Trademarks are an essential tool for building a valuable brand. The value of a trademark is a function of the goodwill associated with the business with which it is associated — the greater the goodwill the business generates, the more valuable its trademarks. The owner of a trademark can then prevent infringers and copycats from appropriating the goodwill of the business, as well as generate additional income by licensing the trademark to others. Each Birmingham trademark attorney at AdamsIP understands the value of our client’s trademarks and has extensive experience protecting and enforcing their rights.
Our Birmingham Trademark Attorney Assists with All the Various Types of Trademarks
Trademarks identify the source of goods or services and distinguish them from those of others. As such, a trademark can be anything that is capable of performing those functions. This can include:
- App icons
Trademarks can also encompass non-traditional brand elements such as colors, sounds, tastes, textures, smells, and product packaging and design. The only elements that are categorically excluded from serving as trademarks in all instances are generic terms — for example, “water,” “computer, and “cleaners.” These terms refer to broad categories of goods and services rather than those of a particular source, and thus cannot function as trademarks. Otherwise, the scope of trademark protection is very broad.
Comprehensive Trademark Protection for Birmingham Companies
Trademark protection is about more than simply obtaining a registration. Trademark owners must also take steps to keep their trademark registrations active and enforce them against infringers. A company’s trademark strategy should be integrated into its overall business strategy, and a Birmingham trademark attorney can assist you with devising and implementing a trademark strategy that works for you.
Finding the Right Trademark
You might have a great idea for a brand name, logo, or slogan, but before you can use it, you need to ensure that no one else already has rights to it. A trademark search executed by an experienced attorney can identify the existence of other trademarks that could limit your ability to use your chosen mark. In most cases, we perform an initial “knockout search” to identify any obvious “problem” trademarks, which can help steer our clients in the right direction in the trademark selection process. If we find any issues, we help our clients make informed decisions by preparing trademark opinions that set out our legal opinion as to whether a problem trademark is valid and enforceable, the threat of litigation it poses, and our client’s likelihood of success in overcoming an infringement claim.
Obtaining Trademark Registrations
Trademark holders can secure the maximum protection possible for their trademarks by registering them with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). While registration is not strictly necessary to use a trademark, there are several advantages to having a registered trademark, including the ability to sue infringers in federal court. We handle every step of the trademark application process, including working with the USPTO to overcome registration refusals.
Enforcing Your Trademarks
Trademark infringement is the unauthorized use of a trademark in connection with goods or services that is likely to cause confusion among the public as to the source of the goods or services. This could occur, for example, where the infringer uses your trademark on similar yet inferior goods or where the infringer uses your trademark on a different type of goods in an attempt to establish a connection to your brand. There are several ways to enforce your trademark rights against infringers. Our attorneys typically begin with a cease-and-desist letter alerting the infringer to the existence of our client’s trademark and demanding an end to the infringing activities. If that is unsuccessful, we may then turn to trademark litigation to enforce our client’s trademark rights in federal court.
Keeping Your Trademarks in Force
Trademark rights arise through use and remain in force only so long as they are actively being used in commerce. This requires trademark owners to take an active role in trademark maintenance, which includes renewing trademark registrations with the USPTO, monitoring the market for signs of infringement, and enforcing trademark rights against infringers. It can often be difficult for business owners to find the time to devote to adequate trademark monitoring, but our attorneys ensure that our clients’ trademarks remain valid and in force.
Request a Free Consultation with a Birmingham Trademark Attorney Today
A strong trademark strategy is essential for long-term business success. For more information about developing a trademark strategy that works for you, please contact a Birmingham trademark attorney at AdamsIP by calling 251-289-9787 or by using our online contact form.
505 20th St N Suite 1215
Birmingham, AL 35203