Talk to us about filing your trademark. Our attorneys will review your goods and services giving you the best chance for the mark to register.
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Getting a trademark or service mark may seem simple, but it isn’t. The trademark attorney’s job is to assist you, his or her client in the process of picking out the mark that is going to be associated with your goods or services and with which you may have to live for many years. A cheap service company like legal zoom will fill out the forms for you, but not having attorneys, cannot legally offer you legal advice as pertaining to why a mark is good or not, why the mark is protectable, why a mark will be able to achieve secondary meaning or why it will garner punishing litigation.
When you start thinking about filing for a trademark you need to first do a trademark / service mark search and look for that word, phrase, logo or combination thereof in association with your goods and services. You very much want to find a mark that does NOT describe your goods and services.
“The Lanham Act defines a trademark as “any word, name, symbol, or device, or any combination thereof … to identify and distinguish his or her goods, including a unique product, from those manufactured or sold by others and to indicate the source of the goods, even if that source is unknown.” “A mark must be capable of distinguishing the products [or services] it marks from those of others.’” There are five categories of marks with respect to protection: (1) generic, (2) descriptive, (3) suggestive, (4) arbitrary, and (5) fanciful.
You want a mark that is fanciful as it is the easiest to protect and the easiest to obtain secondary meaning in association with your goods and services. For example “Apple” in association with computers is a fanciful mark, as is “Nike” in association with sneakers. Neither mark, when thought of in a vacuum give a hint that they should be associated with the thing they sell. On the other hand the term Apple in association with the fruit is generic as that is the common meaning of the word.
A good trademark attorney is going to provide you with advice as to where your mark stands in this scale. If they think your mark might put you in a position where a trademark infringement action would be filed against you for your use of the mark they will tell you this. A service company is not going to care and is just going to take your money, fill out the form and let you and your business survive or die based on pure luck alone. They will also not be able to help you when your trademark is rejected (the trademark office action).
So be careful when choosing your trade mark lawyer and or the company that is going to help you start your business. Please call with any questions. We provide free initial trademark consultations. Call toll free: 888-275-2757