Trademark & Copyright Law

Trademark Law

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What is a Trademark?

A trademark is a word, slogan, symbol, design, or combination of these elements, which identifies and distinguishes the goods or services of one party from others.

The word trademark, or trademark law, is frequently used generically to encompass similar identifiers of origin such as service marks, collective marks, certification marks, trade dress, and trade name.

The primary purpose of the trademark laws is to prevent unfair competition by applying a test of consumer confusion and providing rights and remedies to the owner of the trademark.

The test for consumer confusion is to assure that the consumer can be confident that when buying a product or service bearing a particular trademark the product or service expected is actually delivered. In other words, the consumer relies on a standard of quality established by the association of the trademark in the marketplace with the owners product or service.

Although the trademark identifies the source of the product or service, that source can be the manufacturing source, the selling source, or in case of universities, the source of sponsorship or authorization.

The trademark application or registration process is not straightforward. Subtleties exist in the process that make hiring a lawyer to guide you through registration very helpful. We help clients through the trademark application process, to assure they get the most protection possible for the best price.

The process of federal trademark clearance and registration can be complicated and lengthy.

There are many fine details that need to be handled. We help our clients secure trademarks and copyrights for their intellectual property and related contracts.

Copyright is a legally enforceable property right that makes it possible for the holder of that right to profit from a work such as a book, song, or piece of visual art, for some examples.

It does this by preventing others from exploiting the work without the rights holder’s say so for a period of time. Copyright protects the expression of ideas but not the idea itself.

For a work to gain copyright protection it has to be original and should be expressed in a fixed form – for example, in writing (whether in print or electronic). Copyright becomes effective at the time of the creation of the work.

Registration of your copyright is still very important to protecting your legal rights, even though protection is automatic. Registration is recommended for a number of reasons.

Many choose to register their works because they wish to have the facts of their copyright on the public record and have a certificate of registration. Registered works may be eligible for statutory damages and attorney’s fees in successful litigation. Finally, if registration occurs within 5 years of publication, it is considered prima facie evidence in a court of law.

If you would like to speak to an attorney regarding the advantages of copyright registration, call us for a consultation at (334) 356-7879.

Protection for Your Creations

Your intellectual property should be protected.

Significant creative energies and resources were used to create names, logos, business materials, websites, or software. A copyright or trademark symbol can provide some protection, but you need formal registration of your work to secure the best legal protection.

When you hire someone to create something for you (logo, software, website, business materials) you need a written agreement to ensure you own the result.

We help our clients with various legal issues while they focus on their creative endeavors.

The Process of Securing Copyrights and Trademarks

Administrative mistakes in filing for either copyright or trademark protection can tie up completion for months, if not years.

Because of the volume of applications that them Copyright Office and US Patent and Trademark Office receive, those that are not completed accurately and properly will likely be rejected. You should hire an experienced attorney to help you properly apply and deal with the bureaucracy.

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