Infringement protection for intellectual property
A common law trademark is a type ofinfringement protection for intellectual propertywherein the property is used in commerce before it’s federally registered. The U.S. common law trademark starts when you use the mark in commerce for the first time within a geographic area.
How to establish a common law trademark?
Protection throughout the country,not limited to your geographical areaRight to use the symbol of an R in a circle () to denote a registered trademarkListing in the USPTO database to inform others of your use of the trademark
What are common law trademark rights?
The most important common law trademark consideration is that the right to exclusive use of a word, name, logo, or image as a trademark belongs to the person or entity first to use it in interstate commerce.
What is the purpose of trademark law?
The purpose of trademark law is to protect the consumer from confusion. The consumer needs to have a good understanding of the source of the goods or services being purchased. So, for trademark law, the purpose isn’t to protect the owner of the trademark, rather to protect the consumer.
How to protect your trademark from infringement?
We can even help you maintain a good business reputation by:Monitoring your trademark and filing a cease and desist letter in case someone tries to use itReporting fake negative reviews that could harm your businessDisputing illegitimate chargeback requests in a matter of minutes
What Is a Common Law Trademark?
A common law trademark is a mark, word, phrase, or combination of all three established through business or commercial use. It does not need to be federally registered but is associated with a brand or a product in a specific geographical area. Common law trademark can include the following:
How Is a Common Law Trademark Different From a Federal One?
There are many differences between how common law and federal trademarks works, as listed in the table below:
How to get a trademark for a TEAS?
Fill out the trademark application form (TEAS Plus or TEAS Standard), entering details about your business and trademark
How to protect your brand identity?
Others can use your brand name to make a profit off of it. So how can you protect your brand identity and intellectual property? You can use brand protection tools like trademarks, service marks, or copyrights.
What is federal trademark?
Federally registered trademarks are listed in the USPTO database, potentially deterring others from adopting a similar mark. Federal registration also gives trademark holders the right to file a lawsuit in federal court to enforce their rights. Federal registration also makes it easier to apply for foreign trademark registrations or to stop the importation of infringing goods.
What does "confusingly similar" mean?
“Confusingly similar" means that your mark is similar to a registered trademark and is used on the same type of goods or services, so that the public might be confused about their source.
What is trademark enforcement?
As with all trademarks, common law trademark enforcement is up to the trademark owner. If you don’t take steps to prevent others from using your marks, you could lose your trademark rights. Enforcement means taking action if you learn …
Why is trademark search important?
The trademark search is an important tool for identifying barriers to using your name, logo, or other trademark, and it increases the likelihood of a successful registration with the USPTO.
What is the purpose of a trademark search?
A trademark search will show whether your mark infringes on someone else’s federal, state, or common law trademarks. A comprehensive trademark search has at least three components:
What is a trademark in business?
Trademarks are words, phrases, symbols, or sounds that you use to identify your business. Famous trademarks include everything from …
What is common law trademark?
Common law trademarks can protect your business name, product names, logos, and taglines, but the protection is limited. For more comprehensive trademark protection, consider registering your trademarks with the USPTO.
How many trademarks does Gerben Law Firm have?
Gerben Law Firm has registered over 4,500 trademarks since opening our doors in 2008. We work with clients from all 50 states, and, from 30+ countries around the world. Contact us today for a free consultation with a trademark attorney.
How to protect your trademark?
The only way to truly protect your common law trademark is by making it a federal registration. As your business grows, national protection of the goodwill behind your brand and product becomes a top priority, and investing in a federal trademark registration is a wise business decision. Federal trademarks are able to use the ? symbol for deterrence, provide the right to sue infringers, and can help you recover fees if infringement litigation does occur. Obtaining a registration also puts others on notice, discouraging other parties from using the same or similar marks in your sphere of commerce and potentially preventing conflict before it even happens. Furthermore, many investors hold intellectual property portfolios in high regard, adding even more value to your business’s net worth.
What is the clearance process for trademarks?
In order to ensure a new trademark may not run into issues with an existing common law mark, the clearance process for new trademarks should include deep interest searches, industry-specific directory searches, business filing searches, social media searches, and even a domain search.
How to obtain a common law trademark?
A common law mark is obtained simply by using the trademark in association with your business or product. Unlike a federal registration, there is no application process for common law trademarks; additionally, there are no fees associated with attaining a common law mark. While common law marks are effortless to obtain, enforcing them is much trickier–and while the trademark owner can prevent those in their locale from using marks similar to theirs, that authority does not have the same nationwide range as a federal registration.
Why do federal trademarks have an earlier, proven first use date?
Typically this occurs because the common law trademark has an earlier, proven first-use date that can combat the federal trademark’s rights in a certain region.
How to strengthen common law rights?
In the end, the only way you can truly strengthen your common law rights is by attaining a federal registration. Not only does this evolve your trademark into something much stronger and more tangible, but it allows your business to do the same.
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How to get trademark protection?
One of the most important steps in gaining trademark protection of any kind is to conduct a trademark search. The focus of performing a clearance search is to ensure that similar brand identifier is not already in use. Some budding entrepreneurs skip this step since it’s not required. It only takes this one mistake, though, to land you in court for infringement. If you begin use of a trademark that is already registered or in use, you will not acquire any common law rights. Instead, you will be exposing yourself to a trademark infringement claim.
What happens if you infringe on a trademark?
Avoid court costs and damages: Infringing on another common law trademark will likely result in a cease and desist letter or litigation where you could be held financially liable for damages.
What are the common defenses to trademark infringement?
Here are just a few common defenses to claims of common law trademark infringement: The defendant’s use of the trademark predates that of the complainant. The plaintiff has waiting to long to take action which is called laches. Abandonment through disuse has occurred. The trademark is merely descriptive.
What does it mean if your trademark is not listed in the principal or supplemental register?
Not listed in Register: Not being listed in the Principal or Supplemental Register makes it less likely that others will know your trademark exists.
What happens if you use a trademark that is already registered?
If you begin use of a trademark that is already registered or in use, you will not acquire any common law rights. Instead, you will be exposing yourself to a trademark infringement claim. There are a variety of benefits of performing a common law trademark search:
How to protect your trademarks from infringement?
Monitor your industry: If trademark infringement occurs, it’s likely within your own industry. Keep tabs on competitors and national brands to ensure your intellectual property isn’t misused.
How to secure common law protection?
To secure common law protection, your trademark must be capable of distinguishing your goods or services from those of another and it must be in commercial use. To be sure that your trademark is eligible for common law protection, you should chose a strong trademark and do a trademark search.
Why is trademark important?
Trademarks help protect consumers from being confused as to the source of a product or service, and , of course , for business owners, a trademark can protect your brand as well. Indeed, common law trademark protection can be invaluable for small businesses because it provides a way to stop local competitors from using your mark.
What is a trademark in business?
Trademarks are words, phrases, symbols, or sounds that you use to identify your business . Famous trademarks include everything from …
What is common law infringement protection?
You maintain common law infringement protection so long as you continue to use the mark, and this protection includes the right to stop someone else in your same geographic area from using the same mark if their use is likely to confuse consumers.
What happens if you register a trademark with the USPTO?
If you choose to register your trademark with the USPTO, you receive additional protections and rights, including the following: The most important difference, though, is that, with registration, you also gain the right to sue for damages if someone infringes on your trademark.
What is a common law trademark?
A common law trademark provides protection for a symbol, logo, product name, or other words or marks that identify the source of goods or services before it is registered with the state or federal government. Trademarks help protect consumers from being confused as to the source of a product or service, and, of course, for business owners, …
What is the importance of common law trademarks?
Another important aspect of having a common law trademark is protecting it . You are responsible for "policing" the trademark, which means keeping track of whether anyone else is using it. Failing to police your common law trademark may lead to losing your rights to infringement protection.
Why is the name of a company important?
The name of your company may be your most important business asset—it tells people who you are and what you do.
What Are the Trademark Registration Rules?
Following the rules will ensure that your time and effort result in acquiring the exclusive rights of ownership of your mark.
What is trademark protection law?
Trademark protection law in the U.S. usually refers to the Lanham Act of 1946, which prevents counterfeiting and infringement of your intellectual property. It also governs the entire trademark application process.
How long does it take to get a trademark response?
You can expect the first response within three months. Keep checking the status of your application in the Trademark Status and Document Retrieval (TSDR) system to find out the next steps.
What is the first thing you do as a business owner?
One of the first tasks you should complete as a business owner is to obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN). Applying for it is usually a tedious process unless you use DoNotPay! We can file your application on your behalf and notify you accordingly.
How much do you have to pay for a trademark?
For instance, if you have two classes and use the TEAS Standard form, you will pay $700.
How long does a patent last?
Patent protection lasts 20 years