Saratoga Trademark Attorney
Trademark and Copyright Registration
Registering your trademark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) or your copyright with the U.S. Copyright Office provides many advantages. However, the registration process, especially for trademarks, is often difficult to navigate. Save yourself the aggravation and expense of having your registration delayed, rejected or found to be invalid or ineffective later by hiring Marc David Freed, a Saratoga trademark & copyright attorney at the Freed Law Firm.
Advantages of Trademark Registration
A trademark is your unique brand that lets your customers know that goods or services come from you and not from imitators and competitors. You are not required to register your trademark; simply using it in commerce in connection with your goods or services gives you some rights. But federal registration enhances these rights significantly:
- Federal registration creates a presumption that you own the mark and have the exclusive right to use it across the country. This presumption will make it easier to enforce your rights if you are ever involved in a dispute with an infringer.
- Registration gives you the right to sue in federal court to enforce your trademark.
- It allows you to record your registration with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Service, which will help prevent counterfeit or infringing goods from being imported.
- It gives you the right to use the symbol “R” in a circle which tells the public and your competitors your mark is federally registered.
- Once your mark is registered, it is included in the USPTO’s database putting everyone on notice that you own it. When other businesses search the database, they will find your mark and be able to avoid choosing one that is too similar.
- You can use the U.S. registration to apply for registration in foreign countries.
Registering Your Trademark
The trademark registration procedure is complex with numerous legal requirements and deadlines. Many applicants who attempt it without help from a trademark attorney find their applications rejected and their filing fees forfeited.
Saratoga trademark attorney Marc David Freed will shepherd your application through the process saving you from expensive errors. The first step is a comprehensive trademark search and evaluation. A comprehensive search will minimize the possibility that the owner of an unregistered mark will have rights superior to yours.
An evaluation will help you determine whether your mark is likely to be accepted before you go to the trouble and expense of applying and developing collateral materials and marketing campaigns. Marks that are insufficiently unique (“weak” marks) or too similar to registered marks will be refused. In this murky area, an experienced trademark lawyer’s opinion can be invaluable.
If your proposed mark is appropriate for registration, the Freed Law firm will prepare your application to minimize objections from the government’s trademark examiner. If the examiner does raise objections, which is not uncommon, we will be prepared to respond to them.
Once the registration is granted we will advise you on how to mark your products or description of your services with your trademark so as to obtain value from the mark and afford it legal protection. We can also advise you on asserting claims against those infringing your trademark and prepare cease and desist letters.
Copyright protects creators of original works fixed in any tangible medium. Subject to some exceptions, the copyright holder has the exclusive right to publicly display or perform the work, and to reproduce, adapt, or distribute it.
A copyright is created as soon as the work is fixed. No registration is required. However, like trademark registration, copyright registration confers additional protections on the holder:
- Registration creates a public record that you are the owner of the work. Sometimes the public record is enough to discourage infringers or stop them once you notify them of your registration.
- It allows you to sue in federal court to enforce the copyright. For works created in the United States, registration is required before you can access the courts.
- Provided that you register your copyright within three months after you publish the work or before infringement occurs, registration allows you to obtain statutory damages and attorney’s fees if you sue. Although you have the option of suing for your actual losses, they may be modest or difficult to prove. If your copyrighted work isn’t generating substantial royalties, statutory damages may give you more money.
We can also advise you on proper copyright marking techniques and in asserting claims against those infringing your copyright. Copyright registration is another IP service provided by Santa Clara trademark lawyer Marc David Freed.
Contact a Saratoga Trademark Attorney for Assistance with Trademark or Copyright Registrations
At The Freed Law Firm, we have a strong commitment to personal service and cost control. During each phase of the process, we will work diligently to ensure the success of your copyright or trademark registration. Call (831) 661-0300 or (408) 354-7403 or contact The Freed Law Firm online to schedule your free initial consultation.