Minnesota Trademark Attorneys
When would you need a Minnesota Trademark Attorney? A trademark is a name, logo, symbol, word, or phrase that is used to identify a product or service and distinguish that product or service from competitors in the marketplace. As soon as the mark is first used in commerce, the trademark owner retains the exclusive right to use that mark and may protect those rights by suing to prevent confusion in the marketplace.
Choose your mark
Not all trademarks are created equal. All trademarks fall on a spectrum ranging from Generic (a simple word like “Revolution”) to Arbitrary/Fanciful (invented words such as “Kodak” or “Verizon”). The more arbitrary and fanciful a mark, the more protection it will deserve from the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
Even the most fanciful term you think of may already be taken, however. The USPTO has a vast database of trademarks that span every aspect of industry. Choosing the right mark for your business requires a thorough search of this database and counseling from a trademark attorney to ensure you find an original, creative mark.
Register your mark
Although a trademark owner has the right to protect a mark after first using it in commerce, registering the mark with the USPTO alerts competitors of the mark and discourages the creation of potentially infringing marks. Registration also allows the use of the registration symbol ® and grants automatic jurisdiction in federal courts to challenge potentially infringing trademarks.
Registering a trademark can be a very long process requiring diligent attention to minute details. Even minor errors in the application process can result in a rejected application or additional filing fees to amend the application. An experienced trademark attorney can help you navigate the application process and reduce the chance for costly errors.
Protect your mark
If a competitor uses words, phrases, symbols and logos similar to your mark, it could confuse the average consumer in the marketplace about where the goods or services are coming from. Trademark owners have the right to exclusive use of their marks and may sue to cancel an infringing mark.
The USPTO’s Trademark Trial and Appeal Board is a semi-judicial administrative body that is responsible for deciding all opposition and cancellation cases. The TTAB follows its own special rules regarding filing cases and conducting hearings. Therefore, it is essential to have an experienced trademark attorney on your side if to help protect your trademarks.
Minnesota Trademark Attorneys
The law firm of Dudley and Smith, P.A. offers a wide variety of trademark services including:
- Choosing your mark
- Availability searches
- Global registration of your mark
- Oppositions and cancellations of infringing marks
- Enforcing your right to the exclusive use of your mark
Steven C. Opheim has over 27 years of experience helping clients, choose, register, and protect their trademarks. His top priority is his clients’ interests, and he will work hard to help you achieve your goals. Contact an experienced trademark lawyer at Dudley and Smith, P.A. today at 651-291-1717.