We Answer Frequently Asked Questions About Trademarks
The word trademark is not completely understood, and some people in business may not exactly know what a trademark is and the protection it provides across different elements.
Who Does A Trademark Protect?
The consumer! We know this may shock you, as you probably were thinking it protects the organization. However, trademark laws exist to protect consumers in order for them to trust that the product/service they are purchasing from is actually from the company listed on the product/service. Trademark laws allow organizations/people to protect any name, logo, slogan, or similar branding element, that you use to distinguish your goods or services from those of your competitors.
How Long Does It Take To Get A Trademark?
This is a tricky question as the registration process can take anywhere from nine months to several years to complete; however, in our experience, most applications are completely processed within a year. There are several factors that go into the process that can delay the process, such as the complexity of the mark or if there is an issue/conflict that arises from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Having experts, such as those at Centipede Digital, will make this process much less stressful for you since we will work with our trusted trademark and copyright lawyers to ensure the process is handled efficiently.
How Long Does A Trademark Last?
Technically, your trademark can be protected for as long as you use it in commerce. However, if you allow others to use your mark or infringe on it then you may lose your trademark altogether. For that reason, it is important to keep your eye out to ensure that no one is using your trademark without your permission. For a great example of an organization that knows how to police the market, check out our story on Adidas.
How To Perform A Trademark Search
Clients always ask us how they can see if someone already has a trademark on a particular name for a company or a product and we advise them to perform both a common law search and a government database trademark search. You can go to www.uspto.gov and search through their database to get information, as well as do a search via Google and social media sites to see if anyone else has claimed the name.
What Is A Trademark Infringement?
A trademark infringement occurs when someone tries to use your mark in a setting that could be seen as causing consumer confusion in the marketplace. For example, if someone started created a promotional marketing agency in Nebraska and called it Centipede Digital Promos, we would be able to use trademark infringement laws to prohibit them from doing that as we own a trademark on Centipede Digital™.
For questions about trademarks, contact our brand management team today!