Trademark Services in Lodge Grass, MT
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 Lodge Grass 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.
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.
Types of Trademarks
An attorney at Axenfeld Law Group can assess your potential Lodge Grass MT 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 if someone posted my photo and removed my Lodge Grass copyright information?
“Copyright Management Information” (or CMI) includes the identifying information about a work’s copyright owner, among other things. Digital Millennium Copyright Act created a separate prohibition from knowingly removing or altering Copyright Management Information. If someone has knowingly removed your watermark, the title of the artwork, the year it was created, your name, or certain other identifying information from your photo before posting it to social media, you may have a cause of action against that person. The key is that the other person must have known, or had reason to know, that their actions would induce, enable, facilitate, or conceal an infringement. The attorneys at Axenfeld Law can assess your options and determine the best course of conduct to enforce your rights.
What are the benefits of hiring a Lodge Grass trademark attorney to protect your brand or name?
Trademark attorneys specialize in all areas of trademark law, including registration at the USPTO, counseling, and enforcement. Because there are many nuances in trademark law, having an experienced attorney guide you will help avoid potential complications, especially during the registration process. For example, a Lodge Grass trademark attorney will know which forms to file with the USPTO, which classes of goods and/or services to apply in, and how to describe these goods and/or services. An attorney will not only be able to help you accurately prepare your application, but will also be able to respond to the USPTO if the examiner finds any issues with the application.
Someone stole my brand, what can a Lodge Grass trademark attorney do to help me?
If you discover that someone is using your brand without authorization, there are a number of steps you can take to protect your rights. While each situation is nuanced, typically the first step is to send a demand letter (also known as a cease-and-desist letter). The purpose of a demand letter is to alert an unauthorized user to your trademark rights and ask the unauthorized user to cease their infringement. A trademark attorney can help you craft a compelling letter, detailing all of the legal and factual bases for your demand.
Demand letters are the most cost effective and efficient way to resolve a trademark dispute. However, in some cases, the unauthorized user may ignore the letter or simply refuse to cease their unauthorized use of your trademark. In this instance, the next step is to consider whether to file a lawsuit. Because there are many factors to consider when deciding to file a lawsuit, such as cost and potential outcomes, it is important to speak with an experienced trademark attorney for guidance.
While trademarks are the subject of both federal and state law, federal law provides the main source of trademark protection. As a result, working with an attorney who specializes in trademark law is generally more beneficial than working with an attorney who practices in a certain state but who has less familiarity with trademarks.
Axenfeld Law Group, an intellectual property firm that specializes in trademark matters, is here to help you enforce your trademark rights. Robert Axenfeld is currently licensed to practice law in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the District of Columbia, and regularly handles trademark matters before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) and federal courts.