Intellectual Property Law Services in Charles City, VA
Charles City, VA Trademark Trends
Recent trademark registration trends have seen an increase in the number of trademark applications filed, especially in the areas of technology (Artificial Intelligence (AI), blockchain, and NFTs), entertainment, and fashion. Additionally, there has been a rise in the use of trademark protection for colors, sounds and scent marks, as well as in the registration of trademarks for cannabis-related goods and services. Furthermore, with the growth of e-commerce and the increasing use of social media for business purposes, there has been a rise in the number of trademarks being filed for logos, taglines, and hashtags. However, there has also been an increase in the number of rejections and objections being raised during the trademark examination process, particularly for marks that are deemed descriptive or generic.
Does copyright law protect my photos posted on social media?
U.S. copyright law protects creative works, and photos posted on social media are no exception. The Copyright Act protects photos posted to websites such as Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, but only if the images meet the minimum creativity requirements, are original, and are fixed in a tangible means of expression. When a photographer captures a photograph, they make creative decisions as to the subject matter, lighting, exposure, focus, etc., which typically satisfies both the creativity and originality requirements. Photographs taken with a phone or digital camera meet the fixation requirement when it is recorded or stored in a format that can be preserved and retrieved for future use, display, reproduction, or other commercial exploitation.
How can a copyright attorney help your company avoid Charles City copyright infringement?
Copyright infringement occurs when a business or person engages in the unauthorized use or reproduction of a copyright protected work. Intellectual property law is continually changing and while the rules and statutes at issue remain the same, the implementation of the law often does not. This is especially true on the internet, where a work’s copyright protection is not always obvious and emerging technology, like generative artificial intelligence, tests the boundaries of existing intellectual property jurisprudence. Copyright attorneys, like those at Axenfeld Law Group, can help keep your company abreast of these changes to avoid potentially infringing conduct. To the extent your company is faced with a lawsuit for copyright infringement, Charles City copyright attorneys can also defend you against these allegations and/or work with the copyright holder to negotiate a mutually beneficial resolution.
What should you look for when hiring a Charles City, VA trademark attorney?
An experienced Charles City, VA trademark attorney can help you navigate the best way to register, maintain, and protect your trademark. Whether you are considering trademark registration, defending against accusations of trademark infringement, or enforcing your rights against trademark infringers, choose a trademark attorney who is familiar with all areas of intellectual property law. An attorney who can advise you not only on trademark matters but also trade secret law, patent law, unfair business practices, and copyright law will help ensure you are protected on all sides.
Finally, ask if the attorney has experience handling cases for the types of goods and/or services covered by your trademark. You will feel at ease knowing your attorney is familiar with the nuances of your industry.
What is a Cease-and-Desist Letter?
A cease-and-desist letter is typically the first step in protecting your Charles City, VA trademark rights once you determine that a third party is using your mark without authorization. The purpose of a cease-and-desist letter is to alert an unauthorized user to your trademark rights and ask the unauthorized user to cease their infringement. It also typically puts the alleged infringer on notice that if they do not stop their unauthorized use, they may face further legal action, such as a lawsuit.
While this letter does not need to be prepared by an attorney, a trademark attorney can help you craft a compelling letter, detailing all of the legal and factual bases for your demand. Furthermore, an unauthorized user is more likely to respond favorably to a letter from an experienced attorney. When successful in getting the alleged infringer to cease their unauthorized use of a mark, demand letters are the most cost effective and efficient way to resolve a trademark dispute.
Can you protect your username / handle on social media?
You’ve spent hours building your brand on social media. Protect your Instagram, Facebook, Tiktok, and Twitter handles by registering the username with the United States Patent and Trademark Office ("USPTO"). If you are successful in registering your social media username, you will be establishing its role alongside your brand. This can help prevent others from exploiting your reputation and the goodwill you have built up through commercial use of your username.
Social media handles are eligible for Charles City trademark protection if they are used in connection with the goods or services you offer. This means that the handle must be distinctive and not merely descriptive of the goods or services you offer.
Treat your username or handle as a brand name and ensure that you are able to use it in commerce. This process begins with a trademark search, and if successful, a trademark registration application. This will ensure that no one else is using your name in an area of commerce that is similar to yours and prevent consumer confusion and diversion of sales. Axenfeld Law offers a full suite of services to help build, protect, and enforce your brand. This includes thorough assessment of your brand and the development of a strategy to protect your social media business.