A trademark is a word, phrase, symbol or design, or a combination thereof, that uniquely identifies and distinguishes the sources of goods in the marketplace.
A service mark is the same as a trademark, except that it identifies and distinguishes the source of a service rather than a product.
Though trademarks are a popular type of intellectual property, they are not legally required to be registered. A person, company, or organization can implement a trademark and use it while having certain protections. However, if you wish to grow your brand and or company, it is highly advised to register your trademark. Doing so can fully protect you and your company in numerous ways than if the trademark was not registered. If you need legal advice on trademarks, you should contact a trademark attorney in San Francisco, CA who is experienced in intellectual property and trademark laws.
An unregistered trademark has a limited amount of legal protection. If someone else or a competitor registers a trademark for similar products and or services with the purpose to confuse customers and funnel from your brand’s ideas and products, it will be challenging to sue and seek recompense if your trademark is not registered. The burden of proof for an unregistered trademark is much more difficult. In other words, trying to prove that a competitor is infringing on your rights and intellectual property while your trademark is unregistered will significantly weaken your claim.
On the other hand, if your trademark is registered, you will have the full protection of the law to sue and seek damages for infringement. Even if the other party is stating that they are not infringing upon your intellectual property rights, a registered trademark has a much stronger legal claim over the competitor, and the burden of proof falls on their shoulders. It is vital to seek a San Francisco, CA trademark attorney if your intellectual property rights are being infringed upon.
Trademarks are governed by the United States federal government. As such, the laws that involve trademarks are very strict. As previously mentioned, you are not required to register a trademark, but doing so grants its owner a great deal of protection. If an entity decides to register its trademark, it must do so with the United States Patent and Trademark Office or USPTO. The USPTO offers a trademark owner additional protections and a legal advantage over nonregistered trademarks. It is recommended to enlist the assistance of a trademark attorney in San Francisco, CA if you wish to register a trademark with the USPTO. Consulting a San Francisco, CA trademark attorney will ensure that all paperwork is submitted promptly and accurately.
Benefits of Registering a Trademark
In the local sense, if a trademark is not registered, it is still protected locally. For instance, if a small business operates within the confines of his or her neighborhood, town, or city, another local business or person may not infringe upon the initial business by offering similar products or services under a similar name or trademark. The initial business will have a stronger legal claim against the other business. A small business that does not extend its products or services beyond local borders may not see the benefit of registering their trademark if they are only operating locally. However, it is important to note that if the small business wishes to expand beyond its local borders, it is in their best interest to register their trademark. Registering a trademark grants its owner national protection. It also establishes a stronger case against infringement. If another business or company attempts to sue you for infringement and you are registered, whether or not you’re located across the country, you are automatically given the presumption of ownership as well. There is no doubt that registered trademarks inherit numerous protections from the federal government and USPTO.
Having a registered trademark gives you the automatic ability to sue in federal court. You also have the right to recover damages due to infringement. Some unregistered trademark cases can be taken to federal court. However, there are restrictions and requirements that need to be met in order to do so. The requirements can be difficult to meet, and cases with unregistered trademarks are often diverted to state court instead.
Regardless of whether a trademark is registered, it is essential to seek the expert advice of a Trademark attorney in San Francisco, CA if you have concerns about protecting your trademark and intellectual property. It is never too late to consult an attorney about registering your trademark. Your San Francisco, CA trademark attorney can determine whether your trademark is safe from infringement and the laws that govern intellectual property.
Not knowing how to effectively Protect intellectual property can be challenging. However, you do not have to figure it out on your own. Companies and individuals around the globe rely on the laws that govern intellectual property and the attorneys who practice within this specialized field. If you require legal assistance with intellectual property, it is advised to seek a professional trademark attorney in San Francisco, CA to help guide through the complexities of intellectual property law.
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