The firm can assist you with pursuing trademark protection through common law usage and state, federal and international registrations, as well as with trademark availability opinions and infringement analyses, and licensing and enforcing your trademark rights.

Some people confuse patents, copyrights, and trademarks. Although there may be some overlap among these kinds of intellectual property protection, they are different and serve different purposes.

What is a Trademark or Service Mark?

A trademark may consist of words, phrases or designs or combinations which is used in trade with goods or services to indicate the source of the goods or services and to distinguish them from the goods or services of others. A service mark is the same as a trademark, except that it identifies and distinguishes the source of a service rather than a good or product. The terms "trademark" and "mark" are commonly used to refer to both trademarks and service marks. Trademark rights are acquired by use in commerce of the mark in conjunction with a particular good or service.

Trademark rights are protected in the US through:

Common Law Usage:
Protects use of the mark within a demonstrable geographic area of trade.

State Registration:
Protects use of the mark throughout the state of registration.

Federal Registration:
Protects use of the mark all 50 United States and its territories. The term during which trademark rights exist depends on the type of trademark protection:

Federal Registration:
10 year term, subject to renewal and continuous use.

State Registration:
Usually a 5 or 10 year term (varies from state to state), subject to renewal and continuous use.

Common Law Usage:
As long as the trademark is continuously used.

How can you tell if someone is asserting trademark rights in a particular mark?
The trademark owner should indicate to the public that it claims rights in its mark by providing appropriate notice such as:

TRADEMARK® or SERVICE MARK® (federal registration)

TRADEMARKTM or SERVICE MARKSM (state registration and/or common law usage)

Trademark rights may be used to prevent others from using a confusingly similar mark, but not to prevent others from making the same goods or from selling the same goods or services under a clearly different mark. Trademarks which are used in interstate commerce may be registered with the US Patent and Trademark Office.