A trademark is a word, symbol, or design used as a source identifier for goods and services. Trademarks help to distinguish one good or service from another and to promote brand awareness among consumers. For example, most consumers would instantly recognize and be able to differentiate the Nike Swoosh logo from the three-stripe trefoil logo of Adidas.
Trademarks are highly valuable assets. They represent the “goodwill” and trust of the consumer in the particular brand. Business trademarks are a leverageable asset for your company because they have the ability to appreciate over time. The highly-recognizable Coca-Cola logo was first registered in 1886 and the brand is now valued at $79.2 billion dollars. Because of their value, it is important to federally register your trademark. Federal trademark registration helps to prevent third parties from using your trademark, or a similar mark, in a manner that would confuse consumers.
The United States Patent and Trademark Office processes applications for federally registered marks. There are many benefits to federal registration of your mark. Registering your mark provides constructive notice to the public of your ownership of that mark and a legal presumption that your mark is valid. Federal registration is also a prerequisite for bringing suit if someone begins infringing your mark. Once you obtain your federal trademark registration, it can be used as a basis to secure registration of your mark in a foreign country and it can be filed with the U.S. Customs Services to prevent importation of infringing goods. After registration of your mark with the USPTO, you will be permitted to use the federal registration symbol “®” in conjunction with your mark.
The trademark attorneys at Kennedy Law have a wide breadth of experience with trademark clearance searches and processing and filing trademark registrations. To discuss whether your potential trademark is available to claim and suitable for registration, contact the trademark lawyers at Kennedy Law.
Chelsie Spencer is a Senior Associate with the Dallas office of Kennedy Law, PC. She may be reached at 214-716-4345.