California business owners hold legal and financial interests in their intellectual property, but often do not endure the legal processes to properly protect it. California business owners can protect these interests with trademarks, copyrights, patents, and other legal tools that define ownership and the conditions on which intellectual property can be used. To learn how to make sure your practices, ideas, and methods are secure, contact the intellectual property attorneys at Startup Company Counsel today.
What is a Trademark?
According to the United States Patent and Trademark Office, a trademark is a brand name which can include words, names, symbols, devices or any combination thereof to identify and distinguish the goods of one seller from another. Trademarks can thus be used to protect the public image of a company and its goods or services. A service mark is used in the same manner to distinguish the services of one provider from another.
Businesses have many different types of intellectual property, and there are different tools to protect different types. Trademarks and service marks protect the image of a business by distinguishing its good or services. Patents protect inventions and a company’s financial interests in inventions it develops. A copyright protects an original work of authorship (such as literary, dramatic, artistic and musical works). The proper tool for protecting a company’s intellectual property will, therefore, depend upon what, specifically, is being protected.
The Benefits of Registering a Trademark
A trademark is used to distinguish one company’s goods. It is, therefore, a particularly useful tool when a business depends upon its reputation and name value (for example, luxury clothing designers, or celebrity product endorsements).
While trademark rights can be established without registering a trademark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, there are benefits to doing so. Registration deters other businesses from using similar logos, slogans, and other marks of the industry. It also grants nationwide protection to your trademark, whereas a de facto, unregistered trademark is limited to the geographic area of use or reputation of the mark. Perhaps most importantly, the simple act of registration is powerful evidence of one company’s use of the mark in its trade. This can not only facilitate quicker litigation in future disputes, but it can also avoid the need for litigation altogether, as evidence of registration is a powerful bargaining tool in negotiations.
Protecting Your Intellectual Property with Reliable Legal Advice
Startup Company Counsel is here to assist your business with all intellectual property matters and protect your business interests in research and development. Schedule a consultation today by calling (855) 353-5377, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or submitting a request through our online contact form.