Trademarks and service marks help consumers identify your brand by associating
these identifying words or visuals with your business. Consumers tend
to associate trademarks or service marks with consistent, quality products
or services. The rightful owner of a trademark or service mark can prohibit
others from using the same or similar mark that is likely to lead to confusion
among consumers regarding the source of the products or services.
If you have questions about protecting your intellectual property, including
the use of trademarks or service marks, our Mt. Vernon trademark attorney
at The Browne Firm can help. We can guide you through the trademark application
process, perform clearance searches, and help address and resolve any
Office Actions that may arise.
Call (914) 290-5622 or contact The Browne Firm online to get answers to your trademark questions.
When and How to Use Trademarks and Service Marks
You will typically want to apply for a formal, federal trademark with the
United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to ensure your intellectual
property receives full protection. We can help guide you through this
process and help avoid common errors in your registration.
Once approved, your business should always incorporate the official ®
symbol or the term “Registered Trademark” with the associated
words or visuals. The symbol immediately and obviously demonstrates your
rights to the trademark and and will put third parties on notice that
they must refrain from using it without your express permission. It can
also dissuade competitors from attempting to file for similar trademarks.
If you have not yet federally registered with the USPTO or are in the process
of doing so, you can still use “TM” for trademarks and “SM”
for service marks with the associated element. This essentially “stakes
a claim” to associating the words or visuals with your product or
service, even if you have not yet been granted a registered trademark.
This can serve as a deterrent to other businesses that may be considering
a similar trademark or service mark.
Another important thing to consider is that your business should be cautious
in pursuing trademarks that represent your product or service as a noun
or verb. Doing so runs the risk of your trademark becoming synonymous
with a homogenous category of goods or services, diluting its efficacy
and even opening up the possibility of losing your trademark entirely.
Instead, trademarks should ideally function as an adjective describing
your business’s product or service. We at The Browne Firm can help
provide guidance in avoiding this and other common trademark pitfalls.
Our Mount Vernon trademark attorney is prepared to handle all of your trademark
and intellectual property protection needs. Dial (914) 290-5622 or contact us online to get started today.