Los Angeles Trademark Lawyer
Los Angeles Trademark Attorneys
In the business world, having a visual brand identity is one of the most important tasks you can prioritize to set your company apart in the market from all current and future competition. Your logo, company name, and other identifying marks are what customers will use to remember your business. That’s why it’s important to ensure that your trademark is strong and protected against infringement.
Many business owners find themselves overwhelmed when they start registering their trademarks. After spending so much time creating the perfect brand identity, figuring out the legalities can be exhausting. That’s where legal representation in the form of a trademark lawyer can be constructive, saving business owners time, money, and stress.
Representing Los Angeles Clients With Business Trademark Counsel
At the Kinder Law Group, we represent business owners in all aspects of trademark law, from registration to infringement litigation. We understand how vital it is for businesses to have a strong and protected trademark for their visual brand identity. When you work with our team, we will take the time to get to know your business and help you determine what kind of trademark protection makes the most sense for you. We will then handle all paperwork and legwork involved in registering your trademark with the USPTO.
Once your trademark is registered, we can help you monitor it for potential infringement and act if someone does violate your rights. We also represent clients when facing trademark infringement litigation, should it become necessary. We are your legal brand advocates, and we will do everything in our power to help you protect your valuable trademark.
Protecting Intellectual Property
Intellectual property is any intangible asset that has been created by someone and has commercial value. This includes things like trademarks, copyrights, and patents. Los Angeles intellectual property can be divided into two basic categories:
- Industrial property. This type of intellectual property includes trademarks, inventions (patents), industrial designs, and geographic source markers
- Copyright. This type includes artistic and literary works like novels, plays, poems, movies, musical works, paintings, and sculptures
Intellectual property law is the area of law that deals with the protection of these intangible assets. In the United States, intellectual property law is governed by federal law and protects intellectual property owners from having their assets stolen or copied without permission.
What Is a Trademark?
A trademark is a tangible form of intellectual property that consists of a word, phrase, symbol, or design specifically used to identify a particular product or service. Trademarks are used to distinguish one company’s products from another and can be registered with the USPTO.
Some common examples of trademarks include company logos, brand names, and product names. Trademarks can be either registered or unregistered. Unregistered trademarks are more common and are typically used to identify a company’s products or services. Registered trademarks are more formal and give the owner exclusive rights to use the mark.
Why Register a Trademark?
There are several business benefits to registering a trademark, including:
- The ability to sue for trademark infringement
- The ability to prevent others from using your mark
- The ability to use the ® symbol, which shows that your mark is registered
- The ability to license your trademark to others
- The potential to increase the value of your business
If you have a strong trademark that is not registered, you may still be able to prevent others from using it. However, registering your trademark gives you several legal advantages and makes it easier to enforce your rights.
How to Register a Trademark
The first step in officially registering a trademark is choosing a distinctive mark that’s not already in use. The mark must be used for the purpose of commerce to be qualified for registry. Once you have selected a mark, you need to file an application for a trademark with the USPTO.
This application needs to include:
- The name and contact information of the applicant
- A description of the mark
- The goods or services that the mark will be used with
- The date of first use of the mark
- A specimen of the mark
After the application is filed, it will be assigned directly to an examining attorney. The examining attorney will take time to review the application and make sure it meets all the requirements without conflicting with any existing trademarks. If the application is approved, it will be officially registered, and you can use the ® symbol.
After the mark is published, anyone who believes the registration of the mark would harm them has thirty days to file an opposition. If no one files, or if the opposition is unsuccessful, the mark will be registered.
Who Can Register a Trademark?
Any person or company that uses a mark in commerce can register it. This includes individuals, partnerships, corporations, and other business entities. To register a trademark, the mark must be used in commerce. This means that it must be used in connection with the sale of goods or services.
If you are not currently using your mark commercially but intend to in the future, you may file an “Intent to Use” application. This type of application allows you to reserve the mark for future use. To officially complete the registration, you need to show that you have started using the mark in commerce within a certain period.
What Is a Copyright?
A copyright is a type of intellectual property that protects original works of authorship, such as books, movies, music, and artwork. Copyright law gives the creators of these works the exclusive right to reproduce, distribute, perform, and display their work. Copyright protection is available to business owners for both published and unpublished works.
The difference between copyrights and trademarks is that copyrights are for protecting creative ideas, like writing, artwork, or video, while trademarks are used for protecting the use of a word, phrase, or logo to identify a product or service. For example, a copyright would protect the script of a movie, while a trademark would protect the name and logo of the movie studio. Another example is book copyright, which would protect the text of the book, while a trademark would protect the title and author’s name.
Ideas for Trademarks
When choosing a trademark, you want to choose something that is distinctive and not already in use. The mark must be used in commerce to be registered. Here are some tips for choosing a strong trademark:
- Avoid descriptive or generic terms. Terms that describe your goods or services are not eligible for trademark protection. For example, you cannot trademark the word “coffee” for coffee beans.
- Avoid surnames. Surnames are also generally not eligible for trademark protection. For example, you cannot trademark the word “Smith” for a line of clothing.
- Avoid geographical terms. Geographical terms are not eligible for trademark protection if they are merely descriptive of the location of your goods or services. For example, you cannot trademark the word “California” for a line of products.
- Make sure the mark is not already in use. You cannot trademark a mark that is already being used by someone else. Before you choose a mark, you should do a search to make sure it is available.
- Choose a strong mark. A strong mark is more likely to be protected by trademark law. For example, a made-up word like “Kodak” is stronger than a descriptive word like “photography.”
- Choose a mark that is easy to remember and pronounce. A mark that is easy to remember and pronounce is more likely to catch large-scale popularity. This is why many companies choose made-up words or acronyms for their marks that value the importance of being easily remembered and pronounced.
These tips will help you choose a strong trademark that is less likely to be challenged or opposed.
Do I Need a Lawyer to Register a Trademark in the USA?
An attorney is not required to file a trademark application, but there are several benefits to working with an experienced trademark lawyer.
- Knowledge of trademark law. A qualified attorney will thoroughly understand the law and help you navigate the application process. This comes in handy when choosing a mark, doing a search, and responding to any objections that may arise.
- Experience with the USPTO. A trademark attorney will have experience dealing with the USPTO and know how to communicate effectively with them. The average person does not have this experience and may find the process daunting or be more prone to making common errors.
- Save time and money. An attorney can help you save time and money by searching for similar marks, applying the first time correctly, and responding to any objections that may arise. This can help avoid the cost of having to re-file an application or fix mistakes down the road.
- Peace of mind. Filing a trademark can be stressful, as you may be worried about making mistakes or your application being rejected. Working with an attorney can help put your mind at ease and give you the confidence that everything is being handled correctly and having a resource that is looking out for your best interests and that of your business too.
The Risks of Not Using an Attorney
There are several risks associated with not using an attorney when filing a trademark application, including:
- Making mistakes on the application. The application process is complex, and there are many ways to make mistakes. These mistakes can result in delays, additional fees, or even the rejection of your application.
- Not doing a thorough search. A qualified attorney will know how to do a thorough search of similar marks to make sure your mark is available. If you don’t do a search or fail to find a similar mark, you may end up infringing on someone else’s trademark.
- Not knowing how to respond to objections. If there are any objections to your application, you will need to respond to keep the process moving forward. An attorney will know how to respond to objections effectively and can help you avoid making mistakes that could jeopardize your application.
- Not understanding the law. The law surrounding trademarks can be complex. Without a thorough understanding of the law, you may make decisions that could put your trademark at risk.
Overall, working with an experienced trademark attorney can help you avoid many of the risks associated with filing a trademark application. While there is no guarantee that your application will be approved, working with an attorney can give you the best chance of success.
Qualities to Seek in Trademark Lawyers
When choosing a trademark attorney, it is important to find someone who:
- Has experience with the USPTO. The attorney should have a good understanding of how the USPTO operates and be familiar with its procedures. Ask the attorney how many trademarks they have filed and whether they have experience dealing with objections or oppositions.
- Understands your business. The attorney should take the time to understand your business and what you are looking to achieve with your trademark. This will help them give you better advice and represent your interests more effectively. It is a red flag if an attorney tries to file your trademark without understanding your business or what you are looking for.
- Provides clear and concise advice. The attorney should be able to explain the process and give you clear advice on what to do next. They should also be responsive to your questions and concerns. If an attorney is difficult to communicate with or does not provide clear answers, it may be a sign that they are not the right fit for you.
- Gives you a realistic assessment. The attorney should be honest with you about the chances of success for your trademark and help you set realistic expectations. They should not make promises they cannot keep or guarantee that your trademark will be approved.
Contact The Los Angeles Trademark Lawyers at The Kinder Law Group Today
If you are looking for a qualified trademark attorney in Los Angeles, contact The Kinder Law Group today. Our experienced attorneys can help you with every step of the trademark process, from filing your application to responding to objections. We will work diligently to protect your interests and help you obtain the trademark registration you deserve. Contact us today to begin the process.