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Evan C. Pappas

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Co-Chair, Hospitality Group

Co-chair, Intellectual Property Group

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Should I get a Trademark for my Brand or Business?

Evan C. Pappas, epappas@tuckerlaw.com, (717) 221-7979

A trademark can be any word, phrase, symbol, design, or a combination of these features that helps differentiate your goods or services from others. Businesses should consider seeking trademark registrations to protect their brands against unauthorized use by others, but also because a registered trademark can add credibility to your brand.

A registered federal trademark, as compared to a state trademark, will provide protection to your brand throughout the entire United States and not just the geography where you do business. Trademarks will protect a brand so that no other company or individual can accidentally or purposively use your businesses logo, name, or slogan to sell their own goods. Without a registered trademark, you may be without the legal rights to stop other businesses from making money using your brand. A trademark will provide you with the national rights to the brand as well as the accessibility to the Federal courts to handle any legal actions related to infringement. Although a fee is required to initially seek trademark registration, once registered, a trademark can last indefinitely, provided that you continue to renew it and make use of it in commerce. 

Benefits of Having a Trademark

Once registered, your trademark will be listed in the Unites States Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO) database and create a public record of your rights to the brand. Registration also creates a legal presumption that you own and have superior rights to the brand. 

Another important benefit to registration is that it can help differentiate your brand in commerce to other non-registered brands. After your brand is registered, you are permitted to use the registration symbol ® adjacent to the brand. Use of this registration symbol on your product or service helps draw positive attention to your brand and help to set it apart from competitors. With this comes customer recognition which can lead to recognition of your business. With the rise of online shopping and competing products, a registration can help a small or unknown business appear more professional and established. This additional recognition for your brand will help create additional credibility and loyalty for your brand.

Should You Have an Attorney?

Although you are not required to have an attorney file for your trademark, having the expertise of an experienced lawyer can avoid costly missteps that could result in your application not being approved. An attorney will ensure that your application is completed properly and can highlight and avoid certain problems in advance. Our lawyers are also available to answer your questions and provide advice where needed. This can help keep everything on track and prevent issues if something was incorrectly filled out. An attorney can also perform a trademark search prior to applying for your trademark so that you do not apply for something overly similar to an existing business. This would result in your application being denied and possibly a lawsuit from the other company for infringement. Therefore, having skilled counsel in your corner will help you properly plan your trademark strategy and increase your chances of success.

March 01, 2023

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