Trademark Law Attorney in New York City

Trademarks can be one of your company’s most valuable assets, so it’s important to work with a trusted trademark attorney. The government offers several different intellectual property protections, including patents and trademarks.

If you are looking for a professional trademark attorney in New York, Leo Fraser, Attorney at Law, can help protect your business. Leo Fraser understands brands, patents, and all other forms of intellectual property that can help protect your business.

Empowering businesses, entrepreneurs, and individuals with trusted legal counsel since 1979.

What is a Trademark Attorney? 

A trademark attorney can assist you in identifying the trademarks owned by your company. While this may appear to be a simple process, it isn’t always. Numerous things can be trademarked, and a good attorney can assist you in determining which ones to include. 

A good trademark attorney can perform a thorough search on your trademarks before incorporating them into your marketing and branding strategies. This way, a business will avoid wasting money on trademark applications that will almost certainly be denied, and they can identify potential conflicts before they become major issues.

Further, a trademark attorney can handle the application process and choose which process is best for a specific trademark. They will know which process will allow the trademark to be properly registered without rejection. Moreover, a trademark attorney can help protect the trademark and go after those that are illegally using the trademark. The attorney may conduct extensive due diligence and craft strategies to avoid trademark disputes, infringement, and trademark litigation.

What is a Trademark? 

There are two types of trademark rights to protect intellectual property (common law and rights arising from federal registration). A trademark includes any word or phrase, name, symbol, sound, or device that identifies and distinguishes one company’s products from the other. A trademark should uniquely identify the company’s products and distinguish those products from ones made or sold by others.

Common Law Trademark Rights 

Before it is registered with the state or federal government, a common law trademark protects a symbol, logo, product name, or other words or marks that identify the source of goods or services. Trademarks help protect consumers from being confused about the source of a product or service, and for business owners, a trademark can also protect their brand.

Common law trademark protection can be extremely beneficial for small businesses because it allows them to prevent local competitors from using the mark. Common law trademark rights are established when a business begins to use the mark in commerce in a specific geographical area. The common law rights to a trademark are owned by the first person to use it in that area, not the first to register. First in line is first in use.

Federal Trademark Rights

To further protect a common law trademark, a business owner can choose to formally register the mark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). A common law trademark does already have certain protections but it is always up to the owner to enforce protections by keeping an eye out for others using the trademark and notifying them to cease and desist use of the trademark. 

Choosing to register a trademark gives the person additional protections and rights. Not only will the business receive protections where the trademark is in use, but also throughout the country. Common law rights only give protections to a specific area. 

Further, the trademark will receive the commonly seen “®” (R in a circle), which denotes to everyone that the trademark is in use and protected. Moreover, the trademark will now be listed in a federal database, so there is no excuse when someone uses the trademark without permission. 

Registering a Trademark

When registering a trademark with USPTO, the first step is to search the database to ensure that the name is not already a trademark to avoid accidental trademark infringement. This can be searched through USPTO’s search system. Even if the name is in use or too similar to a trademark in existence, registration can be denied. If you are using a trademark in existence, you should consider changing the name or just know that you do not have protections to that name should a trademark dispute ever arise. 

After searching, the next step is to apply for the trademark. The application requires the name and address, citizenship and legal entity of the applicant, an image of the desired mark, a description of the mark, what is covered by the mark (goods and services), an example of the mark in use, a signature from an authorized representative, and the filing fee and case number. 

Once the application is complete, it can be filed through TEAS Plus or TEAS Standard. “Plus” is good if the trademark is simple. This process is cheaper and has a lower rate of rejection. However, if the mark requires more detail and customization, then the TEAS standard will need to be used. 

After the application is submitted, a confirmation and receipt will be sent, and the applicant will be able to check the status at any time. 

Trademark vs. Copyright

A copyright is a form of protection to the authors of original works of authorship, including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and certain intellectual words. Copyright protections are available to works that are published or unpublished and provide exclusive rights to the copyright owner. However, copyright protection does not prevent someone else from independently creating a similar or even identical work, and it does not protect the idea itself.

In order for a work to be eligible for copyright protection, it must meet the following three requirements: (1) must be fixed in a tangible medium of expression, (2) must be original and not have been copied from another work, and (3) must show at least a minimum degree of creativity by the author.

Copyright and trademarks protect distinct works of art. Copyrights generally protect creative works, whereas trademarks protect brand names, phrases, and logos. Copyright primarily protects the rights of those who create original literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and other works like school exams and computer code. 

Trademarks can protect the use of a company’s name and product names, as well as brand identities, such as logos and slogans. In fact, the two safeguards are so legally distinct that they are managed by two separate federal government offices. Trademarks are administered by the United States Patent and Trademark Office, while copyrights are administered by the United States Copyright Office.

Hiring a New York Trademark Law Attorney 

The most important reason to protect and register your trademark is that exclusive trademark rights allow you to prevent others in the United States from selling similar products or services under the same name.

In order to properly protect your rights, it is always best to first consult with a trademark attorney to explain the best options available to you and your business. Leo Fraser, Attorney at Law, is here to help you better understand how to protect trademarks through both common law and federal registration.