Protect your name, designs, and products
We advise clients on all aspects of trademark law — selection, clearance, registration, protection, enforcement, and litigation. We help our clients maximize the value in their branding. Strategic trademark planning can help your company make the most of your investment in marketing. Registering your trademarks with the USPTO also protects your business reputation.
“Trademarks” are names, words, slogans, designs, or markings that are used in commerce to identify the source of a product or service. Anything your customers associate with you could be a trademark, including your packaging or product designs. Trademarks hold the value of your company’s goodwill, and consequently, often hold much of the value of your company. Strong, strategic trademarks can be the difference between a lucrative exit for the founders and a business that nobody wants to buy.
Trademarks do not need to be registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. However, registration offers critical benefits and protections you will want for your important trademarks. Your trademark does not expire unless you stop using it in commerce, but registrations must be renewed. Letting your registration expire can result in significant and permanent loss of rights. So can a lapse in the use of the mark in commerce.
Examples of strong and valuable trademarks include “Word Marks” like McDonald’s ®, Nike ®, Google ®, Apple ®, Microsoft ®, Whopper® and Prius®; “Word & Design” marks (most logos); “Design Only” marks like the Nike “Swoosh”, the Apple icon, McDonald’s “Golden Arches”, the NBC peacock; and Slogans (taglines) like Nike’s “Just Do It”, Burger King’s “Have it Your Way” or Dos Equis’ “Stay Thirsty, My Friends”.
Unregistered trademarks, called “common law” trademarks, arise automatically when a source indicating mark is used in commerce. Use ™ on your trademarks before they are registered to let others know of your trademark claim. Use ® only on trademarks that are registered with the USPTO.
Take action to protect the value of your brand and your company’s reputation. Schedule a no-charge initial consultation with one of our attorneys to gain clarity, get your questions answered, and take the first step toward building a strong, strategic trademark portfolio.
Contact us to access our whitepaper here to learn how trademarks add value to your company.