What is a Trademark?

195px-Trademarked3.svgA trademark is a word, phrase, symbol, and/or design that identifies and distinguishes the source of the goods of one party from those of others.

Related to a trademark is a “service mark” which is a word, phrase, symbol and/or design that identifies and distinguishes the source of a service rather than goods. The legal process of protecting your trademarks begins with the filing a trademark application at the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

How do you Register a Trademark?

A Trademark Application is filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. It is important to make sure another company has not already registered an identical or similar mark for the same category of goods and services. U.S. trademark protection is granted to the first entity to use a particular mark in the geographic area where it operates regardless of whether the mark is registered. A review of federal registrations, state registrations, and “common law” unregistered trademarks before you file can save you from future costly legal problems.

You are not required to have a lawyer to file for trademark protection. However, a lawyer can help you effectively navigate the trademark application process.  Our lawyers will  help you determine if your proposed mark or logo is unique enough to be protected and help you describe your goods and services properly.

What is Trademark Infringement?

Trademark Infringement is the unauthorized use of your trademark on competing or related goods and services. Whether someone is infringing on your Trademark turns on whether the defendant’s use causes a likelihood of confusion in the average consumer.

How do you Protect your Trademark?

While the USPTO registers trademarks, it is up to you to enforce and protect your trademarks. Therefore, when someone infringes on your trademark, it is important that you take immediate steps to protect it. This can be done through a cease and desist letter and/or through a lawsuit for infringement. The lawyers at Danks, Miller, Cory & Bridgers will work with you or your businesses to protect your trademarks.

Does Mississippi have a trademark statute?

The State of Mississippi has a trademark statute which allows businesses or individuals to register your trademark or service mark with the Office of the Mississippi Secretary of State. The ability to register with the State of Mississippi is not dependent upon any registration of a trademark or service mark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Helping You Safeguard Your Intellectual Property

When you have invested time and money in intellectual property, it is important to take the proper steps to protect your work product and ideas to the fullest. To discuss how we can help you with your intellectual property needs, contact us by email or call our office locally at 601-957-3101.