What is a Trademark?
A trademark is any word, phrase, symbol or design, or a combination of words, phrases, symbols or designs, that identifies and distinguishes the source of the goods of one party from those of others.
A service mark is the same as a trademark, except that it identifies and distinguishes the source of a service rather than a product. Throughout this booklet, the terms “trademark” and “mark” refer to both trademarks and service marks.
How is a trademark different from a patent or copyright?
Trademarks, copyrights and patents all differ, although sometimes a single product may have protections under all three areas of law. Generally, a trademark protects a business name or logo, copyright protects an original artistic or literary work, and a patent protects an invention or discovery. For a further explanation click here.
Should I register my trademark?
There are many advantages to registering your mark. Although you may develop “common law rights” in a trademark without registration, owning a federal trademark registration on the Principal Register provides several important advantages. These include:
- Notice to the public and your competitors of your ownership of the mark
- A legal presumption of ownership of and exclusive right to use the mark nationwide
- The ability to bring an action concerning the mark in federal court
- The use of the U.S registration as a basis to obtain registration in foreign countries. For further information on international trademark registration click HERE.
- The ability to record the registration with U.S. Customs to stop the importation of infringing foreign goods
Trademark registration is not expensive, but it is deceptively complicated. We recommend you allow us to help you select your trademark before you start using it or attempt to register it yourself. We can save you a lot of time and money doing it right the first time.
How do I make sure my trademark won’t be an infringement of another trademark?
We strongly advise you to have us conduct a thorough search to determine the availability of a proposed trademark before you start using the mark or apply to register it. You might be able eliminate some possibilities yourself by searching the United States Trademark Office records. Click here to do a Trademark Office Search. However, determining whether one mark infringes another involves analysis of many factors, not just the similarity of the marks. At Law Offices of Angela Small Booth, we pride ourselves at explaining complicated legal issues in plain English to help you successfully choose a strong trademark.
Does my US trademark registration protect me in other countries?
Except in very limited circumstances for famous marks, it does not.
For more information, please see International Trademark Protection.
Call The Law Offices of Angela Small Booth at 310.497.1351 or 805.765.5413
or contact us online to schedule your free and confidential initial consultation.
Serving the greater Southern California area
including Irvine, Los Angeles, Ventura, Santa Barbara and Kern Counties