trademarks and service marks

Trademarks and service marks are distinctive words, phrases, logos, slogans, symbols, shapes, pictures, designs, sounds, smells, colors, or packaging that identify the source of goods or services, and help to distinguish them in the marketplace. The strength of a trademark or service mark may depend on multiple factors, such as inherent distinctiveness, recognition through sales and advertising, and length of time in use. While common law trademark protections may arise through use, registering a trademark or service mark can make it easier to prove infringement and to recover damages.

Askew Intellectual Property, LLC in Fort Wayne, Indiana provides law services pertaining to trademarks and service marks. Review more information on these legal services below. Contact me today to get started!

In order to be registrable, a trademark must be distinctive, either inherently or through public recognition through exposure in the marketplace. In order to determine whether a trademark may be considered by the USPTO to be distinctive, or in order to avoid conflict with an existing trademark, this search of federal and/or state registers looks for confusingly similar marks.
Filing a trademark application involves filling out and submitting forms to the USPTO. Information that may be required includes the format of the mark, the identification of the goods and services to which the mark will apply, and the basis for filing, i.e. – whether the mark is in use or whether you intend to use the mark in the near future. It is always a good idea to have conducted a trade or service mark search before filing a trade or service mark application.
Similar to the patent examination process, the trademark application examination process is essentially adversarial. The Trademark Office will review the application for any errors, similarity to existing marks used on similar or related goods or services, inclusion on prohibited or reserved names, and whether the mark is too generic or merely descriptive if the good or service to be provided. It is the job of the patent attorney to correct or rebut these objections.
A trademark license agreement is an agreement in which the entity holding the trademark (the licensor) gives another entity that desires to use the trademark (the licensee) permission to do so in exchange for a payment or other compensation, called a royalty. The royalty may be one-time or ongoing, or a combination thereof. The license may be exclusive, so that the licensee is the only other entity allowed to use the trademark, or non-exclusive, so that the licensor can license the trademark to more than one licensee.
Whether a court will find infringement of a trademark depends on several things. Some of these include whether the mark is being used on competing goods or services, whether consumers would likely be confused by the two marks, and whether the products or services are being offered in the same area of the country or are being distributed through the same channels of commerce. A trademark infringement opinion considers each of these factors and more.