Trademark Services in Columbia, MO
What is a Cease-and-Desist Letter?
A cease-and-desist letter is typically the first step in protecting your Columbia, MO 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.
How can a copyright attorney help your company avoid Columbia 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, Columbia copyright attorneys can also defend you against these allegations and/or work with the copyright holder to negotiate a mutually beneficial resolution.
How do I protect an invention in Columbia, MO?
Inventions can be protected by patents. Patents are a form of intellectual property right that give a patent owner the exclusive right to make, use, or sell an invention for a specific period of time. A patent owner has the right to sue someone for patent infringement who is making, using, or selling their invention without their. In order to obtain a patent in the United States, you must file a patent application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark office (USPTO), disclosing enough information about your invention to satisfy the USPTO that your invention has some useful purpose, is novel, and is not obvious to ordinarily-skilled people in your field. U.S. patents can last for up to 20 years, after which your intellectual property rights expire, but unlike with trade secrets, Columbia, MO patent owners do not have to maintain the confidentiality of their invention.
The benefits of filing a provisional patent application in Columbia
A provisional patent application is a document issued by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office ("USPTO") that protects an invention for a year before a formal patent application is filed. Filing a provisional patent application has several important benefits to inventors and entrepreneurs. Firstly, provisional patent applications have less formal requirements and are more cost effective than nonprovisional applications. Secondly, they allow inventors to begin commercially promoting their invention immediately without fear of having it stolen. Thirdly, a provisional patent application serves as the effective date of filing for the invention, allowing inventors twelve additional months on the term of their patent grant and the right to use the term "patent pending."
How do I protect my Columbia, MO brand?
Brands can be protected by trademarks and trade dress. “Word marks” are a form of trademark that can protect the actual wording of a brand name, while “design marks” are trademarks that protect the stylization or graphical elements of your brand name. Additionally, trade dress can protect the design, shape, or appearance of you protect, such as a distinctive bottle or textile pattern. You can obtain a federal trademark or trade dress by registering with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). A trademark attorney can help you search existing trademarks and trade dresses to ensure your brand is unique, and then file a trademark application on your behalf. If approved, you will have the legal right to exclude anyone else from trying to mimic your brand, whether by appropriating the words or design elements of your brand.
Types of Trademarks
An attorney at Axenfeld Law Group can assess your potential Columbia MO intellectual property and recommend seeking protection over one or more types of trademarks. This includes trademarks for words, designs, sounds, as well as the unique packaging (known as trade dress) for your product. A word mark is a trademark consisting of a word or phrase that identifies a product or service. This type of trademark can be either a standard character mark, which covers any use of the word in any font, or a stylized mark, which has a specific design element. A design mark is a trademark that consists of a unique graphic design, logo, or symbol that represents a product or service. A sound mark is a trademark that consists of a unique audio element, such as a jingle, tune, or sound effect, used to identify a product or service. Sound marks must be original and capable of being represented graphically. Trade dress is the overall look and feel of a product or packaging, and it can be protected as a trademark if it's distinctive and non-functional. An attorney at Axenfeld Law Group will guide the client in choosing the best type for their business.