While registering a trademark may sound quite easy, the process is riddled with legal complexities. Any mistake during the process may result in unnecessary stress, expensive re-filings, or even the rejection of an application.
In this article, you will discover the importance of a Florida trademark attorney.
Is a Trademark Attorney Necessary for Intellectual Property Protection?
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) defines the term “trademark” as any word, phrase, symbol, design, or combination of these things that identifies the source of goods or services.
A trademark is crucial to ensure the customers of a company will recognize its goods or services in the marketplace. The ownership rights of a trademark start with its use, not with the registration.
It is possible to enforce an unregistered trademark in the event of an infringement. However, registering a trademark will secure additional benefits that “common law” trademarks do not have.
Working with an expert attorney increases your chances of securing a trademark registration. Please note that filing a trademark application is a complex, detailed-oriented process. Trademark law is complex, but it may be overwhelming for anyone who lacks legal knowledge.
Many entrepreneurs think that they can work their way through the process, which results in delays, re-filings, and rejections.
Why Do I Need a Florida Trademark Attorney? -Taking a Closer Look
Performing Trademark Search
When applying for trademark registration, the first step is proceeding with a full trademark search. A trademark search is necessary to identify whether there are registered trademarks with confusingly similar designs, words, phrases, or symbols.
A registered trademark must be unique. Depending on how the search is done, it may result in additional expenses associated with legal disputes in the future.
Currently, several websites promise to deliver efficient trademark search engines. However, these tools only show trademarks when they are the exact match to your trademark.
An experienced attorney knows that trademark litigation cases are mostly based on the likelihood of confusion in the marketplace, not on exact copies of an existing trademark. Failing to search properly or missing similar trademarks will likely result in rejection at the USPTO.
An expert legal advisor will perform a diligent search and complete a thorough assessment to identify if any existing registered marks have confusingly similar characteristics with a client’s trademark.
Preparing an Adequate Trademark Application
It is not unusual to find trademark owners who are in their second or third attempt to register a mark. Reapplying for trademark registration is not only time-consuming, but it may also incur hefty expenses.
A trademark application is not a simple process, as it involves several legal decisions. While many business owners may be experts in their activities, they lack the required legal knowledge to handle the process adequately and avoid application rejections.
Monitoring and Enforcing a Trademark
Florida business owners can file for trademark registration at the state level (Florida’s Department of State) or federal level (USPTO).
While both entities are responsible for registering trademarks, they are not liable for monitoring the registered marks in the marketplace. Hence, trademark owners are responsible for monitoring their marks against infringement or any similar actions.
In a competitive business environment like Florida, entrepreneurs usually lack the time required to monitor the occurrence of trademark infringement. A trademark attorney may help monitor your trademark and prevent (or fight against) any unauthorized use.