Trademark Attorney in Portland, Oregon
Trademarks and service marks are business names, product names, logos or slogans that identify the source of goods or services. Trademarks designate the source of products and service marks relate to services. (Since the laws applicable to trademarks and service marks are essentially the same, this site refers to both as “trademarks”). Federal or state trademark registration can help you protect your trademarks and service marks from infringing use by others. A state trademark registration gives you the exclusive right to use your trademark in your industry in that state. A federal trademark registration (through the United States Patent and Trademark Office) gives you the exclusive right to use your trademark in your industry in the United States. These are general rules with exceptions. For example, the first party to use a trademark in a specific market area may have superior trademark rights in that area if they continue to use the mark. This may be true even if another party later secures a state or federal registration of the trademark.
Your trademark attorney can provide several services related to your trademarks. First, your trademark attorney can help you select a trademark or service mark that is strong from a legal point of view. This involves an analysis of whether or not your mark is merely descriptive of the products or services you offer (such as a mark like “Sandwich Restaurant”) or geographically descriptive (such as a mark like “Portland Sandwiches”). Those marks are weaker from a legal point of view. The strongest marks are made-up words, like Kodak or Xerox. It is also possible to create a legally strong mark that is clever or unique and not merely descriptive of your goods or services or the geographic location of your business.
Your trademark attorney can also help you research whether or not there are already confusingly similar marks in similar industries to yours. This ordinarily involves at least a basic search of state and federal trademark registration databases. This can also involve more comprehensive searches of state corporate filing databases; website domain name registries; and other sources.
Your trademark lawyer can also help you decide whether to file your trademark in one or more states or to submit a federal mark registration. This decision will be based on factors such as your immediate and long term plans for business expansion. If you do a federal trademark registration, your trademark attorney will help you decide whether to register based on actual use of the mark in interstate commerce, or if a registration based on your intent to use the mark in interstate commerce is more appropriate.
Contact Peak Law Group’s trademark attorney in Portland Oregon for more information on registering a trademark!
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Prospective Franchise Buyer
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CEO, Multi-Unit Pizza Franchisor (with locations in the U.S. and abroad)