Do I have to register my trademark?
No, but registration has several advantages, including notice to the public of the registrant’s claim of ownership of the mark, a legal presumption of ownership nationwide, and the exclusive right to use the mark on or in connection with the Goods or service set forth in the registration. Obtaining the rights in a trademark means obtaining the right to prevent others from using the same or a similar mark on the same of similar products or service. Unlike For patents and designs, the duration of a trademark right can be as long as you wish.
Not all trademarks are registrable. For a trademark to be registrable it must be new and it must be distinctive. If the trademark is not new or distinctive, it will not be possible to get a valid trademark registration.A trademark is only considered to be “new” if no-one else has used or registered it (or a similar mark) for use on products or services the same or similar to yours. For a trademark to be distinctive it must be more than just an obvious word or picture and it must not describe the nature or any features of the product or service concerned.
How do you know whether or not you mark is new? The best way is to have us conduct and/or arrange for searches of the relevant local and international databases (some of which can be accessed by subscription or by attendance only), to see whether there are any marks similar to yours already registered or for which an application for registration has been filed. Others searches can also e conducted to assist in determining whether there are similar marks in use, but which have not yet been registered or for which and application for registration has not yet been filed. Searching requires not only finding relevant marks but also the analysis of those marks and their registration documents to whether or not they might pose any difficulties for your mark.
What are the benefits of trademark registration?
1. Constructive notice nationwide of the trademark owner’s claim.
2. Evidence of ownership of the trademark.
3. Jurisdiction of federal courts may be invoked.
4. Registration can be used as a basis for obtaining registration in foreign countries.
5. Registration may be filed with U.S. customs service to prevent importation of infringing foreign goods.
Are there federal regulations governing the use of the designations “TM” or “SM” with trademarks?
No. use of the symbols “TM” or “SM” (for trademark and service mark, respectively) may, however, be governed by local, state, or foreign laws and the laws of the pertinent jurisdiction must be consulted.
These designations usually indicate that a party claims rights in the mark and are often used before a federal registration is issued.
When is it proper to the federal registration symbol (the letter R enclosed within a circle--®--with the mark.
The federal registration symbol may be used once the mark is actually registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Even though an application is pending, the registration symbol may not be used before the mark has actually become registered. The federal registration symbol should only be used on goods or services that are the subject of the federal trademark registration. [Note: Several foreign countries use the letter R enclosed within a circle to indicate that a mark is registered in that country. Use of the symbol by the holder of a foreign registration may be proper.]
Marks To Avoid When Choosing a Trademark or Service Mark
Descriptive – Descriptive marks are marks that describe the goods or services with which they are associated. Generally, descriptive marks are not registrable. Descriptive marks may, however, become registrable upon a showing of what’s called secondary meaning.
Generic – Generic words are common words that describe an entire class of goods or services. These words do not serve as an indication of the source of goods or services and should be avoided when choosing a potential mark.
Geographically Mis-descriptive or Deceptively Mis-descriptive Marks – These types of marks are not registrable without a showing of secondary meaning.
Scandalous or Immoral Marks – These are marks that offend the conscience.
Surnames – surnames are not registrable without a showing of secondary meaning.
Deceptive marks – deceptive marks are not registrable.
How Long Does a Trademark Last?
A federally registered trademark lasts 10 years, provided that it is properly maintained. If properly maintained, trademark rights can last indefinitely.
What is Trademark Maintenance?
To keep your trademark from being cancelled, it is necessary to file a Section 8 Declaration of Use between the fifth and sixth year of registration. Subsequent filings must be made on each 10 year anniversary of registration. Additionally, after five years of continuous use of your mark, you are entitled to file a Declaration of incontestability. Failure to maintain your trademark can result in the loss of your trademark or unnecessarily limiting your rights. If you do not already have an attorney, we are available to assist you with your trademark maintenance.
Do I Need To Be Using My Trademark To Register It?
No, but you must have a bona .de intent to use the mark in interstate commerce. If you have not yet used your mark, you may file intent to use application. Additionally, the intent to use applicant must later file a Statement of Use when the mark is used in interstate commerce. There is additional filing fees associated with filing a Statement of Use. These additional fees (currently a $ 100 government filing fee and a $ 185 preparation fee) are not included in our $250 application fee.).
What Works Are Protected?
Copyright protects "original works of authorship" that are fixed in a tangible form of expression. The fixation need not be directly perceptible so long as it may be communicated with the aid of a machine or device. Copyrightable works include the following categories:
Musical works, including any accompanying words
Dramatic works, including any accompanying music
Pantomimes and choreographic works
Pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works
Motion pictures and other audiovisual works
How Long Copyright Protection Endures?
A work that is created (fixed in tangible form for the first time) on or after January 1, 1978, is automatically protected from the moment of its creation and is ordinarily given a term enduring for the author's life plus an additional 70 years after the author's death.