A legal trademark is a mark, or symbol that identifies a product or service as distinct from others. A trademark identifies a product or service and the source. The owner of the trademark can be an individual, a business organization, and any other legal entity. Trademarks are a common feature of labels, packaging, or physical places like buildings, signage, and storefronts.
What is the Value of a Trademark?
According to an Article in Forbes Magazine, a trademark is among the most valuable of intangible business assets. Trademarks like Google, Microsoft, and MacDonald’s are globally recognized and relied upon to designate particular categories and sources of products and services.
The Effect of State Registration of Trademarks
State laws permit registration of trademarks. For example, the State of Minnesota accepts trademark registrations. These state-level credentials act to create an official record that the state government recognizes. While state registration in Minnesota can help secure a brand, it does not have the impact of a federal trademark. When seeking a state trademark, state applicants should consult with the type of experienced and seasoned trademark attorney minneapolis mn residents trust with their valuable commercial and business assets.
Legal Consultation for Trademark Applications
The initial consultation is a critical time. Trademark applicants need to know the scope of the protection they need and the best way to achieve it. Applicants also need to understand the process including the potential for an Office Action or denial of the application due to findings by the US Patent and Trademark Office claims examiner.
The Importance of a Trademark Search
The trademark search is an essential part of the application process. A trademark must be unique and not interfere with other federal, state, or common law trademarks. The search establishes any actual or potential conflicts with other claims.
The Attorney Must Analyze Search Results
Analysis of the search results is a key task in a complete trademark representation. The attorney must evaluate the results to detect potential infringements and conflicts. This analysis informs the scope of the application and the likelihood of success.
The Elements of the Trademark Application
The trademark application will define the scope of the protection that the trademark will provide. The trademark laws and regulations establish classes of goods and services. The system puts all applications into one or more of the 45 trademark classes of goods and services. There are 34 categories for goods, and 11 categories for services. The application must select the categories and the specific goods or services that the trademark may protect.
The Advantages of a Federal Trademark
The federal trademark offers legal protection across the United States and the use of the official(R)trademark symbol. State registrations have limited authority to one state and one state government.
Follow-up and Appeal of Trademark Applications
The application does not end the process; the goal is an approved trademark application. Comprehensive legal services include work on an Office Action that denies the claim but states reasons for the denial such as conditions that the applicant must meet.