Trademark Services in Poplar Grove, IL
How do I protect a name?
You can protect your business or product name from being used or diluted by a competitor with a trademark. A trademark is an intellectual property right that gives you the right to exclude others from using your name in a confusingly similar manner. There are several ways to acquire a trademark, including through state agencies or simply through use in commerce, but the way to obtain the greatest amount of protection is to register your name with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). A Poplar Grove, IL trademark attorney can help you file a federal trademark application, and if granted, you will have the right to enforce your trademark throughout the entire United States. You will also have a legal presumption that you own the trademark. Anyone who sues to challenge your trademark will bear the burden of proving otherwise.
How do I protect an invention in Poplar Grove, IL?
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, Poplar Grove, IL patent owners do not have to maintain the confidentiality of their invention.
Types of Trademarks
An attorney at Axenfeld Law Group can assess your potential Poplar Grove IL 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 is Poplar Grove, IL trade dress?
Trade dress is the overall commercial look and feel of a product and can include the product’s packaging, features, or a combination of features. In order to be protectable, the Poplar Grove, IL trade dress must identify the source of the product and distinguish it from the look and feel of other products. A product’s trade dress must also be (1) distinctive – it must identify and distinguish the source of the product; and (2) non-functional – it must not be essential to the use of the product or affect its cost or quality. If the trade dress is not inherently distinctive, it can still be registered if the owner can show that it has acquired secondary meaning.
What type of services does an intellectual property attorney in Poplar Grove provide?
An intellectual property (“IP”) attorney isn’t just for filing patent applications. An IP attorney should be well-versed in trade secrets, trademarks, unfair business practices, and copyrights. Some of the key services Axenfeld Law provides include patent prosecution, trademark registration, copyright registration, litigation to enforce your intellectual property rights, and domain name disputes. Axenfeld Law can also work with your business to license or transfer your IP rights, whether as an individual transaction or as part of a larger deal, such as IP due diligence for mergers and acquisitions. This would include assessing your IP portfolio and determining the steps needed to protect your IP while maximizing its value.
Axenfeld Law has experience in representing Poplar Grove, IL businesses and individuals before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) involving both trademarks and patent matters. Additionally, Axenfeld Law’s litigation team is well versed in all areas of intellectual property law and can represent you in enforcing your rights against infringers or defend you when accused of infringement. IP law is a complex field with each sub-area of law containing its own nuances, therefore it is imperative to look to a team like Axenfeld Law that is familiar with the practical intricacies in order to maximize the value of your IP while minimizing the costs.
What is a Cease-and-Desist Letter?
A cease-and-desist letter is typically the first step in protecting your Poplar Grove, IL 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.