that you may encounter every day:
- Brand names such as Nike, McDonald’s, and Amazon
- Slogans such as “Just Do It” or “I’m Loving It”
- Logos or emblems such as the Nike “swoosh” or McDonald’s golden arches
- Colors such as “UPS brown” or John Deere green and yellow
- Product shapes such as the Coca-Cola bottle or the shape of Toblerone chocolate bars
- Sounds such as the NBC chimes
- Fictitious characters such as the GEICO gecko or Disney’s Mickey Mouse
While it may sound like you may be able to claim almost anything related to your business as a trademark, this is unfortunately not the case. Trademark law is complex, but a knowledgeable trademark attorney can provide you with valuable guidance.
When Should I Consider Registering my Trademark?
This will depend on the nature of your business and your business goals, but a good time to consult with a trademark attorney is when you are starting a new business, offering a new product or service, expanding the geographic reach of your business, or updating or modifying your brand. A trademark attorney can help you decide what level of protection is appropriate for your business.
Trademark Ownership vs. Registration of Trademarks
You own your trademark the moment you begin using it in connection with your business – registration is not required. However, your trademark rights will be limited and will be enforceable only in the area where you provide your goods or services. If you want to strengthen your trademark rights and be able to protect them nationwide, you will need to register your trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). While registration may not be available for every situation, others face considerable exposure unless they register. An experienced trademark attorney can help you make the best decision for protecting your brand.
How Long Does the Trademark Registration Process Take?
The answer to this question will depend on the circumstances surrounding your trademark and your application. On average, we would estimate that the process takes approximately 9 to 12 months. Working with a skilled trademark attorney can help you navigate the registration process as quickly as possible.
How Long Does My Trademark Last?
Strictly speaking, your trademark will not expire so long as you continue to use it in connection with your business. However, you must renew the trademark about every 5 years.
Work with a Trademark Attorney from ESQgo, PC
At ESQgo®, we help businesses decide what protection they need for their brand. Whether you are wondering if you should register your trademark or want to understand your rights if someone else is infringing on your trademark, contact us today to discuss how we can help.