TRADEMARK

A trademark (sometimes called a service mark) is a word, logo or other mark that uniquely identifies a company as the provider of a service or product.

Trademarks differentiate companies from competitors and also, with time, develop value in the form of “brand equity” in the minds of customers who associate the quality of a product, service, or company with its trademark. Advertising and marketing efforts often support and augment the value of the trademark.

Trademark Search
A trademark search is a recommended step for companies seeking to use a trademark. This type of search identifies the availability of certain marks and can provide guidance for a company on the development of a unique mark – some marks are more unique than others.
Trademark Registration
If a trademark is to be used, it is best to register it with the United States Patent and Trademark Office and possibly in foreign countries as well. The benefits of registering a trademark are the protection of rights to the mark and certain legal protections from infringement and use by others. Federal registration serves as “constructive notice” of the registrant’s rights, which prevents later users from claiming “good faith” in their (potentially infringing) usage. As a financial consideration, a registered trademark tends to increase the overall value of the trademark and, by extension, the value of the business that owns it.

 

Many trademark legal proceedings revolve around the questions of usage and similarity of marks.  When one party attempts to gain leverage from the similarity of its mark to a well-known mark, the question of the likelihood of confusion is the key one.  Often, the first step in such disputes is a “cease and desist” communication.  If this doesn’t solve the dispute, litigation may follow.

The De Cárdenas Law Group can advise you on the entire process of trademark design, selection, application, and ongoing protection and oversight.  The maintenance of a trademark and enforcement of rights is, of course, a key component of maintaining the value of your mark.  Our firm can assist you throughout the life of your mark and maintain the brand equity and integrity so important to your company.