A trademark is type of intellectual property and is typically a symbol or mark used to signal to consumers the source, quality and characteristics of a company’s products and services. These symbols can include words, logos, pictures, slogans, colors, smells as well as product packaging and design. A protectable trademark is often integral to a company or business’s reputation.
A person with the exclusive right to use a mark is permitted to bring a trademark infringement claim against others who use the mark in such a way that would confuse, mislead or deceive consumers as to the source or origin of the product.
While Nouveau Law LLC is a transactional firm and does not litigate infringement claims, we are able to provide guidance and legal counsel as to the best ways to prevent infringement and minimize exposure to future litigation. If you do in-fact believe that you have a valid infringement claim, we are also happy to refer you to another attorney who litigates such suits.
Trademark rights arise through actual use of a mark in commerce. This is true for marks that have been registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and marks that have not. Trademark rights also depend on a number of factors such as the nature and use of a mark. The amount of trademark protection depends on both the geographic scope and the “strength” of the mark.
While not necessary to obtain limited trademark protection, there are significant advantages to registration of a mark.
Nouveau Law LLC can counsel you in developing a mark that qualifies for the highest degree of protection under trademark law and also oversee the entire trademark registration process.
Can I obtain trademark protection for just any word, logo, picture, slogan, color, smell, symbol etc. that I want to use?
No. Some marks are not protected under trademark law. Nouveau Law LLC can help you determine whether a mark qualifies for protection or assist you in developing a mark that qualifies for trademark protection.
Do I have to register my trademark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to obtain trademark protection?
No. To obtain trademark protection, one needs to use a qualifying mark in commerce in such a way that distinguishes its goods and services from others.
Trademark protection is available without any formal registration—however, there is significantly greater protection provided, under both state and federal law, for registered marks. Registering a mark, nevertheless, can sometimes be confusing and complicated. Nouveau Law LLC can oversee the entire registration process to ensure that all requirements and deadlines are timely filed and that your mark properly registered.
Unlike with copyrights, trademark rights may last indefinitely; however, trademark rights will be lost when a mark is considered “abandoned.” A mark may be abandoned several ways, including through non-use, becoming generic, or by uncontrolled or “naked” licensing. Loss of a trademark is often unintentional and may significantly impact a company or business and its reputation. Understanding how to protect your trademark from abandonment is crucial, and Nouveau Law LLC can help you ensure that your mark, once protected, remains protected under trademark law.
No. A trademark protects words, phrases, symbols, or designs that identify the source of the goods or services and is used to distinguish them from those of others. Copyright, on the other hand, protects original works of authorship. A patent protects inventions or discoveries.