May 21, 2019
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.