For businesses in Tampa Bay looking to establish themselves and stand out against competitors, securing intellectual property rights for their brand is an important step. Hiring a trademark lawyer reduces errors, simplifies the process, and can save applicants money.
What is a Trademark?
Trademark registration protects a name or logo in association with certain goods and services. A mark comes in the form of a logo, word, name, or symbol.
In contrast to a copyright, a trademark protects an association, not the art or writing alone. A copyright instead protects intellectual works in literary, artistic, dramatic, and musical forms. A patent, on the other hand, relates to inventions. Machines, processes, and manufactured goods all fall under patent law. With a patent, an inventor determines who can and who cannot use their invention.
The different forms of intellectual property protection can be confusing. Each right is designed for different creators to keep ideas, inventions, works of art, and other ideas safe from infringement. A trademark lawyer in Tampa Bay can determine the best option for protecting your intellectual property and guide you through the filing process.
Who Should File a Trademark Application?
Individuals or corporate entities who desire to protect their business name, logo, or brand should file an application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. If registered, you will have legally established ownership of your brand, meaning others cannot use it, and infringers may face legal repercussions if they attempt to do so. A business owner intending to keep their company going strong for many years should file an application. Also, any person who wants their services to stand out against competitors in Tampa Bay should register as well.
Do You Need a Trademark Lawyer?
A trademark lawyer is not required for filing a trademark. However, there are many reasons why hiring a legal professional is beneficial. Applying for a trademark is a legal process. As such, each step includes deadlines and strict requirements that must be met precisely in order to proceed. Working with a trademark lawyer often saves clients time and money, because trademark attorneys understand the process and avoid making mistakes or missing deadlines. Equally important, you will have a professional on your side who can answer questions and provide guidance.
A trademark lawyer is familiar with the rules and regulations for protecting intellectual property. Continually changing laws may leave business owners in Tampa Bay confused, but legal professionals stay up-to-date on the latest changes in the industry. In addition, they are well-versed in conducting research before the application process even begins, finding any issues that might arise with your application. Solving these problems before filing saves applicants in more ways than one.
Common Trademark Application Mistakes
Without the help of a Tampa Bay trademark lawyer, making mistakes is easy. Common mistakes individuals and business owners make while filing include:
- Improper research;
- Ignoring Office Actions; and
- Inaccurate descriptions in paperwork
A comprehensive search can determine if your brand is already claimed. If the USPTO has an issue with your application, it will issue an Office Action to explain the problem. There is a strict timeline to respond to an Office Action to avoid the cancellation of your application.
The application paperwork requires applicants to describe the goods or services provided by his or her company. Entering incorrect information, even accidentally, could result in registration refusal.
Hiring an attorney in Tampa Bay reduces the risk of improper filing and rejection. They understand the correct terminology, the importance of research, and how to respond to Office Actions promptly.
Choosing an Attorney to Represent You
Finding a trademark lawyer in Tampa Bay suited for your needs is vital for a successful application. From specializations to experience, every legal professional is different. Some important questions to ask when looking for the right attorney include:
- How many trademarks have you registered?
- What databases do you search to identify risks?
- What is your monitoring process?
These legal professionals conduct thorough research on your brand and similar brands to discover any issues you might come across during the filing process.
Tampa Bay Businesses turn to Larson & Larson, P.A.
At Larson & Larson, we care about the intellectual property rights of our clients. Not only do we offer the services of a trademark lawyer, but we also specialize in the procurement, prosecution, litigation, and licensing of all intellectual property, including copyrights and patents. For over 30 years, our firm has worked with local Tampa Bay inventors and business owners, obtaining over 900 foreign and U.S. patents. Our legal professionals have experience in practice areas such as medical devices, networking, and computer architecture in order to best serve our diverse clients. To learn more about our firm, contact us online or call us at (727) 546-0660.