Benefits of a Federal Trademark Registration – FAQ

Question for Trademark lawyerWhat are the benefits of a federal trademark registration?

Answer: There are many benefits of a federal trademark registration, both direct and indirect.  Direct benefits are numerous and include:

  • National protection of the mark;
  • Ability to obtain injunctions stopping infringers;
  • Ability to use the registration to apply for foreign trademark registrations;
  • Greater access to the  federal court system;
  • Assistance from the United States Custom in stopping counterfeit and infringing goods from importation; and
  • Attorneys fees when proper notice has been attached to the goods or services. I

In addition to these considerations, trademark registration provides indirect benefits in the form of being able to point to it when protecting marks used for social media accounts, protect against improper use in search engines, ability to obtain new domains in sunrise periods, and providing great leverage in UDRP and URS disputes against cyber-squatters.

Why Provide these Benefits

Providing these benefits serve two primary functions.  By granting these rights to trademark owners the government helps to incentivise business owners by helping to protect the goodwill embodied in their brands.  This in turn helps protect consumers by letting them know that when they buy a product, that  the product originated from the brand owner and not an impostor.  This ability to build a portfolio of valuable business assets has obvious benefits to any business owner.

 

Call 612-414-3113 to discuss how I can help you with your trademark and copyright related matters.

Common Law Trademarks – FAQ

Am I protected with a common law trademark – without federal registration?Q&A: Common Law Trademarks

Q: I recently started professionally my photographs in the US.  I registered the copyright for photos and have decided on new name for my company.   I think the name is pretty distinctive and I am not aware of anyone else selling a similar product by the same name.   Do I have to register my company name as a trademark to prevent others from using it or can I rely on the laws concerning common law trademarks?

A: Kenneth’s answer:  Since your mark is not registered you are limited to the common law trademark rights. Common Law Trademarks are generally limited in scope to the geographic area where the mark is known (think of a restaurant where everyone has heard of it in one town, but is unknown in another). Common law trademarks can be enforced (but not as well and as easily as registered marks) in both state and federal courts. In short, it depends on your long term business objectives.  While registration may not be required for everyone, deciding what’s right requires actual consultation with people knowledgeable about trademarks.

Links for Common Law Trademarks

10 Trademarks Just in Time for Halloween

10 Trademarks Just in Time for Halloween

While some folks might think trademarks can be a little scary, I know that they can also be a little fun.

10-Trademarks-Just-in-Time-for-Halloween-.jpgG&S: Processed cereal-based food to be used as a 10-Trademarks-Just-in-Time-for-Halloween-.jpgbreakfast food, snack food or ingredient for making other foods.Serial (no pun intended) 85120586 and 85120583 
G & S: Beer.10-Trademarks-Just-in-Time-for-Halloween-.jpgSerial: 86110135Yes – a stumbling disheveled guy is your image for beer – why didn’t this get rejected as merely descriptive?
G & S: Books in the field of children’s literature.10-Trademarks-Just-in-Time-for-Halloween-.jpgSerial: 86271191Whenever I put my child to bed, I always like to talk about monsters too – keeps her quiet when I tell her how she will get eaten-up if she asks for a glass of water.
10-Trademarks-Just-in-Time-for-Halloween-.jpgG & S: Parlour games.Serial: 86222077What the heck is a Haint you ask?  Well I had to look it up too – God bless American entrepreneurship.http://www.haintinabox.com/
G&S: Magazines featuring women modeling in horror-themed pictorials for entertainment purposes.10-Trademarks-Just-in-Time-for-Halloween-.jpgSerial: 86506372And Playboy decided to get out of the nudie business – perhaps they just weren’t putting enough dripping blood on them?
10-Trademarks-Just-in-Time-for-Halloween-.jpgG & S: Clothing, namely, short and long sleeve t-shirts, sweatshirts, jackets, baseball hats, and beanies.Serial: 85803000My first reaction was “How did this get by Major League Baseball??”, then I noticed that they have filed a pending cancellation action (http://ttabvue.uspto.gov/ttabvue/v?qs=85803000)
10-Trademarks-Just-in-Time-for-Halloween-.jpg86446861G & S: Sporting Goods, namely, skateboards.AAARRGGHHH – Happy Face Vampire
8639254210-Trademarks-Just-in-Time-for-Halloween-.jpgG & S: Repair of computers, cell phones, and tablets.I can live with that.  Sometimes my computer feels a little brain dead.
8639600210-Trademarks-Just-in-Time-for-Halloween-.jpgG & S: Firearms.I particularly like the description on this one.  “The mark consists of a vampire skull with bullet hole.”   Don’t they know it take stake to the heart – zombies need to be shot in the head.

See How to Kill A Vampire (http://www.gods-and-monsters.com/how-to-kill-a-vampire.html)

8633194410-Trademarks-Just-in-Time-for-Halloween-.jpgG & S: LED (light emitting diode) lighting fixtures.Really?  Shouldn’t the light be used for killing Vampires (see above)