What Is a Trademark?

A trademark (“TM”) is a word, phrase, or symbol that acts as a source identifier of a party’s goods. A service mark (“SM”) identifies and distinguishes a party’s services. In fact, the term “trademark” often refers to service marks as well. Registered Trademarks can protect names, logos, designs, and sounds used in connection with various goods and services.

Brown & Blaier, PC offers a broad range of trademark-related services. We provide counsel to clients from various industries on brand protection matters. This includes: (a) evaluating the strength of proposed names and marks; (b) clearance searches; (c) brand development; (d) registration and enforcement; and (e) registration, enforcement, and development of TM portfolios worldwide. In addition, our firm offers other services to enhance your goal of building a brand.

Do I Need an Attorney to File My Trademark Application?

Trademark law is ever-changing. Not being aware of recent or proposed changes to the law could be the difference between registration and denial. As such, hiring an experienced trademark attorney to guide you is a crucial step towards obtaining your ®.

Many attorneys run a bare-bones search on the internet for a conflicting mark. Our attorneys will conduct a robust USPTO search and use cost-effective AI technology. Our clearance search can help determine whether to proceed with the application or a different course of action. 

What Kind of Trademark Services Do You Offer?

Our firm helps entrepreneurs, artists, creators, and businesses with the following transactional aspects of trademark law:

Do You Offer Flat Fee Services?

We offer a flat fee package so you know yours costs upfront and can budget accordingly. Additionally, for startups and new businesses looking to build and protect their brand, some of our flat fee startup packages include the preparation and filing of one trademark application.

For more information about trademarks, check out our blog!

What Are The Benefits Of Trademark Registration?​

You can find an entire FAQ page on this topic here.

How Long Does A Trademark Last?​

Trademark protection lasts for a period of 10 years but could last for an unlimited period of time if the proper maintenance documents are filed and applicable fees are paid on time.

What Are Trademark Classes?​

The Nice Agreement of 1957 (as amended), is an international IP agreement, whereby signatory countries categorize trademarks for goods and services into 45 different International Classes. Each class represents a specific set of goods or services. For example, International Class (“IC”) 009 is the class for downloadable software but IC 042 is for software as a service (SaaS). It’s important to make sure you choose the proper class when filing an application. Choosing the wrong class could cause your application to be rejected.

Do I Need A Trademark If I Own My Business Name?​

Incorporating your business under a specific name does not entitle you to trademark protection automatically. While using your business name in commerce may entitle you to certain common law rights, it does not entitle you to the same protections as a federal (or state) trademark registration.

Do I Need Sales To Protect My Brand?​

Not necessarily. An “intent-to-use” application (known as a 1(b) application)), offers applicants up to three years (6 months + five 6-month renewals) to start using a mark after it receives a “Notice of Allowance.” Each extension request comes with a filing fee of $125 per mark per class. So if you anticipate the sale of goods/services within the three-year time frame, you can plan ahead and file a 1(b) application to try and secure your rights in the mark.

How Long Does It Take To Get A Trademark Registration?​

We wrote an entire FAQ on this question which you can find here.

Can I get a trademark for my cannabis brand?

While it is not currently possible to obtain federal trademark registration for a cannabis brand, you may be entitled to protection at the state level. Learn more by reading our blog about building and protecting a cannabusiness brand.