May 20, 2019
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 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.