West Palm Beach Trademark Registration Lawyer
Finding a distinctive way to brand your goods or services can be critical to your company’s success. Once you’ve established a brand for yourself, protecting that brand is key, and trademark registration is an essential component of brand protection. The West Palm Beach trademark registration lawyers at Perkins Law can guide you and assist you through every step necessary to register your trademark and establish your brand in West Palm Beach and throughout Florida, the United States, or even worldwide if you seek to protect your brand globally.
Why Register a Trademark?
As soon as you start using your trademark in commerce, you have rights to that mark that you can enforce and protect. By registering your trademark and using the appropriate symbol, you put the world on notice that your trademark has been registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). This accomplishes many things. It helps deter people from intentionally infringing on your trademark. It helps establish a priority date if others accuse you of infringing their trademark. It places your trademark in the USPTO database, which helps prevent future companies from unintentionally infringing on your trademark or confusing their goods or services with yours.
What Can You Register?
You can register a trademark or a service mark, depending on whether your company offers goods or services (or both). According to the USPTO, a trademark generally is a word, phrase, symbol, or design, or a combination of those elements that identifies and distinguishes your goods from those of other companies. A service mark also consists of words, phrases, symbols or designs, but a service mark is used to distinguish your service from that provided by others, as opposed to goods. Apart from this semantic distinction, the process for registering a trademark or a service mark is essentially the same.
Intent to Use or Use in Commerce?
Using your mark in commerce is key to establishing your trademark rights. You might think the proper order is to register your trademark first and then start using it, but the general rule is that actual use in commerce is required before your mark can be registered.
If you want to register a trademark that you haven’t yet used in commerce, the USPTO does provide a registration pathway known as a Section 1(b) Intent to Use application. Discretion is crucial here, and you want to make sure your application is properly filed by a capable attorney before announcing your intent to use your mark on social media or elsewhere. Otherwise, you could wind up getting beaten to the punch by a competitor who discovers your intended trademark and registers it before you get a chance to.
An Intent to Use filing must be based on a “bona fide” intent to use the trademark, and you still have to use the mark in commerce before the registration will be finalized. The USPTO and the courts will not recognize a token use of your mark simply for the purposes of registration. The language of the Trademark Act (the Lanham Act) is clear, requiring a “bona fide use of a mark in the ordinary course of trade, and not made merely to reserve a right in a mark.” Your West Palm Beach trademark registration lawyer at Perkins Law will explain to you how to establish a bona fide intent and the other critical steps to take before, during and after filing your application.
Perkins Law is Your Source for Trademark Registration in West Palm Beach
In West Palm Beach, Perkins Law can answer your questions and help you with all aspects of registering your trademark here in Florida, nationally through the USPTO, or worldwide through the Paris Convention or the Madrid Protocol. Call Perkins Law at 561-467-4001 to include trademark registration as part of your company’s brand protection strategy.