Legal Insight. Business Instinct.

Eugene Trademark Attorney

Eugene Trademark Attorney

Every individual has things they want to do within their lifetime. For some it is to have a family, some want to travel, and others want to start their own business. Aspiring to create your own business and to do so is a great accomplishment. It takes a lot of hard work, time, and dedication to bring your ideas to life. When you start a business, the beginning is a lot of thinking and planning. You need to know what you want your brand to look like and how you are going to execute your plans. Any ideas that you come up with and eventually use for your brand are considered intellectual property. The different types of brand identifiers for your brand can be claimed by you, so that others within your industry cannot use them for their business. This intellectual property is called a trademark and after an application process, you can seek legal action if another business within your industry tries to use your trademark.

What Is Considered a Trademark?

There are three different types of brand identifiers that could be trademarked:

Slogan: A slogan is a group of words that are either a phrase or a sentence that is used to advertise your goods or services. For a slogan to be effective, it is usually clever, and short and helps the consumer know what your business is known for. An example of this would be the slogan for Nike which is “Just Do It.”

Symbols: If there is a particular symbol that is used to identify or advertise your brand, it can be trademarked. This could include your logo or any other symbol that is used for your brand specifically. The symbol allows consumers to know your business just by seeing it. An example of this could be the golden arches that show you where a McDonald’s is located.

Sounds: If you put together a tune, a few notes, or a jingle that is going to be used to advertise your business, it can be trademarked. Choosing to use sounds to identify your brand is an easy way to make your brand more memorable for consumers. An example of this would be the jingle that Nationwide Insurance uses, “Nationwide is on your side.”

Any sound, slogan, or symbol is able and should be trademarked individually. However, if you are using a combination of the three, you are able to trademark the combination that is used to identify your brand.

Why is a Trademark Needed?

When you are coming up with ideas for your brand, you will go through hundreds of different ideas. The ones that you choose to use to advertise your brand are going to be what identifies your brand and makes it unique. Whether it is a slogan, symbol, sound, or a combination of the three it is your intellectual property. You want to protect these ideas which are protecting your brand. When you get your brand identifiers trademarked, that means that no one else in the industry is able to take your ideas and use them. This ensures that your consumers do not get your business confused with another if they are using the same or too similar ideas. If you find that another business is infringing on your trademark, you are able to take legal action against them. Trademarks are to protect your business by not letting others use things that identify your brand.

Are Trademarks Required?

The short answer is no. But at Beard St. Clair Gaffney we strongly encourage any business owner to trademark their intellectual property. The process to get your trademark may sound intimidating, long, and expensive but it is worth all the time and effort. If you make the decision to run your business without trademarks on your symbols, sounds, and slogans you are taking a large risk. You are risking that another business could see your excellent ideas and want to use them for their own business. If you choose not to get a trademark, there is nothing that you can do to prevent them from using things that are used to identify your brand. Not only can they use your ideas as their own, but they can also apply for a trademark with your ideas. It does not matter who came up with the ideas first, but who applied for the trademark first and they will receive ownership of the trademark. Trademarks are not required, but they are the best decision you can make to protect your business and the brand that you have created.

The Process of Applying for A Trademark

When you have finalized what you are going to use to identify your business, you will want to start looking into getting them trademarked. The first step is to be sure that what you are looking to get trademarked is trademarkable. Once you are sure that it can be trademarked, you will have to check that it has not been trademarked previously or is in the process of being trademarked. After those steps, you will be asked what field of industry your trademark will be used in to prevent others in the industry from using it. When you complete the application, you will turn it in through the Trademark Electronic Application System. At this point, they will double-check that it has not been trademarked before and decide if they are going to grant you the trademark. If they approve your application, your trademark is officially your intellectual property.

Why Beard St. Clair Gaffney?

As you decide to start a business and follow your dreams, we know that it can be a stressful time. There are so many components that go into creating a business and the last thing you should be worried about is someone taking your ideas to use as their own. At Beard St. Clair Gaffney, we are well-versed in trademark law and are here to help take some of the stresses off of your shoulders. Our team is here to help you through each step of the process and give your business the attention that it deserves. We know how important your intellectual property is to you and want to help you protect it. Please call us with any questions you have, we want to help no matter what part of the process you are in. What is used to identify your brand is essential and by protecting it you are setting your business up for success.

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