What makes a good Trademark?
The best trademarks are those that are words that do not necessarily describe the products or services that are offered by the business. Made-up words such as Google or words that are not used in their known context such as Apple are usually the strongest type of trademarks. Words that are not descriptive in nature but rather suggest what the product or service is can generally be registered successfully; however, they are not quite as strong as non-descriptive, non-suggestive words.
Can Trademarks be registered before using them?
Yes, they can.
This is done by filing an “Intent to Use” trademark application before you actually start using a particular trademark. If the trademark in questions is allowed, you will be required to show that you are indeed using it within a six-month period. If, after that period, you are not ready to use the trademark, you can request a six-month extension and begin use within that period. Up to five six-month extensions can be requested, which means that the timeframe within which you must begin using a trademark after registering it can be extended up to 30 months from the date the trademark is accepted.
What can I do if someone uses my registered Trademarks?
You can stop anyone from using your trademarks if you can prove through evidence that you are the first user of the trademarks in question and that the use of your trademarks by another person or entity is likely to cause confusion among consumers in the market you operate.
Although Federal Trademark Registration will provide you with a stronger mechanism to stop any infringers, even common law rights will give you legal grounds to stop them from using any of your trademarks — as long as the infringers operate within the market in which you regularly do business.
If you believe one of your trademarks is being infringed, you should immediately contact a trademark attorney, who will advise you on the best course of action for your unique case.
How long does the Trademark registration process usually take?
The duration of the examination process for trademarks varies; however, the whole process is usually completed anywhere from six months to a year, although it can take longer if any complexities arise down the road, such as a legal opposition.
An experienced trademark attorney can, however, speed up the examination process by submitting a strong application. Mistakes made in a trademark application are irreparable; even if a trademark is eventually accepted and registered, errors in the initial application could render a registration invalid and even open for cancellation later on.
How can I ensure no one starts using my Trademarks?
In order ensure no one else starts using your registered trademarks, you can use a monitoring service that alerts you when someone seeks to register trademarks that are similar or identical to yours.
Trademark monitoring services protect your business by identifying any third parties who might be using confusingly similar trademarks in ways that are closely related to your product or service.
What happens when a Trademark that has not been registered is being used by two people?
If two people are using the same trademark or trademarks, and neither has legally registered them, each party will have common law rights, limited to their geographical area. However, if the geographical areas, as well as the markets, overlap one another, then the party who can prove an earlier date of use of the trademark will have “prior rights.”
Do I need to register my Trademarks?
Federal registration of all your trademarks is the best way to guarantee that your rights over them cover the largest possible geographic region. Additionally, federal trademark registration gives you benefits and remedies you would not have otherwise such as the recovery of attorney fees.
Trademarks, Servicemarks, and Trade Names – What is the difference?
A trademark is a name, phrase, slogan, design, or combination of these that identifies and distinguishes a product or service and relates it to the company that provides it. A servicemark is a trademark that is used to specifically identify and distinguish a service. A Trade Name is the name of a business, which is only eligible for trademark registration if the same name is used on the products sold or the services provided by that company.
Romy B. Jurado – Your Trademark Attorney
Do you still have questions about Trademarks? Contact me and get them all answered. Send me an email to Romy@juradolawfirm.com to schedule an initial consultation and evaluate your case. Let me add you to my long list of satisfied clients!