Trademark Services in Waterloo, SC
How do I protect my Waterloo, SC 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.
Someone stole my brand, what can a Waterloo 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.
What is a Cease-and-Desist Letter?
A cease-and-desist letter is typically the first step in protecting your Waterloo, SC 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.
Waterloo, SC 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.
How can a Waterloo patent attorney protect an idea?
An idea can be protected by a patent if the idea constitutes an invention. An idea may be considered an invention under U.S. patent law if it is a new and useful process or machine, or a new and useful improvement to an existing process or machine. Abstract ideas are not patentable, and your invention cannot be something that would be obvious to an ordinarily skilled person in the field of the invention. Your idea must also be detailed enough that it can be described in such a way that an ordinarily-skilled person could make and use the invention based on that description. A patent attorney can help make sure your idea meets the requirements of a patentable invention, and secure protection for that idea by preparing and filing a patent application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
What is a registered Waterloo, SC patent attorney?
A registered patent attorney is an attorney who is, in addition to their state law license, also licensed to represent clients before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Generally, only practitioners who are specifically qualified by the USPTO may file and prosecute patent applications. In order to be registered by the USPTO, a patent attorney must have a Bachelor’s degree or higher in a technical field (e.g. engineering, physics, chemistry, biology) and must pass a special USPTO exam, often called the “Patent Bar,” separate from the bar exam that all lawyers must take. Not all patent practitioners are lawyers; patent agents are practitioners who are qualified to file patent applications but are not licensed to practice law. Unlike patent agents or unregistered attorneys, a registered patent attorney can both render legal advice and also file and prosecute patent applications.