Trademarks are essential for protecting intellectual property such as brand names, logos, taglines, slogans, and domain names. A Florida trademark lawyer can be helpful for researching, applying for, and enforcing trademarks. Stanton IP Law Firm has many experienced trademark attorneys that Tampa businesses can count on for these and other services related to intellectual property.
Why Are Trademarks Important?
In order to establish brand identity, a business must protect phrases, images, and symbols specific to that organization. It’s well known that large companies such as Apple, Nike, and McDonald’s are vigilant about protecting their trademarks. However, it’s equally important for smaller companies to be aware of this issue. A trademark helps you set your brand apart and make your name and content recognizable. In an age where images and other content are casually copied and downloaded online, it’s more important than ever for businesses to register and protect their trademarks.
What Can and Cannot be Trademarked?
It can be confusing to understand what can be trademarked. A Tampa trademark law firm can provide you with more specific and customized information. However, in general, you can trademark something that’s unique and specific to a brand (and hasn’t already been trademarked by someone else).
In addition to business names and logos, certain taglines, and catchphrases may be trademarked. Popular examples include “Let’s Get Ready to Rumble!” trademarked by Michael Buffer for sporting events, “Just Do It,” by Nike, and “I’m Lovin’ It,” by McDonald’s. On the other hand, personal names, place names, and common or descriptive words cannot be trademarked.
How to Register a Trademark
The most secure way to secure a trademark is to register it with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Most applicants now do this online. While anyone can apply for a trademark, an IP attorney like our team at Stanton IP Law Firm can make the process more simple and improve the chances of an application being accepted.
Types of Trademarks
Trademarks fall into several categories. These can be readily identified by the symbol associated with each.
- Trademark symbol™ —The ™ symbol does not require registration and is simply an announcement that someone is claiming ownership of the name, phrase, or image.
- Registered Trademark ® —The ® symbol can only be used with the approval of the USPTO.
- Service Mark ℠ — The ℠ is a name, logo, or phrase that identifies the specific services a business provides. Like ™, ℠ does not carry any legal weight on its own if the service mark isn’t actually registered.
The trademark™ and service mark℠ symbols are commonly used by businesses before they are registered with the USPTO when they can use the registered trademark® symbol.
Services Provided by a Florida Trademark Attorney
As an experienced Florida trademark law firm, Stanton IP Law can assist business owners, C-level executives, entrepreneurs, and startups with all facets of intellectual property, including trademarks. This includes:
- Registering a Trademark — We can guide businesses on whether a trademark should be registered and suggest ways to make a trademark or other intellectual property more distinctive. Our attorneys help clients through the entire trademark registration process.
- Trademark Litigation — If someone has infringed on your trademark, as in using a logo or phrase that’s been registered, a Tampa trademark law firm can initiate litigation on your behalf. Litigation may also occur if your business is accused of violating a trademark. In this case, our experienced trademark litigation attorneys are here to help.
- IP Strategy — We work with clients to form a complete intellectual property strategy, which includes commercializing and monetizing assets.
Stanton IP Law is a trademark law firm Tampa residents and businesses can trust to safeguard their intellectual property interests. If you have any questions or concerns regarding patents, contact us for a free consultation.