Trademarks protect your brand. If you have a business, you have likely spent a great deal of time and effort developing your brand through marketing efforts, customer support, name recognition, logo recognition, and the general quality of your product or services. All of this combined makes your brand name and logo valuable. With the help of a Georgia trademarks lawyer, you can protect your company’s brand. Call an intellectual property attorney to learn more about how our firm can help you.
Imagine a world where I, having no experience in clothing or sports equipment, could sell my tee shirts and tennis rackets with “Nike” written on them, or sell tech equipment labeled “Apple Certified,” or pencil “Gibson” or “Fender” onto a guitar and sell it for thousands of dollars. An attorney can help you understand how trademark law is meant to prevent these situations from occurring.
A trademark is a type of intellectual property that protects brand names and logos. They are industry-specific, too; often the same trademark name is held by multiple companies.
For example, there’s a separate trademark for Delta (the airline), and Delta (the plumbing company). Different trademarks are awarded to the same company, as well; Nike has a trademark for the name “Nike” and another trademark for their iconic “swoosh” logo that’s printed on their products.
Assuming that a trademark is registered and awarded from the United States Patent & Trademark Office, or USPTO for short, the trademark owner can prevent other businesses from using their brand name in a way that is “likely to confuse” consumers (i.e. those sidewalk vendors who try to sell knock-off Rolex watches and designer purses).
Without trademarks, all marketing efforts towards brand recognition and brand loyalty would be effectively worthless because it would be easy for new, spam or sham, companies to steal valuable brand names that consumers think highly of, and by doing so, steal their customers. Put simply, establishing trademarks with a lawyer make marketing worth the time and money that is put into it.
No one can trademark nouns that are in ordinary use. For example, you can’t register a trademark for “Laundromat,” or “Hotel,” because the risk of trademark confusion is simply too high—no one would be able to tell the difference between your brand name and anyone else in the same industry.
There is another practical consideration here as well; we don’t want to make some words “off-limits” for people to use to describe their business. We would have lawsuits flying every which way if I could prevent you from saying “Restaurant” or “Shoes” in any advertisement or sales pitch. Talk to a legal professional about the types of names you can trademark.
If there is anything unique about your business, be it a novel customer service system, product, business model, or general quality that your company provides, you need to work with a Georgia trademarks lawyer to protect your brand name and logo and prevent others from trading on your valuable brand.