Fort Lauderdale Trademark Registration Lawyer
A trademark can be a name, a phrase, a symbol or a logo that identifies your goods (or services through a service mark) as belonging to your company. A trademark, then, is an essential piece to establishing your brand. Taking the additional step to register your trademark will help protect that brand against confusion from others taking up similar marks or actively trying to capitalize on your brand’s success at your expense.
Companies in Fort Lauderdale big and small rely on Perkins Law for practical advice and professional assistance in registering their valuable trademarks with the Florida Department of State and the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). See below for a description of what goes into the trademark registration process, and call the Fort Lauderdale trademark registration lawyers at Perkins Law at 561-467-4001 for immediate assistance or to discuss how trademark registration can be an invaluable piece of your overall brand protection strategy.
Trademark Registration Process
Choosing the right mark is the first step in the trademark registration process. It’s essential for branding purposes that your mark be distinctive and something that stands out. These characteristics are equally important for the trademark registration process. If your chosen mark creates confusion with another existing trademark, it is unlikely to be registered. Even if registration is successful, you could still have a harder time regarding any future claims of infringement, either as a plaintiff or a defendant in a trademark infringement action. A Fort Lauderdale trademark attorney at Perkins Law can counsel you on your trademark selection, including conducting a preliminary screening and availability search in mark and design databases such as the Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS) and the various Trademark Depository Libraries.
Once the mark is chosen, it’s time to apply for registration either with the USPTO, the Florida Department of State, or other states where you intend to conduct business. Deciding whether to adopt a national, regional or state-by-state strategy for trademark registration is something to discuss with your trademark lawyer.
The trademark registration application will either be filed as “use in commerce” or “intent to use,” depending on whether you have actively used the trademark in commerce (i.e., sales) before filing. The generally preferred method is to use the trademark in commerce before filing the application. Intent to Use applications have their own set of conditions apart from a Use in Commerce application. In either case, it is important to go into the application process fully ready and with a prepared strategy, as timing can be critical to obtaining registration of your mark ahead of others who may prefer to use your mark or a similar mark if they could.
The application process involves preparing and filing the application itself as well as drafting letters and responses as required by the Florida DOS or the USPTO, and finally publishing the application in the Official Gazette of the USPTO.
Registration Is Only the Beginning
After a successful trademark registration, the USPTO requires that maintenance documents be filed at regular intervals. Failing to file maintenance documents puts your trademark at risk of cancellation or invalidation of any extension of protection.
Maintenance filings are necessary to keep a trademark registration alive, but so is using that mark in commerce. At Perkins Law, our Fort Lauderdale trademark services include handling your maintenance filings and providing you with guidelines for using your mark appropriately on the internet, in media ads and through in-house publications to keep the registration active and secure. We also provide watch services to keep an eye out for similar or even identical marks which might appear in other trademark applications or the trademark database.
What About Foreign Registration?
If your brand protection strategy extends to foreign countries, Perkins Law can help you file foreign-based trademark registration applications country by country or region by region, depending on what makes sense for your business plan. Successfully filing for foreign protection requires knowledge, strategy and planning. For instance, filing a foreign application within six months of your USPTO registration gives you valuable priority rights when filing in one of the 177 countries that belong to the Paris Convention.
The Madrid Protocol is an option that offers a single application and one set of fees to apply for protection in up to 124 countries at once. By using the Madrid Protocol, you take advantage of one centralized system to modify, renew or expand your global trademark portfolio.
Perkins Law can help you determine whether using the Madrid Protocol or pursuing registration in a specific country or countries best matches your international or global strategy. As with domestic registrations, our services include facilitating searches, filings, monitoring and managing your foreign trademark registration(s).
Trademark Registration From Fort Lauderdale to the World
For help with trademark registration in Fort Lauderdale, call Perkins Law at 561-467-4001. Whether you need to register your trademark in Florida, the United States or worldwide, you’ll find the practical advice and technical expertise you need to protect your brand at Perkins Law.