Montana Trademark Attorney
When you decide to start a business, you have to come up with ideas that will make your business unique. Creating a brand that is recognizable can be beneficial to the success of your business. The ideas that you put into life with your business are considered to be your intellectual property and your intellectual property can be trademarked. Protecting your intellectual property by getting a trademark is simultaneously protecting your brand. With all the effort put into your business and brand, you will want to be sure that you are doing everything in order to protect it.
What's Considered a Trademark?
Creating a particular sound or notes put together that is used to advertise your product can be trademarked. It may be one particular sound that is short and sweet. It could also be a jingle that you created to use for advertising. One sound or a jingle is an easy way for your consumers to remember your brand.
A symbol that is used to identify your brand or products can be trademarked. An example of this would be your business logo. Or if there is another particular symbol that goes with your brand. Any symbol that makes your brand identifiable to consumers when they see it.
A sentence or a phrase that is used when advertising your goods or services to consumers. Slogans are normally to the point, memorable, and clever. The group of words used is to recognize your brand and give an idea of what your business does.
Trademarks can be used for each of these categories individually but also can be used in combination to identify a brand or business.
What is the Purpose of a Trademark?
The identifiers of your brand such as a sound, symbol, or slogan are your intellectual property. These ideas that you have come up with belong to your and your business they are used to advertise for. Getting a trademark for your intellectual property protects you and your business from others within your industry using them. Not only does getting a trademark protect your ideas but also gives you the legal right to file a lawsuit against anyone that infringes your trademark. The purpose of a trademark is to protect the intellectual property that is used in advertising for your brand from others using it.
How Do You Apply for a Trademark?
The first step when it comes to applying for a trademark is to make sure that what you are wanting to get a trademark for is able to receive a trademark. If you are sure that it is able to be trademarked, you will want to check that your idea has not been applied for or trademarked already. Once you know that it is trademarkable and has not been trademarked, you will need to declare what field of business your trademark will be used for. After you have completed your application, you will need to submit it to the Trademark Electronic Application System. They will decide whether your idea is trademarkable and not already trademarked by another business within your field. From there it will be decided if your idea is trademarked and officially your intellectual property.
Registering your trademark means that it is your intellectual property. This gives your ownership over the ideas that you have that identify your brand. If another business within your field is using ideas that are too similar or are the same it would be considered trademark infringement. Anything that may cause confusion to your consumers could be considered a trademark infringement. Sometimes there is confusion about others in another industry that look like they are using your trademark. But it is not trademark infringement if they are in another field of business, it is only within your industry.
If you feel another business is using your trademark you will be asked to prove that the trademark infringement is confusing your consumers. If you can prove confusion, contact us at Beard. St Clair Gaffney and in most cases a cease-and-desist letter will be sent to those using your trademark. Possibly they were unaware of the trademark and will stop the use. If they continue to use the trademark, the next step will be a lawsuit against the business to stop the use of your trademark.
Can You Operate without Trademarks?
The short answer is yes. You can use your ideas to advertise your business without trademarks if you wanted to. But we strongly encourage that you get trademarks for your ideas that are used to advertise and identify your brand. If you are using your sounds, logos, sounds, or a combination of the three without a trademark another business could easily use them as well. Not only could they use your ideas, but they could apply for a trademark on those ideas that they copied from your business. Regardless of who came up with the idea, whoever applies for the trademark first will be the one given ownership rights over the trademark.
Why Choose Beard St. Clair Gaffney?
We are always ready to help you in any stage of the trademark law that you are in. We are well educated and have the experience to help you through the entire process of applying for a trademark to protect and fight a trademark infringement. At Beard St. Clair Gaffney, we want to help you protect your ideas and answer any questions you may have along the way. We know that having a recognizable brand is vital to a successful business but can be stressful to be running a business while trying to protect it. When it comes to trademark law, we are here to give your case the dedication and time they deserve. All of our team members are ready to help you get your intellectual property protected. No idea that is used to identify your brand is too small to see if it can be trademarked. Please call us with any questions or concerns when it comes to trademark law, we are here to help you.