Registering And Protecting Your Trademark Is Vital In The Digital Age

Your company's brand identity is a valuable business asset and deserves protection. When another company uses your distinct design, tagline or symbol, your market share is threatened. Consumer confusion can lead to lost profits. Also, if your company is accused of infringement, you could lose your right to use a meaningful trademark or brand in which you are deeply invested simply because of a passing similarity to another.

When these types of controversies arise, you need knowledgeable legal counsel from an experienced trademark litigation lawyer. Paul C. VanSlyke has practiced trademark and brand law in Texas for more than 30 years. He is a nationally recognized authority on intellectual property and trademark law. He can help you whether you are a plaintiff or defendant in an infringement case. Call his office in Houston at 713-364-0730 to schedule a consultation.

Safeguarding Your Business By Protecting Your Trademark

In common law, a design, slogan or symbol gained trademark protection when it was distinctive and the public associated it with the goods or services of a company. The protection could be nationwide or limited to an area where the public recognized the mark and the associated company.

Today, you can apply to register your trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). This gives other businesses notice of the existence of your mark and your intention to defend it. Some advantages to USPTO registration include:

  • Legal ownership of your mark and the exclusive right to use it
  • Public notice of your ownership prevents others from gaining common law rights
  • Listing in USPTO's database
  • USPTO more likely to refuse registration of similar marks
  • Ability to record your mark with U.S. Customs and Border Protection to prevent the importation of infringing goods
  • The right to use the registered trademark symbol ®
  • Standing to bring an infringement lawsuit in federal court
  • A basis for obtaining priority trademark registration in foreign countries

The USPTO only allows companies to register marks that are:

  • Not likely to cause confusion — If a similar mark exists on the trademark register, before you apply to register your trademark, if it is likely to cause confusion, mistake or deception of the public about the source of your goods and services.
  • Does not falsely suggest a connection — If the mark applied for consists of or comprises matter that may falsely suggest a connection with persons, institutions, beliefs or national symbols (for example, a mark that is the same as the name of a famous rock band).
  • Distinctive — The USPTO considers trademarks as either strong (and worthy of protection) or weak (and not worth protecting).

The USPTO requires you to conduct a search for similar marks before you register your mark. There are several other details to your application, so it's important to consult a knowledgeable trademark attorney.

Contact A Nationally Renowned Trademark Lawyer To Protect Your Rights

Paul C. VanSlyke, Senior Counsel at Hoover Slovacek LLP, has the skill and experience to advise your company on trademark protections and represent you in infringement actions. To schedule a consultation with Mr. VanSlyke, call him at 713-364-0730 or send him an email.