Trademark law regulates how entities may use business slogans, logos, names, identifiers, and it dictates rules for their legitimate use. Registering a trademark can protect your business from various legal issues. It can help you to create brand recognition and distinguish you, your services, and your products from other competitors in the marketplace. Trademarks are a valuable type of intellectual property. Both federal and state laws can apply to the trademarks that you hold.
When you apply for and are granted a trademark, you will have exclusive rights to the intellectual property that it protects. Holding a trademark may help you expand your business into other states or even around the world. Entrepreneurs should be aware of the business law relevant to trademarks and other intellectual property to be sure that they protect themselves.
Types of Trademarks You Should Know About
A business can apply for different types of trademarks depending on how it plans to use the protected intellectual property. These are some of the types of trademarks for which you may apply to protect your business and build up your brand’s reputation:
- Arbitrary trademarks: An arbitrary or fanciful trademark will generally have no relationship or logical connection to the product or brand. For instance, the word “Apple” has nothing to do with selling computers or mobile phone technology. Instead, it is an arbitrary or fanciful name for the brand that has a significant identity attached to it. The “Apple“ is a trademark based on arbitrary or fanciful characteristics.
- Suggestive trademarks: A suggestive trademark is the complete opposite of an arbitrary or fanciful trademark. It will generally have a logical connection to a characteristic of the underlying product or service. For instance, the trademark “Airbus“ within the aerospace industry is logical, because it relates to air travel. With suggestive trademarks, consumers can more easily infer that there is some kind of relationship between the product or service and the brand itself.
- Descriptive trademarks: Descriptive trademarks explicitly signify or describe the product’s identifiable characteristics. A descriptive phrase or slogan is much trickier to protect with trademark status. Descriptive trademarks must take on the brand identity’s secondary messaging to qualify for the trademark.
- Generic trademarks: Generic trademarks usually describe a product. For instance, the word “computer“ is an inclusive term and describes all types of computers. In short, generic trademarks are common keywords that have been associated with a product or service, and they are the hardest types of trademarks to protect legally.
In addition to these categories of trademarks, trademark law also covers the following aspects of intellectual property:
- Service marks
- Motion marks
- Trade dress
- Trade names
- Certification marks
- House marks
- Position marks
- Hologram marks
- Logotype trademarks
- Sound marks
- Pattern marks
Importance of Trademarks
The following are some of the benefits you may reap by securing a trademark for your business:
- Create a unique brand identity: Securing a trademark can help you protect your brand’s unique identity and value. Trademarks can strengthen the security of your brand and protect your reputation. Even within the scope of talent representation, famous individuals can protect their brands with trademarks. In addition, it can be necessary to secure a trademark for your brand to preserve its identity and ensure that no one else can use it for their personal gains.
- Prevent legal issues: When you are awarded a trademark, you have complete and exclusive rights over your brand name, design, and logo. If someone tries to copy or steal it, you can take legal action against them. If you are the trademark holder, you can avoid unnecessary legal hassles or accusations.
- Expand your business quickly: Your trademark can act as a catalyst, and it can allow entrepreneurs to expand their businesses more efficiently. When you hold the exclusive rights to your trademark, it can be easier for you to quickly expand your brand across other states or around the world.
- Reputation enhancement: Registering a trademark can help to ensure that no other company can use your intellectual property, as well as add prestige to your organization. This enhanced visibility in the marketplace can improve the reputation of your company.
When to Secure a Trademark
Most business owners begin the procedure of securing a trademark even before formally launching their business. It is important to resolve these legalities at an earlier stage because there are various steps involved in getting a trademark for your business. It begins with registering and submitting an application form, as well as a list of supporting documents to demonstrate how you plan to use the trademark.
Consult a Legal Professional to Handle Complex Trademark Tasks
Several legal decisions are involved in registering a trademark. This is one of the important reasons why you should consider having a trademark attorney by your side. A legal professional will understand when a logo, slogan, name, or phrase would qualify for trademark protection.
In addition, trademark attorneys have extensive experience and can guide their clients on how to create and defend their trademarks. They know the proper timing to apply for a trademark and are well-equipped to guide you through the procedure of registering a trademark. If you are considering registering a trademark to protect your brand, you can get in touch with a Los Angeles entertainment lawyer to learn more about the legal options available to you.