Professional Trademark Lawyers in Southeastern, TX
What exactly are trademarks and service marks? Trademarks are words, phrases, symbols, or designs that identify the source of goods of one party from those of other parties. A service mark is the same as a trademark, except that service marks identify and distinguish the source of a service rather than goods.
Trademark law in the United States is complicated due to the multiple layers of possible rights an owner may have in a trademark. Successfully registering a trademark at the federal level, for instance, may not ensure that you own all of the rights to the trademark. In the U.S., a trademark may be registered not only at the federal level but also within any of the 50 state governments. This complicated process is exactly why you need experienced, trustworthy attorneys to guide you through registering your trademark or service mark.
To discuss more with our trademark and service mark lawyers in Houston, contact us online today or by calling 713-955-8682!
All About Trademark & Service Mark Law
A trademark can be established simply by using the mark in commerce without registering it with the Principal Register, which is maintained by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. However, registration of a trademark provides advantages to the owner. Registration can serve as public notice of the ownership of the mark. If you want to sue someone for using the mark without permission, it must be registered. Registration creates a legal presumption that you are the owner of the trademark and have the exclusive right to use the mark. A trademark must be registered in order for U.S. Customs to prevent the importation of foreign goods that are using the mark illegally. In order to use the federal registration symbol “®,” the trademark must be registered. However, if you do not register the trademark, you can use “TM” or “SM” to alert the public that you own the trademark or service mark.
How to Register a Trademark or Service Mark
In order to register a trademark or service mark, an application must be filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Once you file the application, the USPTO will conduct a search through registered trademarks and will not register your mark if there is another mark that is similar to yours for related goods or services. It’s advisable to hire a patent attorney who can help you with the legal requirements of registering a trademark. Our law firm can help you prepare the application and assist you in the search through millions of registered trademarks to see if there could be a potential problem.
It usually takes three months for an application to get assigned to an examining attorney with the USPTO, and then the examining attorney will refuse or accept registration. There are many reasons a registration may be denied. There may be other marks already registered that may cause confusion with your mark because of their similarity and the commercial relationships between the goods and services the marks represent. The mark may also not be registered if it is a description of the goods or services if it’s a geographic term or a last name.
After the mark is approved by the examining attorney, it will be published online. The public then has 30 days to oppose registration. If there is no opposition, the USPTO will send a registration certificate about 12 weeks later.
With all of this in mind, we, as experienced trademark attorneys, will be with you every step of the way of your trademark or service mark registration process. To get started, contact our trademark attorneys online today!
The Hay Law Group—Houston’s Best Trademark Attorneys
Whether you need guidance on how to register a trademark or service mark, or you believe someone is infringing upon your trademark, the experienced trademark attorneys at the Hay Law Group can help!
Believing that the practice of law isn’t simply a transactional relationship between the attorney and client, the Hay Law Group prides itself on fostering relationships with clients, making them more than just a case number.
Contact us today to speak with our professional lawyers in Houston.