Tag: Service Marks

Intellectual property

Intellectual Property: Protect That Trademark

Many find the subject of intellectual property to be both complex and intimidating—and sometimes so much so that valuable business innovations go unprotected. Think of all that you protect when it comes to your company, whether you are just starting up or have been in operation for years. From protecting your company’s image and reputation within the industry you are involved in, to ensuring the security and safety of employees, real estate, and physical contents of your office or warehouse, there are many details to tend to—not to mention the actual running of your business. Accountants help ensure your financial health while your insurance company should see to it that you have all the correct coverages should a claim arise later.

A skilled business attorney from a firm like Bolender Law Firm can assist with many legal aspects of your business, from drawing up contracts to assisting in acquisitions, or providing representation in the unfortunate case of a lawsuit. When it comes to protecting your brand, however, this is another area where knowledgeable legal advice is necessary. Your attorney can help you pinpoint what type of intellectual property you really have and then move forward to discuss the different types of licenses and registration required.

The trademark is key to many businesses today, and there are some famous ones for sure—as in clothing logos, restaurants logos, and so much more. It may also be a word, or a phrase tied to a company and the goods they provide. The trademark also encompasses the service mark which is often a slogan designed to remind consumers of the services a business provides to the public. The trademark is yours by common law as soon as you design it and begin using it. And while you may own a small business now and foresee no threat of anyone stealing your trademark or any other intellectual property, by registering with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, you have formal ownership for ten years, with the opportunity to keep renewing it. This formal registration allows you to take legal action should someone try to use your trademark without permission, and it also puts you on solid ground for selling it later or granting use of temporarily.

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!

service marks

Service Marks: Does Your Brand Need One?

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!