Patent Services in Westminster, MD
What are the benefits of using a trademark attorney to apply for a Westminster, MD trademark registration?
While U.S.-domiciled applicants do not need to hire a trademark attorney to prepare and file an application for their trademark, there are a number of benefits to having a U.S.-licensed attorney who specializes in trademark law represent you at the USPTO.
An attorney will be able to provide you with legal advice regarding your trademark, conduct a clearance search before you file an application (which will provide insight into the registerability of the mark and any potential issues that may arise during the application review process), prepare your application accurately to minimize office actions, communicate with the USPTO directly on your behalf, and shield you from fraudulent solicitations from third-party vendors.
While hiring an attorney to prepare your trademark application will increase the initial costs, it will likely save you money in the long term and will give you more peace of mind.
What is Westminster, MD 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 Westminster, MD 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.
The benefits of filing a provisional patent application in Westminster
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."
Patent Services in Westminster, MD
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What does a Westminster 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.
Someone stole my brand, what can a Westminster 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.