For so many business owners in the US, a company blooms based on a dream, a concept, and an eventual innovative product that can be manufactured or a unique service that can be offered to the public. The marketplace is competitive for nearly anyone today, and creating a business that will succeed takes savvy, ingenuity, and the willingness to put in many hours. Along with your vision, mission, and business strategy comes a need for protection too. This may come in the form of security at your new business, insurance policies, and a variety of different legal measures such as partnership contracts, independent contractor agreements, and more.
The Service Mark is a Type of Trademark
Protecting your intellectual property may be much more of a concern than you realize too. While you may be familiar with terms such as copyrights, patents, and trademarks, you may be less familiar with the service mark. This is intellectual property that falls within the trademark category, but rather than offering a logo or symbol, the service mark denotes what it is you offer to the public. This might be in the form of a slogan, for example, or as the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) states, something that will “identify services, that is, intangible activities, which are performed by one person for the benefit of a person or persons other than himself, either for pay or otherwise.”
Protect Your Intellectual Property Through the USPTO
A trademark or service mark is yours once you begin using it (make sure when you create yours that no one else has registered one), but without registering it through the USPTO you would not be able to take legal action against another party if they used it without your permission. There may be times however, that another entity may purchase your service mark or have rights to use it—most especially if you sell them your business and transfer your intellectual property to them.
Protection of marks, copyrights, and patents is critical to any business, along with taking measures to make sure employees and independent contractors are aware that they belong to your company and are not to be ‘taken’ once they stop working for you, whether in quitting their jobs or finishing a contract. Employees currently working for you should also clearly understand confidentiality requirements which may be outlined in a non-disclosure agreement.
Contact Us for Help
The Bolender Law Firm can assist you in all intellectual property matters. Call us at 310-320-0725 now or submit an easy consultation request online. We are here to help!