If you just started a business, you might be wondering what legal services business owners need and how to find the best trademark attorney for you. Business law might seem like a daunting subject. However, if you break it down into categories, it might be easier to understand.
The 4 main areas of business law are entity formation (like LLCs), contracts, copyrights, and trademarks. You can read more about these areas by clicking here.
Trademarks are extremely important assets to small businesses. Please keep reading for a brief summary of the importance of trademark rights and trademark protection. I'll also explain how to find the best trademark attorney to make your business money.
This article is about finding the best trademark attorney to maximize your profits.
Finding the Best Trademark Attorney to Maximize Your Profits
What is the trademark process?
Trademarks, copyrights, and patents are all intellectual property matters. We will focus on federal trademark registration in this article.
Federal Trademark Registration
The trademark process is two steps: the trademark clearance search and the application process.
Trademark Clearance Search
The trademark clearance search is arguably the most important step. A thorough trademark clearance search involves reviewing federal trademark registrations, trademark applications, state business listings, and common law matters to determine whether there is a similar trademark to the trademark you want to use.
You need to analyze whether the marks will create a likelihood of confusion with consumers. In other words, you need to make sure that your trademark is not "too similar" to another mark. Or else you could be sued for trademark infringement. This step is your due diligence to avoid having to start over because you lost your brand protection and valuable intellectual property.
For example, if you wanted to have the business name "Starbuckz," we would conduct a trademark clearance search of all filings with The United States Patent and Trademark Office ("USPTO"), business listings, and common law searches. That search would reveal the famous "Starbucks" company. We would advise that you not file a trademark application, and also find a new business name. The fact that this company is "Starbuckz" with a "z" does not avoid an infringement suit. You could still be sued because your name is too similar to "Starbucks."
The Best Trademark Attorney Conducts Thorough Searches
Our firm conducts a thorough trademark clearance search and then summarizes everything for you in a brief memo. We provide you with legal opinions on whether use of a mark could lead to trademark litigation or a trademark trial in the future. The best way to start or run a business is to make sure that your company's name, logo, and slogans are not already taken by someone else. Starting over could mean having to get new domain names, trade names, trade dress, advertisements, packaging, and more.