A trademark is usually any symbol or product that the public associates with a particular service or good offered by a company. In many instances, a brand is a trademark. Almost all consumers know the word "Coca Cola" which is both a trademark and brand.
Benefits of Trademark Registration
While common law rights may exist in a trademark, businesses should seek federal registration of a trademark for several reasons. Without federal registration, businesses seeking to enforce their mark must prove that consumers associate a distinctive mark with with their business, and the enforcement of their mark will be limited to a particular geographic location. However, federally registered marks are presumed to be valid and are enforceable across the entire United States.
Because of the many advantages of trademark registration, most businesses will choose to register their marks. It is recommended that a business hire an experienced trademark attorney to perform a trademark search. A trademark search can inform a business as to whether a trademark will successfully be registered and help ensure that the business does not run afoul of other trademark registrations.
Trademark Cease and Desist Letter
If you feel your business is the victim of trademark infringement or your business has been accused of violating trademark rights, you should contact a trademark attorney promptly. Attempting to resolve the issue without counsel could result in any statements made being used in court against you. Whichever position your business is in, it is important that the allegations of the trademark rights be examined prior to sending or responding to a cease and desist letter.
Trademark Infringement Damages
Trademark infringement damages can include profits that a company loses, lost royalties, attorney's fees, and other damages. Trademark litigation can be costly, so it is prudent to attempt to avoid litigation be employing a trademark attorney prior to use of a mark.
Both common law and statutory trademark rights exist, and it is much preferred to seek federal registration for a mark. An appropriate amount of due diligence including a trademark search can help avoid future litigation. If any party is considering enforcing trademark rights or being accused of violating rights, it is important to understand the merits of the claim first. Feel free to use the form on the right to request a free consultation with a lawyer or call our office during regular business hours.