Trademark Trademark- Trademark Search, Trademark Symbol, Trademarks, Trademark Registration Thu, 29 Sep 2016 15:43:39 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Trademark Forms Fri, 03 Apr 2015 17:57:29 +0000



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Lanham Act Fri, 03 Apr 2015 17:57:29 +0000

What is the Lanham Act?
The Lanham Act is a piece of legislation that was codified in 1946 that enacts federal regulations in the field of trademark law.  The Lanham Act is based on Congress’s ability to regulate goods traveling through interstate commerce under the commerce clause.  It provides for a national registration of trademarks and protects owners of trademarks from infringement from and the use of similar trademarks that would dilute the trademark or lead to confusion amongst consumers.  Prior to the Lanham Act there were State trademark laws but with the passage of the Act in 1946 there was finally a federal guideline.
There are 4 major provisions of the Lanham Act.  The first two subchapters deal with the registration of Trademarks.  The first subchapter entails the registration process and the various rights that are granted with the registration.  Subchapter II deals with the registration of certain marks that may not be registered under subchapter I.  This form of registration does not confer the same protections as those under Subchapter I but it does give limited protections including advance notice of trademark to potential infringers.  
Subchapter III of the Lanham Act deals primarily with remedies that accompany a finding of trademark infringement.  They are broken up into sections 42 and 43 of the act.  
What is a Trademark?
A Trademark, as defined by the United States Patent and Trademark Office, is defined as “a word, phrase, symbol, or design, or a combination of words, phrases, symbols or designs, that identifies and distinguishes the source of the goods of one party from those of another.” Famous Trademarks include the trademark “Nike” as well as the Nike “swoosh.” The trademarks help do distinguish Nike shoes from those of its competitors. 
Trademarks can also extend to distinguishing features of products including the shape and color of the product.  For example, the shape of a Coca-Cola bottle is highly distinguishable from other bottles on the market.  Trademark issues would arise if  for example, a competitor of Coca-cola were to manufacture a similar bottle and use that bottle to compete in the beverage market.  This would entail to confusion of the competing product with Coca-Cola and would likely lead to a Trademark infringement suit.
Why is it important to register a trademark?
It is not required by law to have a trademark registered with the Patent and Trademark Office but the registration does afford a number of protections.  Registration of the Trademark constitutes nationwide constructive notice to all potential infringers that the trademark is currently owned.  Registration also gives the party possessing the registered trademark the authority to sue for trademark infringement in a federal court.  The registration of a trademark also confers other benefits including increased damages in the case of infringement being found by a federal court.  
What encompasses a Trademark?
The Lanham Act provides certain pre-requisites in order for a trademark to receive federal protection.  In order to be a trademark, under federal law, a trademark must be distinctive.  The courts have grouped the categories of distinction into 4 groups based on the relationship of the mark with the underlying product.  These groups are: arbitrary and fanciful; suggestive; descriptive; or generic.
What are the categories of Trademarks?
The four categories of trademarks are arbitrary or fanciful; suggestive; descriptive; or generic.
An arbitrary or fanciful mark is one that bears no logical relationship to the underlying product.  These include trademarks such as “Apple,” “Nikon,” and “Panasonic.” These trademarks have no relationship to the underlying product.
A suggestive trademark is one where the trademark suggests a characteristic associated with its use.  The trademark “Poland Spring” suggests that the product is associated with water.
A descriptive mark requires secondary meaning that does more than associate the product with a general product or industry.  Descriptive marks are not inherently distinctive and are protected only if they have acquired secondary meaning.  The secondary meaning is acquired when the public at large begins to associate that trademark with a distinct service or good unlike others in the same industry.  For example, the trademark “iphone” has a secondary meaning  associated with a premium brand of cellular phones.
The final category of trademarks is the Generic category.  These types of products carry with them absolutely no trademark protection.  They are deemed to be too common in identifying specific categories of products that it would be a detriment to the public if those terms were allowed to be trademarked.  

What are the benefits of having a registered trademark?
As detailed in the Lanham Act, a trademark may be register in one of two ways.  By either using the mark in the stream of commerce or by registering the mark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.  
The first method of obtaining a trademark involves the registration with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.  The ultimate protection associated with a registered trademark is that the once the trademark has been used for 5 consecutive years it is prima facie evidence of a trademark.  In this instance, any defendant in a trademark infringement suit cannot directly attack the plaintiff’s mark. A second important distinction is that, while an unregistered trademark is only valid in the region where it is used a registered trademark gives the trademark national recognition.
The second method of attaining a trademark is very straightforward.  It merely involves selling a product with a specific trademark in the stream of commerce.  Once that is accomplished an individual has met his/her obligations to have an enforceable Trademark.  However, there are differences.  Under a “common law” trademark; which is what an unregistered trademark is referred to, the trademark is only valid in the region that it is sold in.  Secondly, the protection associated with a registered trademark that has been in use for 5 continuous years does not apply to a common law trademark.
How do you register a Trademark?
A trademark is first registered by filing an application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.  Once the trademark is filed it will be reviewed in the order in which it was received.  The application will then be reviewed by an attorney at the Patent and Trademark Office.  This could take fro 3-6 months to accomplish.  After the attorney has reviewed the application, if there are no issues, the trademark will be published.  At that point any party seeking to contest the application for a trademark must make any claims within 30 days.  If there is a petition filed against trademark then the case will go before a Trademark Trial and Appeal Board.  If there is not contention within 30 days then application will be processed and a valid trademark will be issued.  A trademark must be renewed every 10 years in order to maintain its validity.

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Trademarking “Occupy Wall Street” Fri, 03 Apr 2015 17:57:29 +0000
Earlier this week a story broke that a Long Island couple filed for a trademark on the slogan “Occupy Wall Street” with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
The couple’s initiative, as one might expect, is prompted by business aspirations—they were planning to sell “Occupy Wall Street” T-shirts, bumper stickers, “hobo bags” and other merchandise. Push the obvious irony aside and the question of whether the phrase can actually be trademarked is worthy of inspection.
Although she wasn’t permitted to comment on the case, Cynthia Lynch, administrator for trademark procedure for the United States Patent and Trademark Office, talked to various media outlets to explain the trademark process.
The effort to trademark a phrase is by no means unique; words and designs are the most common marks administered by the agency. That being said, because the “Occupy Wall Street” movement has gone global, the ability to secure a trademark for the phrase will prove arduous—there are too many trademark applications within close proximity.
The couple’s intent to trademark “Occupy Wall Street” represents a wish to use a trademark for interstate commerce. Because of this, the couple must register a tangible item—such as T-Shirt-- displaying the phrase with the trademark office. Furthermore, the couple must show a connection to the goods and services with the attached phrase—the couple must show a connection to the mark and believe that they own the phrase and the exclusive right to use it.
The United States Patent Office employs several trademark attorneys to examine applications in correlation with trademark statutes—laws that govern the registration of marks.

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Shaquille O’Neal Wins Federal Court Ruling in Trademark Dispute Fri, 03 Apr 2015 17:57:29 +0000

Retired NBA superstar Shaquille O’Neal scored a significant victory, this time off the court, in a federal trademark lawsuit in Las Vegas. 

Last year, Shaq’s licensing company sued True Fan Logo Incorporated-- an Arizona apparel company--for opening an online store called “Shaqtus Orange Clothing Company” that sold and marketed “Shaqtus” collectibles and apparel. 

Oneal’s lawyers contended the products infringed on Shaq’s rights because the basketball was appointed “The Big Shaqtus” and “The Big Cactus” during his stint with the Phoenix Suns. 

The suit claimed that since O’Neal’s rookie year in 1992, he has been one of the most recognizable names and “brands” in the sports world—a characteristic that awards his trademarks significant value. 

The defendant denied the infringement allegations, claiming that O’Neal gave implied consent to use the “Shaqtus” name when he autographed a “Shaqtus” T-shirt and posed for photos with company officials. 

The judgment—which awarded no financial compensation—ruled the company’s entire “Shaqtus” venture began only after O’Neal started playing for the Phoenix Suns and dubbed himself “The Big Cactus” and “Shaqtus.”

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The US Patent and Trademark Office Fri, 03 Apr 2015 17:57:29 +0000
Issues regarding intellectual in the United States are all governed and overseen by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The US Patent and Trademark Office a Federal government agency within the United States Department of Commerce that is responsible for issuing patents and trademarks to individuals and businesses.
When was the US Patent and Trademark Office Formed? - The US Patent and Trademark Office was created as the result of the First Congress of the United States signing into law the Patent Act of 1790, which was the country’s first law in regards to patents.  
The US Patent and Trademark Office was also created in accordance to the United States Constitution. Under Article 1, Section 8, the Constitution calls for a promotion of the sciences and the arts by legally providing for protection of the rights for their creations and inventions. 
What is the Purpose of the US Patent and Trademark Office? – The US Patent and Trademark Office will prove to have quite the extensive list of responsibilities. In short, any particular aspect regarding intellectual property, from the formal application and registration process, to the enforcement of intellectual property protection laws, is the charged responsibility to the USPTO. The overall underlying purpose behind the US Patent and Trademark Office is simply to promote the progress of industry, science, technology, and the arts for the intent of stimulating and strengthening the United States’ economy. 
Where is the US Patent and Trademark Office Located? –Prior to 2006, the US Patent and Trademark Office was located in the Crystal City section of the city of Arlington, Virginia. The offices would finally relocate to Alexandria, Virginia in 2006. However, the move would not be completed until 2009, as the offices of Patents and the Chief Information Officer remained in Crystal City.
What is the Structure of the US Patent and Trademark Office? -  As of 2009, the US Patent and Trademark Office employed just over 9,700 employees, and the number continues to grow today. Out of those employees, about 6,200 were all patent examiners and 388 were designated as trademark examining attorneys. The agency executive is the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property, a position that is currently held by David J. Kappos. Kappos has held the position since 2009, which was appointed to him by the President Barack Obama. He succeeded John Doll, who was acting as the interim agency executive in lieu of the resignation of Jon W. Dudas. 
The US Patent and Trademark Office is also made up three administrative bodies under the Commissioner for Patents: Deputy Commissioner for Patent Operations Peggy Focarino, Deputy Commissioner for Patent Examination Andrew Hirshfeld, and the Commissioner for Patent Resources and Planning, a position that is vacant. 
The Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences is also an administrative of the US Patent and Trademark Office and is focused upon the legal aspects that may arise in regards to decisions made by examiners. All appeals regarding decisions on patentability are made to the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences, which can also be further appealed in the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. 

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An Overview of Trademark Law Fri, 03 Apr 2015 17:57:28 +0000
Trademarks are type of intellectual property protection that is granted to unique names, logos, designs, symbols, or device that is intended to be used for commercial purposes and to distinguish products or goods from those from another manufacturer. In other words, trademarks can simply be described as brand names. 
An example could be Coca-Cola and its world-famous Coca-Cola bottle shape.

In the United States, trademarks are subject to applicable trademark laws, which regulate and enforce all aspects of trademarks. The governmental agency in charge of enforcing trademark law is the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
Trademark Law in the United States
Trademark law in the United States is governed by the Lanham Act, which is contained in Title 15, Chapter 22 of the United States Code.  The Lanham Act was passed into law on July 5th, 1946, and was enacted a year later. As the governing trademark law in the United States, the Lanham Act enforces the protection of trademark rights and prohibits particular acts such as trademark infringement, false advertising, and trademark dilution. 

Trademark Legal Requirements in the United States
In order to be eligible to trademark a particular symbol, name, or logo, there are certain requirements that are imposed by law. Four general categories exist in which the mark must fall under in order for a particular mark or symbol to be considered eligible for trademark:
1.    Arbitrary: Meaning that the marks, names, or words used on a product to not have an inherent relationship established.  An example could be the word “Apple” which is the brand name for computers and there is no relation between apples or computers
2.    Suggestive: The mark used implies a particular characteristic of the product but does not describe it specifically. An example would be the word “Coppertone” and its relation to suntan lotion.

3.    Descriptive: The mark or words used will describe the product accurately. An example could be “Hard Rock Hotel,” which describes exactly what the product is.

4.    Generic: These marks describe the overall category to which the product belongs to. However, generic trademarks are not protected by trademark laws in the United States. 

Trademark Infringement 
One of the most important aspects in regards to trademark protection is trademark infringement. Trademark infringement is the action of a trademark being used without obtaining the proper authority or permission from the trademark owner or holder. 
Trademarks are meant to be distinctive and unique, and thus, any usage of the trademark which can cause confusion between the protected mark and the new mark is considered to be infringement. 
Issues regarding trademark infringement are punishable by applicable laws in the United States and the owner of a trademark can also file suit against the person or party engaging in the infringement act. 
In such a situation, the owner of the mark can seek for an injunction, which will consist of a court order to the accused to stop using the mark immediately, and seek compensation for any damages caused by the infringing action. 

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Steps to Registering for a Trademark Fri, 03 Apr 2015 17:57:28 +0000



Registering for a trademark is a multi-step process that is administered by the United States Patent Office. A trademark is a fundamental step in the development of one's business or nonprofit organizations. Trademarks enable a product to find a legal niche in an underlying marketplace, which can further establish the productivity of the good or service.




The first step in trade marking an item is to understand the different types and laws associated with intellectual property. A solid method to understand trademarks is to search the USPTO website and search for pending or existing trademarks for products similar to your own. After accomplishing this, draw up a statement identifying the services or goods that are attached to the trademark. Make sure the attachments are aligned with the Patent Offices "Acceptable Identification of Goods and Services Manual."

Once the attachments and the product have been chosen, design the mark you to register. There are two basic forms of styles: stylized or standard character format. Both styles require separate applications to receive a trademark. When the style has been chosen file a TEAS application online through the USPTO website. Once this has been accomplished the agency will review your application and if acceptable, grant a trademark for your specific product or service.


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Trademark Infringement Fri, 03 Apr 2015 17:57:28 +0000
What is a Trademark?
A trademark is a distinctive indicator used by an individual, business or entity to identify that the attached services or products originate from a unique source. The trademark, thus, distinguishes products or services from those of other individuals or entities. A trademark is designated by a symbol, which is then, attached to a word, phrase, name, symbol, design, image, logo or a combination of said works to provide exclusive protection rights.
The holder of a registered trademark can engage in legal proceedings if the holder’s trademark is infringed upon; a legal action will impede unauthorized use of the mark. That being said, registration is not required. The holder of a common law trademark may also initiate a legal action; however, an unregistered trademark is only protected within the jurisdiction which it is used or the areas it may expand to.
What is Trademark Infringement?
Trademark infringement refers to a violation of the exclusive right latent in a trademark; it is the unauthorized use of the trademark’s attached element. Trademark infringement occurs when an individual or entity uses a trademark that is confusingly similar or identical to a mark owned by another party—the services or product are similar or indistinguishable to the facilities or products that the original mark  covers. If trademark infringement occurs, the holder of the original mark may commence in legal proceedings against the party that infringed upon the trademark.
Trademark infringement undermines the rights granted in the mark. When a trademark qualifies for protection, the attached rights are protected when the mark is used in commerce or if the party was the first to register the mark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
The use of a trademark typically means the actual sale of the attached product or service to the public is reserved for the original register—the register acquires priority to use the mark in connection with selling or marketing the attached work.
If the mark is not used in connection with commerce, rights are transferred, only if it is registered with a Trademark Office. Registration of a trademark with a government office gives the filing party the right to use the mark nationwide, even if transactions in commerce are only limited to a certain area. Although registration with a trademark office is not required for a mark to be protected, the process does confer a series of advantages to the filing party.
If an individual or entity owns the rights to a specific mark, that party can sue subsequent parties for trademark infringement; the standard for a suit is based on the “likelihood of confusion.” More specifically, the use of trademarks in connection with commerce constitutes trademark infringement if the copied product causes consumer confusion regarding the source of the product.
When evaluating confusion in a trademark infringement case, the courts will evaluate the following factors or situations:
• Trademark infringement cases will inspect the strength of the trademark and the uniqueness of the marked symbol or work
• Trademark infringement cases will evaluate the proximity of the two goods or services
• Trademark infringement cases will evaluate the similarity of the trademarks
• To prove trademark infringement, the registered party must show evidence of confusion
• Trademark infringement will typically inspect the defendant’s intent—the court will inspect the defendant’s reason for copying or using the marked work
• Trademark infringement courts will inspect the similarity of the marketing mediums used.

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Trademark Dilution Overview Fri, 03 Apr 2015 17:57:28 +0000
Trademark dilution is the blurring or tarnishment of famous trademarks by creating a trademark to similar to an existing famous one. Only famous trademarks are protected under dilution laws. 
1. The length of time the trademarked thing has been existing.
2. The duration of time that advertising for the trademarked thing has been in circulation.
3. The geographic area the trademark is used.
4. How distinct the trademarked thing is.
5. How recognizable the public views the trademarked thing as.
6. The way in which the trademarked thing is sold and distributed.
7. The amount that third parties use the trademarked thing.
8. Whether the mark was federally registered.

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How to Conduct a Trademark Search Fri, 03 Apr 2015 17:57:28 +0000
Conducting a trademark search should be handled carefully as to avoid legal complications in the future. The point of a trademark search is to ensure that the trademark is not already in use by another entity. If a company infringes on a person's registered trademark, he or she has the right to sue for damages. To avoid costly legal battles, a trademark search should be extensively conducted. Hiring an intellectual property attorney, or other trademark search professional, may help the process achieve its goal.

What is a TESS Search?

The Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS) is one of the easiest ways for an individual or entity to conduct a trademark search for a registered trademark offered by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). It is an online trademark office search that can be accessed from any computer connected to the Internet. The search is designed to be a simple tool for finding text trademarks and can be used free of charge.
The contents of TESS can be reached through a direct or indexed search. Although the TESS search can help the process of establishing a trademark, it is not by itself a means for applying for trademark registration. Once a trademark is submitted to the USPTO, the organization performs its own trademark office search to ensure that no similarities exist to pre-existing trademarks before granting final approval.
Searching for Designs:
Trademarks can often be quite difficult to search for when performing design searches. There is no way to perform a trademark office search for a design using specific text. To make the process easier, the trademark office search has established a code system for designs in their database. Certain images, such as animals, men, women, plants, etc. have been assigned a numeric value. When a searcher is looking for an image containing specific objects, the numerical code would have to be entered pertaining to each object that the trademark contains.
For example, if the design desired for trademark by a company contains a star and a mountain, the numeric values assigned for a star and a mountain should be entered into the search field. All images with stars and mountains will then be fetched by the database, and the proper comparisons can then be made between alike images. The trademark office search website has complete guidelines for searching for designs to make the process less difficult for inexperienced users.

Trademark Public Search Library:

Users wishing to use the extensive USPTO Public Search Library in Alexandria, Virginia may do so during open hours of operation. In this facility, users can perform a comprehensive X-searchPatent and Trademark Depository Library:
A Patent and Trademark Depository Library (PTDL) is a library designated by the USPTO to receive and house trademark materials, and to make them and other information available to the public. They are located in many regions nationwide and provide easy access to the information needed by users for trademark registration.
PTDLs offer several methods of research in their extensive electronic databases, including optical discs, USPTO web-based search systems and a TESS system. While the web-based search and TESS system are both accessible from any computer through the Internet, the optical disc is a unique database search only available at a local PTDL. These optical discs have comprehensive information about U.S. patents and trademarks not available through the internet.
What is the TARR Database?

When performing a search, a user may encounter a trademark that is identical to the mark they are attempting to register. Submitting this trademark may result in a rejection from the USPTO, though there is a chance that the registered trademark may be expired. To discover if a registered trademark is still active, the user should consult with the Trademark Applications and Registrations Retrieval (TARR) database.
The TARR database is available for public use and allows users to check the official status of a particular mark. To use this system, the user should record the serial number or registration number of the trademark in question, as this is the only way to search for trademark status through the TARR database. If a trademark in question has an expired registration, it is likely that an identical trademark could be approved.

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