Intellectual Property Law Services in Hillsville, VA
Hillsville, 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.
What is a Cease-and-Desist Letter?
A cease-and-desist letter is typically the first step in protecting your Hillsville, 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.
Types of Trademarks
An attorney at Axenfeld Law Group can assess your potential Hillsville VA 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.
What does a Hillsville design patent protect?
Whereas a utility patent covers an invention itself including the way it functions or its mechanical structure, a design patent protects only the appearance and design of the object. Put differently, a utility patent protects the way an invention is used and how it works while a design patent protects how it looks. Design patents may be obtained only where the ornamental features of the invention predominate over its functional features. An invention that is primarily utilitarian in nature is generally not protectable by a design patent. A design patent affords the patent holder the right to prevent others from making, using, or selling a product that resembles the patented product closely enough that an “ordinary observer” might confuse the infringing product for the patented one.
Trademark Search Services in Hillsville, VA
Trademark search services are an essential step in the trademark registration process, helping individuals and companies determine if their desired trademark is available for use and registration. A thorough trademark search can reveal any conflicting trademarks that could potentially prevent the registration of a new trademark. Axenfeld Law Group’s trademark search services include a review of existing trademarks in databases, as well as a search of common law usage, company names, and domain names. Based on your needs, we will research the relevant market for your goods/services, and are able to perform an international search as well. Utilizing Axenfeld Law Group’s trademark search service may avoid costly legal battles and disputes over trademark infringement. Axenfeld Law Group recommends all individuals and businesses conduct a comprehensive trademark search before applying for trademark registration to ensure the desired mark is available and to avoid wasting time and resources on an application that may be rejected or opposed.
What should you look for when hiring a Hillsville, VA trademark attorney?
An experienced Hillsville, 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.