What is a Trademark?

What is a Trademark?

Trademarks are a huge part of what makes a business successful. If you are starting or already own a business, there is a very good chance you are reading up on trademarks. If you wish to separate your business from others, a trademark is one of the best ways to do so. If you wish to learn more about trademarks, here are some of the questions you may have:

What does a trademark do?

Essentially, a trademark is a word, sound, symbol, name or device that companies use to help distinguish them from other businesses. A trademark also distinguishes the source of a company’s goods. The Cadillac symbol and the Volkswagon symbol are both examples of trademarks that help consumers distinguish the two businesses apart, even though they are both car manufacturers.

How do I get a trademark?

The first thing you will do is meet with an experienced attorney who will assess your trademark to ensure it is worth pursuing. If your application infringes on another party’s work, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office should grant protection. From here, your attorney will file a trademark application. Next, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office will examine your trademark very carefully, and will eventually share their opinion through an office action or communication with your attorney. If they request you make some changes to your trademark, you have six months to respond. Once your application is approved, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office will publish your trademark in the official gazette. People have 30 days from the time your trademark is published to oppose it. This may extend the process to 90 days to allow for negotiation. 

If there are no oppositions, an official Notice of Allowance is issued by the office and your attorney will file a Statement of Use. In a few weeks, your final trademark certificate should arrive. To keep your trademark, you will have to continuously notify the government that you still need your trademark for commercial use. 5 years after your trademark is approved, your attorney will file an affidavit of continued use and an affidavit of incontestability. After 10 years, your attorney will file another affidavit of continued use, which will protect your trademark for as long as you want to use it. If you are seeking a trademark, please do not hesitate to reach out to one of our knowledgeable and trustworthy attorneys today.

Contact our experienced Bergen County firm

The Law Offices of Richard E. Novak, LLC has over 25 years of experience helping clients through tough times when they need it most. If you need assistance with any intellectual property, traffic violations, or business law matters, our firm is here to help. It is critical that you pick the right attorney who can protect your rights. Contact The Law Offices of Richard E. Novak, LLC for a consultation.