Trademark Registration

Prior to launching a new business or product, you want to be sure the name, logo, and other branding does not conflict with any existing names or logos in the same or a similar space. A brief and relatively inexpensive review at the beginning of an endeavor can save a lot of time and money later by reducing the chances that another business claims your name or logo is infringing one or more of their trademarks.

Likewise, submitting a Trademark Application for a name or logo can give you stronger rights should you need to enforce your rights in that name or logo if someone else begins to infringe your name or logo. Additionally, getting a trademark registration may prevent others from getting a trademark registration that is likely to cause confusion with yours without you having to lift a finger.

What is a Trademark?

A trademark applies to a name, logo, slogan, or distinctive characteristic (color, smell, sound, etc.) that is used to identify products and/or services that derive from a particular source. A company and/or product line might require one or more trademarks in one or more “classes” for adequate protection. 

For example, the product might have a distinct name and feature the company logo in words or images. Each of those three might constitute three separate Trademark Applications. Trademark rights in the United States are earned through usage over time, so the timing of applying for and using a trademark in commerce is critical to the strength of the trademark.

There are several types of trademarks, and the type of trademark you choose may determine its strength of protection, as not all trademarks are equally protected under the law. For example, fanciful, arbitrary, and suggestive trademarks are regarded as having the most protection, in descending order, while descriptive trademarks are considered weaker if they receive protection, and generic trademarks might not be protected at all. 

By hiring a trademark attorney, you are taking the first step in the legal process of protecting your business and intellectual property. Your attorney will help you make sure your trademark has the highest possible level of protection against infringement given the circumstances, and that you do not spend extra time or money getting preventable rejections from the U.S. Trademark Office (which happens regularly when clients use online services that cost less because there is no actual attorney advice involved). 

Trademark Misconceptions 

Where do Trademark Rights Come From? 

Trademark rights in the United States are earned through use over time. This simple idea is the core of many of the more complex issues of Trademark Law. How long a trademark has been in use, where, and how are critical features in a potential trademark dispute. Your trademark attorney will be able to advise you how best to establish rights in your trademark and will guide you to avoid infringing someone else’s trademark.

Does Registering My Trademark Give Me Rights?

Not necessarily. Just registering a trademark does not give you rights over every other entity, and likewise, not having your trademark registered does not mean that you have no claim or defense when challenged. However, discussing your trademark rights with an attorney who specializes in Intellectual Property will be the best way to protect your rights in your trademark. Discussing the issues with an attorney will also allow you to work through and create a strategy for trademark protection that utilizes your attorney’s experience with trademarks. 

Does a Registered Trademark Give Me Rights Over Other Trademarks Registered In A Different Class?

Having a trademark in one class (or multiple) classes may or may not allow you to assert your rights against a similar Trademark in another class. You will want to discuss with your trademark attorney what rights you have over your trademark and similar trademarks from other classes so you may know your rights and responsibilities.

Can I Use Any Mark Not Found on USPTO’s Website?

Just because a mark is not on the USPTO’s (United States Patent and Trademark Office) website, does not mean that you are free to use it. Remember, trademark rights in the United States are earned through use over time. Your trademark attorney will be able to explain to you which marks you are least likely to lead to issues of trademark infringement and those that are likely to result in a trademark registration.

Likewise, a trademark attorney might be able to work with you to identify other people’s marks that potentially infringe on your trademark.

The Trademark Registration Process

We make the trademark process simple for our clients. Once a client has decided upon which trademark they would like to use, our attorneys will work with you to complete a Trademark Questionnaire about what your mark is, how it is used, and to determine what might be some potential pitfalls. Included in the questionnaire are questions that will inform the decision of which class or classes in which to file your trademark application.

Next, we conduct a search for any potentially conflicting trademarks in the USPTO database and after we have analyzed them for you, we will provide you with a brief report identifying the potential problems that we see. After you have completed the questionnaire and it has been reviewed by our attorneys, we will provide you with a final Trademark Approval Email to make sure that we got it all correct before we file your Trademark Application.

The Trademark Application is filed either as an “Actual Use” mark or as an “Intent to Use” mark. It is best, whenever possible, to file an Actual Use Trademark Application. An Intent to Use application means that the mark is not yet used in commerce, and the applicant must prove use within a set period of time to obtain the registration after it has been approved by the USPTO.

Sometimes, if a trademark registration is absolutely critical to secure before using the mark in commerce, it might make sense to file an Intent To Use Trademark Application so that you know before you make use whether or not the Trademark Office will grant you a trademark registration. This might also allow you to get the trademark office’s determination as to whether your trademark is likely to cause confusion with another trademark in the trademark database. 

The trademark attorneys at Hankin Patent Law make the registration process easy for our clients to ensure the trademark is properly registered and protected.

Get the Proper Trademark Protection

An experienced trademark attorney at Hankin Patent Law guides you through the process of protecting a trademark. We carefully evaluate what trademark protection is the most beneficial and cost-effective for each client and their budget. 

Selecting the proper class or classes in which to file a Trademark Application must match the business or product objectives.

Assistance with Selecting Your Trademark

We provide anywhere from a quick search of existing trademarks to a detailed analysis of potential trademarks for which you might seek protection, depending on the client’s unique situation. The search results may indicate the likelihood of registering the desired trademark, or they may also suggest if an altered or different trademark should be filed instead. Making this determination before extensive marketing efforts is crucial. 

No law firm can guarantee the success of an application, but our trademark lawyers can make the process simple, make sure all the necessary steps are taken, and improve your chances of registering your trademark with the USPTO.

What if Your Trademark is Rejected? 

The USPTO may issue an Office Action on a Trademark Application prior to a rejection. For the best chance to overcome issues raised in an Office Action, consult Hankin Patent Law. We can review your options and prepare a Response. 

Trademark Maintenance and Portfolio Management

Acquiring a trademark is just the first step. The USPTO requires periodic maintenance fees throughout the life of a registered trademark. Hankin Patent Law provides reminders and prepares the payment for these fees. For multiple trademarks, we manage a Status Chart consisting of your intellectual property and provide a timeline of future events so you know exactly what needs to be done and when. 

International Trademarks

Are you interested in filing a trademark application in another country? Our trademark attorneys can assist you with that as well.

If you are looking to sell your products in a foreign market, consult us for how best to approach protecting your trademark in other countries.

Trademark Protection, Enforcement, and Arbitration

We routinely represent clients who seek to enforce their trademark rights, defend against an accuser, or seek to arrange a purchase or agreement. The goal in these situations is a resolution that provides the client with a reasonable outcome in light of legal fees. Negotiation is what we do best. 

In cases where negotiation is not successful, we may recommend arbitration or litigation. Our strategy as a firm is to evaluate and recommend the best course of action before starting expensive litigation.

Speak With a Los Angeles Trademark Attorney

A trademark attorney is a valuable member of your team. Our goal as a trusted advisor is to design and oversee your Intellectual Portfolio with your objectives and budget in mind. Marc Hankin created his firm to provide full trademark services that are customized for each client’s unique needs.

Whether you are an individual inventor, start-up, or have already established a company of any size in Los Angeles, you will receive the same fast, attentive, and economical service tailored to your needs. 

Contact Hankin Patent Law in Los Angeles for a complimentary assessment of your intellectual property. We are proud to provide trademark services and look forward to the opportunity to discuss and help protect your intellectual property at a rate that fits your budget.


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