June 24, 2019

Writing Down Information From Your Personal Injury Accident

Personal Injury Lawyer

Getting into an accident of any kind will not only throw your schedule off for the rest of the day, but it can also cause long-term damage that may result in multiple hospital visits and even physical therapy. When you have been in a personal injury accident, it can be tempting to brush it off, not make a big deal about it, and try to go on with your day, even if you are experiencing some pain. However, the best thing you can do after your accident is to write down notes about what happened. If you choose to pursue a personal injury claim, you want to make sure you have as much detail as possible regarding the accident because it can be easy to forget important things once the shock wears off. Attorneys are here to help you if you have been in a personal injury accident. Below, we give you advice on what you should take note of after your accident to give you a leg up for your claim.

What kind of information should I write down?

Always remember: no detail is too small. Anything can remind you of more details after the accident, so writing down everything you remember is very important.

  1. What happened? This is an important question to answer when you are writing about the accident. You want to answer questions like “What time was it?” or “Where was I going?” Were you rushing to get somewhere, or were you taking your time? What were the weather conditions like? It is important to note whether you had friends or family with you or if there was anyone around to witness the accident when it occurred. If there were certain noises you heard or things you observed at the scene of the accident (like a blown-out light or a puddle of liquid on the floor), these should be written down as well.
  2. What are your injuries? This is two-fold. You want to ensure you have personal notes regarding your injuries as well as notes from your doctor. Write down where you were injured, the level of pain, and whether your pain increases or decreases as the days and weeks go on. Do you suffer from anxiety after the accident? Is it affecting your sleep?
  3. What are your losses? When you work with a lawyer to file your personal injury claim, they will be working hard to get you compensation. To do this, they need to know what your losses are as a direct result of the accident. Do you have medical bills? Six months of physical therapy? Can you return to work? These are all important things to write down.

If you were recently in an accident that caused you to be injured due to someone else’s negligence, speak with a personal injury lawyer in St, Paul, Minnesota. They can help you take notes on the topics above as they begin compiling evidence for your case. Call now.

 

Thanks to Johnston | Martineau, PLLP for their insight into personal injury claims and writing down information from the accident.

June 22, 2019

How Long Do You Have to Go to a Doctor After a Bicycle Accident in Georgia?

Personal Injury Lawyer

A bicycle accident is more likely to cause serious injuries than a collision between two cars. Bicycle riders do not have the protection of airbags and safety harnesses. Most bicycle helmets do not meet the safety standards that apply to motorcycle helmets.

A bicycle rider’s impact with pavement or another vehicle can cause catastrophic head and spinal injuries. Broken bones, joint damage, and facial scarring are common outcomes when cars and trucks crash into bicycle riders.

Road rash, caused by a rider’s flesh scraping against the road, is a painful injury that can be life-threatening if the rash becomes infected. Torn muscles and nerve damage heal in unpredictable ways. Injuries that seem to be minor can cause nagging long-term pain when they are slow to heal.

When Should I See a Doctor after a Bicycle Accident?

Some bicyclists will be transported from the accident scene to a hospital in an ambulance. When a paramedic recommends a visit to the emergency room, an injury victim should always follow that advice.

When an ambulance is not called to the accident scene, bicycle accident victims will need to decide whether and when to see a doctor. Head injuries always deserve medical attention. If a concussion caused a loss of consciousness, a doctor should evaluate the injury immediately. Even when a bicycle rider does not lose consciousness after a blow to the head, the risk of a serious brain injury is too important to overlook.

Concussions can cause bleeding inside the skull, as well as swelling of the brain. Either of those conditions might not produce symptoms until hours after the accident. By the time the accident victim begins to notice a headache, it may be too late to save the victim’s life.

The safest course of action if the crash caused a blow to the head is to visit an emergency room or urgent care physician immediately. If that doctor recommends an examination by a neurologist or follow-up care, make sure to follow that advice.

Any other injury that is causing more than trivial pain should be evaluated by a physician soon after the accident. The fact that you can walk away from a bicycle accident doesn’t mean you don’t need medical care. People can walk with mildly fractured ribs and rotator cuff injuries, but prompt medical attention will help an injury victim avoid activities that will make those conditions worse.

Should I Wait to See If My Injuries from the Bicycle Accident Get Better?

Getting an immediate evaluation and treatment for your injuries is the best way to hasten your recovery. Your doctor is in the best position to advise you whether rest is the best medicine. Muscle and tissue injuries often require physical therapy after a period of rest to encourage a quick recovery.

In addition to maximizing your opportunity to make a full recovery, seeking immediate medical attention is important to your claim for compensation. Drivers who cause bicycle accidents should be held accountable for their negligence. Insurance adjusters, however, look for excuses to avoid paying full compensation. When an injury victim delays treatment, insurance adjusters argue that the bicyclist decided to fake an injury or that the injury was caused by something that happened after the bicycle accident.

Bicycle accident victims also have difficulty obtaining full compensation for injuries if they fail to follow a doctor’s instructions. When a doctor tells an injury victim to see a specialist or attend physical therapy, an insurance adjuster will interpret the bicyclist’s failure to heed that advice as evidence that the injuries were fully healed.

Busy people sometimes neglect to keep appointments with their doctors. Injury victims often stop going to physical therapy because the sessions are painful and time consuming. When they later seek compensation for prolonged pain and suffering, the insurance adjuster might legitimately argue that they made their problem worse by failing to follow treatment recommendations.

Do I Need to Worry About the Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury?

Victims of bicycle accidents in Georgia must usually settle their claims or file a lawsuit within two years of the accident date. Accident victims generally lose their right to collect compensation for injuries if they do not start a lawsuit within two years. That time period may be extended, however, if the bicycle rider was a minor when the accident occurred.

A bicycle injury victim should nevertheless see a doctor well before the time comes to file a lawsuit. Many claims settle without filing suit, but a lawyer cannot settle an injury claim without understanding the full extent of the victim’s injuries, including the likelihood that an injury will cause a permanent impairment or lasting pain.

Seeing a doctor at the earliest opportunity and following up with care the doctor recommends is the best way to assure that an injury claim will settle for its full value. If it does become necessary to file a lawsuit, the victim’s bicycle accident lawyer in Georgia will want to have all the medical records in hand so that the lawsuit can be filed with full knowledge of the victim’s injuries.


Thanks to the Butler Law Firm for their insight into personal injury claims and bicycle accidents.

June 21, 2019

What are Trademarks?

Trademark Attorney in Chicago, IL

When individuals have or create a product, they can get confused about how a trademark actually works. A trademark, in its simplest definition, is an identification of the source of goods or services. It is not the product itself. Take Tide laundry detergent as an example of this. Tide is the maker of the laundry detergent, it is not the actual detergent itself. Often times, however, people come to identify trademarks so closely with the product that they may substitute the name of the trademark for the product. You can obtain trademark rights from actual use in commerce or by registering your trademark with the United States Patent Trademark Office. You can register your trademark through an “Intent to Use” (or ITU) trademark application. Do this before you have any sales; do it when you just thought of the name of your product or idea for example. Many times, individuals will register their trademarks far in advance, before they have even fully developed their product or before they are ready to do sales because it prevents other companies from stealing the idea. 

How to Register a Trademark

In fact, many individuals who are looking to trademark their idea will look online and do a search through intent to use trademark search engines so that they are not stealing another individual’s trademark themselves. Searches through intent to use trademark engines are free and publicly available. In fact, Apple products are well known before they release or announce them because they have several trademarks on file for their intent to use trademarks on new gadgets. The best trademarks that you can make are arbitrary and trademarks that do not have a name that has something to do with the product itself. Apple, for example, is associated with computers now but an apple itself has nothing to do with the computers. Remember, a great name is only great if it is available as a trademark. Here are the steps to obtaining a trademark:

  1. Determine if a trademark is the appropriate intellectual property protection to secure.
  2. Design the name or logo that you want to be trademarked.
  3. Identify your goods or services. Think of the broadest category of goods and services that you might use to mark on. Then, narrow it down to avoid conflicting with a previously registered trademark.
  4. Search the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for previous or similar trademarks.
  5. File an application for trademark and pay the corresponding filing fee.
  6. Wait approximately 3 months. Be diligent if you have not heard anything within this time frame. Contact the USPTO for more information or an update on your application.
  7. You will receive a notice of publication from an examiner
  8. Then you must wait a 30 day period
  9. If no opposition has been filed after 30 days, you will receive a registration certificate and have your trademark registered. 

Contact an Intellectual Property Lawyer 

If you have any confusion surrounding registering your trademark, you should reach out to a trademark attorney in Chicago, IL. They can provide insight and aid in the long but rewarding process.

Contact The Law Offices of Konrad Sherinian, LLC for their insight into patent law and trademarks.

June 9, 2019

What Is Elder Abuse?

Nursing Home Lawyer

The Georgia Council on Aging reports that 1 in 10 older Americans are victims of elder abuse, neglect, or exploitation. Since most cases of elder abuse are never reported, however, official statistics fail to capture the full scope of the problem. As Georgia’s population continues to age, the problem will only be heightened. 

Younger family members can help prevent or stop the abuse of their elders while helping elderly victims get the justice they deserve. That process starts by learning to recognize evidence that elderly parents, grandparents, or other relatives are being abused. 

Defining Elder Abuse

Elder abuse is broadly defined as any knowing, intentional, or negligent act that causes harm to a vulnerable adult. Adults are vulnerable when, because of the infirmities of aging, they must depend on others to help them meet their basic needs.

Elder abuse generally falls into one or more specific categories. Certain warning signs are characteristic of each category of abuse. By watching for those signs, family members can help abuse victims get the help they need.

Physical Abuse of Elders

Physical abuse involves the infliction of physical pain or injury. Slapping and pinching are examples of physical abuse, as is tying the victim to a chair.

Physical abuse is often inflicted out of frustration. Family members who act as caregivers may decide to “punish” an elderly family member for failing to control a bladder or for engaging in behavior that the abuser regards as overly demanding.

Professional caregivers, including nursing home aides, also engage in acts of abuse out of frustration. They might also inflict pain on elderly patients as a means of controlling them. Regardless of the motivation, it is a violation of Georgia law to inflict deliberate and unnecessary pain on an elderly victim.

Warning signs of physical abuse may include unexplained bruising and other suspicious injuries. Even an injury that is explained as accidental should be regarded as suspicious if the explanation seems unlikely or if it becomes part of a pattern of injuries.

Sexual Abuse of Elders

Victims of sexual abuse often suffer from dementia or other conditions that make it difficult for them to report the abuse when it occurs. Sexual abuse is typically inflicted by caregivers, institutional staff members, and other institutional residents who are unrelated to the victim. Warning signs include bruising around the breasts or genitals and a sudden desire to withdraw from contact with others.

Neglect of Elders

Neglect occurs when seniors do not get the care they need. Malnutrition and dehydration are the consequences of failing to give seniors adequate food and water. Neglecting to move elderly patients who are confined to bed can cause painful bedsores and dangerous infections.

Inadequate staffing at nursing homes can cause nurses to overlook symptoms of serious health problems until it is too late to treat them. Staffing problems also lead to aides injuring patients by trying to perform tasks alone — like lifting a patient from a bed to a wheelchair — that should be performed by two aides.

Unfortunately, patient neglect may not be obvious until a family member is injured. Since nursing homes are not always honest about their staffing levels, reading reviews is one way to choose a home that has a reputation for providing high-quality care. 

Financial Abuse of Elders

Financial abuse can be committed by strangers who commit fraud, often soliciting credit card numbers from lonely elderly victims by telephone. It can also be committed by family members who have access to an elderly relative’s assets, or by caretakers who forge signatures on checks or transfer funds from an elderly victim’s online account.

Financial abuse might not be discovered until the victim starts receiving overdraft notices or credit card bills for purchases the victim did not make. Regular review of an elderly relative’s financial records is the best way to detect financial abuse.

If you have concerns about your elderly loved one, consult with a nursing home lawyer Jonesboro, GA about your situation and legal options.

Thanks to Butler Law Firm for their insight into personal injury cases and elder abuse.

May 25, 2019

Ohio Supreme Court Hearing Dangerous Dog Case

Find A Dog Bite Lawyer

A pit bull has become the center of a dangerous dog case in Ohio’s Supreme Court, according to Cincinnati.com of USA Today (https://www.cincinnati.com/story/news/crime/crime-and-courts/2019/04/30/dangerous-dog-case-ohio-supreme-court-dog-bites-womans-hand/3628266002/).

Back in May 2016, a pit bull known as “Prince Bane” was accused of a biting the hand of a woman. Joseph Jones, who owns the dog in question, argued in court that his dog did not bite the woman, who lived in a shared apartment complex with Jones in Cincinnati when the incident happened. According to Jones, the woman–who was bit right outside of that shared complex–was instead attacked by a stray dog.

Despite his denials, the court found Jones guilty of not confining a dangerous dog. According to the court filings, the court reached this decision based on the fact that Prince Bane had bitten other people before. However, Jones appealed this decision, and his conviction was overturned by the appeals court because no one had ever formally designated Prince Bane as a “dangerous dog” in a formal court setting before.

Now, the Cincinnati City Solicitor’s Office is contesting the appeals court ruling in Ohio’s Supreme Court. According to the office, the laws of Ohio do not require that a dog be formally designated as “dangerous” before an owner is charged with failing to confine a dangerous animal.

At stake, in this case, is whether the victim whose hand was bitten will be able to receive any restitution for her injuries and other losses. The initial “failure to confine” conviction that Jones received is a misdemeanor in the fourth degree in Ohio. If he wins the appeal, however, this would be lowered to a minor misdemeanor, one that doesn’t allow a victim to receive any compensation related to the bite.

The office also argued that it would be impractical to notify every owner of a dangerous dog across Ohio, and that it had determined Jones should have kept Prince Bane on a leash because there was evidence that the dog had already bitten people and was trained to latch into a person and not let go.

Jones’ representation, in this case, disagrees with the office’s interpretation of the law. According to his attorney, Jones simply can’t be guilty of not confining his dangerous dog because his dog had not been previously labeled as a dangerous dog.

People are watching this case with interest as its outcome will likely have an impact on how dogs are labeled as dangerous and the liability of the owner in those types of cases. There is some concern that an outcome in Jones’ favor could effectively tie the hands of Ohio courts when it comes to cases of dogs who have attacked a person but have yet to be labeled as dangerous in a formal arena.

A dog can cause serious injuries to a person in a relatively short span of time, and these injuries can have consequences for victims over the long term. If you have been injured by a dog in Denver, CO, find a dog bite lawyer for help.

Thanks to Richard J. Banta, P.C. for their insight into personal injury claims and dog bite injuries.

May 24, 2019

Two Bicyclists Killed in Deadly LA Auto Accident

Car Accident Lawyer

Seven people were hurt and two people killed by a driver on March 2 in New Orleans, Louisiana, reports the Mid-City Messenger (http://midcitymessenger.com/2019/03/02/nopd-investigating-deaths-on-esplanade-avenue/).

The deadly incident happened on Esplanade Avenue close to Ponce de Leon Street at around 8:00 pm. The site of the accident was a busy area in the city that forms part of the route for Endymion, a famous parade held during Mardi Gras. The driver, 32-year-old Tashonty Toney, fled the scene after the accident but was quickly caught by the New Orleans Police.

According to police, all nine people in the group were bicyclists involved in the state’s environmental justice movements. Toney crashed his Camaro through their bike lane, hit five parked cars and ended up on the pavement. He was going so fast that he pinned one of the bicyclists against a parked vehicle, law enforcement officials believe. Emergency responders pronounced two of the victims dead at the scene, and another three victims suffered serious injuries and were rushed to a nearby hospital.

At least one witness described the driver as “blind drunk,” and Toney admitted he had a problem to police at the scene shortly after he was found. He was allegedly so intoxicated that he passed out from trying to flee the police on foot after the accident and had to be revived once he was located. A group of witnesses say he asked if he had killed anyone and then told them to call his father, who is an officer with the New Orleans Police force.

Toney refused to take a blood test on the scene, but police were able to get a warrant for alcohol and drug testing and say they could smell the alcohol on his breath.

Toney was charged with vehicular negligent injury and homicide, reckless vehicle operation and leaving the scene of a fatal accident. He did not speak at a recent hearing, at which his bond was set at just over $500,000.

This is not the first traffic accident along the famous parade route. In 2017, a drunk and speeding driver hit 28 people on Orleans Avenue right after the Endymion Parade. All 28 people in that case were hurt, but none of the injuries were life-threatening.

The investigation into this deadly crash is still ongoing, so police are asking anyone who may have any information regarding the incident to contact them.

Despite all the nationwide attention on the dangers of drunk driving and the tragic results it can have, people still do it everyday across the nation. In this tragic incident in Louisiana, the dangers that bicyclists face on the road from drivers is also apparent. Bicyclists have far less rider protection than drivers in vehicles do, so auto-bicycle accidents tend to have more serious consequences for the victim on the bike than anyone else.

If you were injured in a bike accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses and injuries. Contact an experienced bicycle accident lawyer Denver, CO offers about your case to protect your rights.


Thanks to Richard J. Banta, P.C. for their insight into personal injuries and bicycle accidents.

May 23, 2019

Defense Strategies for Assault Accusations

Personal Injury Lawyer

Assault is when a person intentionally threatens or directly inflicts harm against you. Anyone who was arrested and is now awaiting trial over an assault arrest, can rely on the experience of an attorney for protection. Depending on the situation you were in, we can choose a defense strategy that is most appropriate in hopes of at least decreasing your charges if innocence isn’t possible.

Insufficient Evidence

An assault charge may be dismissed if the prosecution has insufficient evidence. For instance, perhaps there was no witnesses and the supposed victim didn’t sustain any visible injuries. Without tangible evidence or witness statements, it can be difficult for the prosecution to supply enough reason for the court to convict the accused.

Consent

During assault cases, many people assume that the supposed victim had not consented to the physical interaction. Consent can be a useful defense if the victim voluntarily engaged in the situation where he or she knew assault may occur. If assault charges are brought against a person who was playing in a sport, these charges are often dropped because the other player had willingly chosen to participate with a full understanding of the risks.

Lack of Proof for Intent

There must be direct evidence that the accused had intent to harm another, and that he or she did in fact commit each aspect of the crime. Failure to prove that a physical act occurred and/or caused reasonable fear to the victim may result in a dismissal of charges. With help from an attorney, the accused can fight against the charge by claiming there is a lack of proper evidence to convict.

Defending Oneself and/or Property

Every person has the right to defend themselves, their home, and/or their loved ones. But, this doesn’t mean you can inflict harm to any degree against someone who has assaulted you. If someone attacked you or a family member, you are permitted to defend through physical actions if needed. However, if you go beyond what is deemed “reasonable force” you may be faced with an assault charge.

Provocation

An attorney may suggest using the provocation defense if there is little chance of you walking away with a dismissed charge. Provocation can help lessen the accused’s sentence. For example, the charge may be decreased if it can be shown that intense provocation was an element of the interaction, which led to the accused reacting physically against the instigator.

Insanity

While insanity is usually a defense option for most accusations, it shouldn’t be used lightly. Claiming that you were insane at the time of the crime and/or during trial can be challenging to present in court. You may need testimonies from your treating therapist or psychiatrist to support insanity claims. Even if your insanity defense is successful, you may have to enter a mental hospital.

Assault is considered a violent crime, and may result in overly harsh punishments by the court. A personal injury lawyer in Minneapolis, Minnesota can advocate for your behalf and can push for a plea deal if being dismissed of charges isn’t possible. Please call today so an attorney can get started.


Thanks to Johnston | Martineau, PLLP for their insight into personal injury and assault injuries.

May 22, 2019

Facts About Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI)

Personal Injury Lawyer

Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) happen when a person endures sudden force to the head, which disrupts the brain’s normal functioning. A TBI can result in either a hefty blow, or from an object penetrating the skull and entering brain tissue. Symptoms associated with a TBI can be mild or severe, depending on how much damage was done to the brain. One factor that can complicate matters further, is if another person or party was at least partially responsible for the traumatic brain injury.

If you believe this may be the case for your accident, we suggest talking with an attorney for advice on how you can seek justice for the wrongdoing.

Symptoms to Watch Out For

Mild cases of TBI may cause a brief loss of conscious, along with nausea and vomiting. For more serious injuries, the brain may swell, blood may ooze from the skull, in addition to profound confusion. Anyone who thinks they may have suffered from a TBI, must go to the nearest emergency room regardless of the severity. Here are symptoms to watch out for if you are concerned about having sustained a traumatic brain injury:

  • Headaches that won’t go away
  • Vomiting and/or nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Blurry vision
  • Dilated pupils
  • Seeing double
  • Looking into bright light is intolerable
  • Clear or blood-tinged liquid coming from ears/nose
  • Balance difficulties
  • Slowed pulse
  • Trouble breathing
  • Body numbness
  • Body tingling
  • Droopy eyelid
  • Facial weakness
  • Ringing in ears

Collecting Medical Documentation

If you meet with an attorney about your traumatic brain injury accident, it can be helpful to have medical documents which go into detail about the severity, prognosis, and treatment plan. Keep receipts for anything you paid for out of your own pocket for medical care. If another person is liable for your injuries, receipts for the amount you faced in financial loss can help your attorney estimate how much to fight for in your lawsuit.

Temporary and Long-Term Impacts

Depending on the depth of the brain injury, a person may have to go through rehabilitation, hire professionals to offer care in the home, or make permanent changes to their lives due to newly developed TBI-related disabilities. The impacts of a TBI accident may follow someone temporarily, or for the rest of his or her life. The consequences of a traumatic brain injury can be expensive and emotionally agonizing, especially for more severe cases.

Seeking Legal Help

Victims do not have to accept what has happened to them. By consulting with an attorney, you have someone who can investigate into your accident further and see if another person could be at-fault. Even if a financial award cannot take back what happened, at least it can help you continue receiving the care you require to take care of yourself. Victims can contact a brain injury lawyer in Orlando, FL to receive a free appointment, to find out more about their legal options. Please call today.


Thanks to Needle & Ellenberg, P.A. for their insight into personal injury claims and traumatic brain injuries.

May 21, 2019

Trademark Identity Theft

Trademark Attorney Chicago, IL

After you have spent years dreaming, creating, designing, and finding the perfect symbols, designs, and words to represent your business, you go online or are watching television and you see your company logo on the screen. When you start to really study the logo, you realize that it is not actually your logo, however it is something that looks very similar to yours. What are you supposed to do in that situation?

Companies are identified by the brand they have created. A brand is the symbol and words that link specific services or products back to the company. Many company owners pass over their trademarks’ true value and because of this do not pay a lot of attention to keeping them protected. Trademark protection impedes others from making a profit off the goodwill and brands that companies have created for themselves.

Many company owners incorrectly assume that if they just create a new company entity in their own state, it is legal enough to protect their trademark for that name. Unfortunately, these company owners typically find out the hard way that this is just not the case and they should have registered their trademark. Sometimes just using the trademark provides a very limited protection for the trademark. However, it is very effective and worth consideration to file for state or federal trademark protection. While very few companies decide to file their trademark applications at their state level, most companies do file for protection on the federal level and with the US Patent and Trademark Office so their trademark can be protected in a broader geography.

The top keys to protecting your trademarks are:

 

  • Monitoring your trademarks in commerce. A large amount of today’s trademark theft comes in a electronic manner. It is important to monitor the internet for potential infringement by searching occasionally for your trademark. However, it is also important to remember to check paper publications for potential trademark violations.
  • Pursuing true infringers. It is important to make sure it is a true infringement if you encounter a potential infringer. Companies are able to have the same name if that company sells services or goods that are entirely different from yours. If it is actually an infringement, you will need to put the infringer on notice, which usually happens by a cease-and-desist letter. If it does not do anything else, a cease-and-desist letter may open a dialogue to amicably resolve the situation. If sending a cease-and-desist letter doesn’t fix your problem, you will need to determine how much or your time and money you are willing to spend fixing this problem.
  • Maintaining the trademark registration. These registrations are maintained through usage and by ensuring you have filed the correct post-registrations documents. While your first federal registration term is for a full ten years, you will still have to file proof of continued use after five years after your registration was granted. You can renew a ten year team for another ten years if you file for a renewal in the ninth year of your registration.

 

As your company grows and changes, the symbols and words that represent your company may also. Registering your trademark with the help of a trademark attorney in Chicago, IL from The Law Offices of Konrad Sherinian only protects it as it was originally registered. If you change your trademark during the years, you will need to create new applications. It is important to remember to protect your company’s assets, especially your identity, your trademark.

May 20, 2019

What Business Assets Should be Protected as Trademarks?

Trademark Attorney in Chicago, IL

If you are a business owner, you have probably created some type of valuable intellectual property that should be trademarked. Many business owners are not quite sure what a trademark actually is. Should they get a trademark, which is used in reference to products or should they get a service mark, which is used in references to services a business offers? What can make things even more confusing is that word trademark is often used to reference both products and services because federal IP laws apply to both.

If you would like to find out more information, contact a law firm to speak with an intellectual property attorney to find out how they can help. In the meantime, the following is a brief overview of intellectual property law.

Trademarks

Trademarks make it easy for consumers to recognize a businesses’ brand when they see it. A trademark can include words, graphics, or both. Some of the things that can be trademarked include:

  • Words (Apple, Pepsi)
  • Phrases (Hakuna Matata – from Disney movie)
  • Symbols (Golden arches – McDonalds)
  • Combination of words and symbols
  • Color, scent, or sounds if it does not have any functional purpose other than to differentiate the brand and the business can prove that the public strongly associates that item with the brand (The three-note chime from NBC, the scent of Play-Doh)

It’s important to note that when it comes to trademarks, you cannot just trademark generic words such as television or banana. This may lead you to ask how Apple was able to obtain a trademark on the work Apple. You can’t trademark a work if it is in reference to a particular brand or type of an apple, but you can trademark the term Apple for a type of product that is vastly different from a category of fruit. This is what Apple did when it obtained its trademark on its computers. There are stringent guidelines that Apple is required to follow. For example, they can say “Our company sells Apple computers,” but they cannot say “Our company sells Apples.”

Contact a Trademark Attorney

If you have a name or symbol for a product or service for your business, you should consider registering it as a business trademark with the US Patent and Trademark Office. Although this registration can be a complicated and long process, doing so provides your company with the legal protection you need from competitors who may try to copy your products and steal your business.

A trademark attorney in Chicago, IL has extensive legal experience in intellectual property law and can help you obtain trademark protection, as well as defend against anyone who attempts to infringe on that trademark.

Contact The Law Offices of Konrad Sherinian, LLC for their insight into intellectual property and what business assets to protect with a trademark.