Whenever you need to patent an invention, register a trademark, or copyright an original work, it is wise to consult an intellectual property lawyer. Failure to seek competent legal advice can prove costly for your business, and may result in the loss of your exclusive rights to your work.
The value of many businesses lies in their intellectual property. Intellectual property can take many forms: A patented process, an application for a mobile device, a company logo, slogan, or symbol, or a work or art, music, or writing. If your intellectual property is not properly protected, your competitors will be free to co-opt your hard work for themselves. Often, especially when dealing with computer software, games, and mobile applications, many companies and individuals are working on similar projects, and the first one to register their work will have an enormous advantage over the competition. Copyrights are registered with the U.S. Copyright Office, and trademarks and patents are registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. A trademark is a unique logo, slogan, or name that identifies your company. A patent is the right to the exclusive use of an invention.
Registering a Trademark
Your company's unique logo or slogan will immediately identify you to customers and potential customers. Once your trademark is registered, you will have the right to legally prevent competitors from using your unique logo or anything too similar. Registering a trademark can be difficult, and if any mistake is made in your application it may be denied, opening the door for competitors. If the individual applicant or company applicant is domiciled outside of the United States, the USPTO requires the applicant to hire a U.S. licensed trademark attorney to handle the registration. The Office recommends, however, that all applicants seek the advice of a licensed trademark attorney to guide them through the process.
What Can a Trademark Attorney Do?
Although there are websites that advertise services relating to patent and trademark registration, the USPTO warns against following the advice of anyone who is not a licensed attorney with specific experience in intellectual property law. Following the wrong advice can cause your application to be delayed or rejected, and could result in your trademark being co-opted by a competitor.
The first thing your attorney will do is conduct a search to determine if the patent or trademark you want to register is already in use. If the patent or trademark is available, your attorney will help prepare your application for registration properly, so it will be accepted without unnecessary delay. Your attorney will be able to represent you at the USPTO Trademark Trial and Appeal Board if necessary. Finally, your attorney will help you protect your intellectual property against improper use by other parties. Failure to enforce your intellectual property rights can result in the loss of your rights, so it is important to identify and notify those who may be violating your patent or trademark rights, and to be able to take legal action against them if it becomes necessary.
For more information about protecting your intellectual property right, visit our website at https://www.eriebusinesslaw.com/.