When you are building a business, it is important to establish an extensive intellectual property portfolio consisting of your registered trademarks, copyrights, and patents. Why? Because these are valuable assets that protect your products and branding from competitors. In addition, they represent your brand and often generate goodwill with consumers by developing your company’s reputation. Considering the value of your IP, you need to take affirmative steps to protect your IP. Here is some sound advice on how to effectively protect your IP rights.
- Clear and Register Your Trademark with the USPTO
It is extremely important to select a strong trademark. This means you need to find a business name, unique logo, and catchphrase that is not immediately descriptive or generic for the goods and/or services that you offer under the trademark.
This strategic choice is most advantageous in that it can decrease the likelihood that another company may coincidentally use the same mark for similar products or service offerings. If you are not sure where to begin when selecting a strong trademark, it is in your best interest consult with an experienced and knowledgeable trademark lawyer to discuss your options. Retaining the services of a trademark attorney can also help expedite the process since it is their expertise to conduct clearance searches to determine which of your possible trademarks will have the greatest chance of successfully obtaining a registration.
- Be Patient and Diligent
Once you select a strong trademark and submit the application, the timeline to achieve registration is generally between 8-10 months. Yes, you read that correctly. It can take close to a year to successfully register a trademark. Hence, why it is so important to be patient and diligent in your pursuit of valuable IP. Patience and persistence are also important because there is a chance that the United States Patent and Trademark Office will deny your application. You could even encounter opposition from a third party.
When your application is filed, it will take around three months for the initial review to be conducted by an examining attorney. From there, if your application is not denied or challenged, it will be forwarded for a publication period. During this period, which is usually thirty days, other parties have the opportunity to oppose your application should they have grounds to believe a registration may infringe on their trademark.
Following publication, your application returns to the examining attorney for a final review. Depending on the initial filing basis of your application, you will need to prove use of your mark for the registration certificate to be officially issued.
As you can see, getting a trademark registered is a fairly detailed and arduous process.
- Be Prepared for a Similarly Complex Process to Obtain a Copyright
In addition to registering your trademark, it is important to obtain a copyright for your unique goods, services, and/or works. When you have a copyright, it protects creative works, including:
- Other forms of art or original expression.
However, it is important to understand that a copyright is somewhat limited. It does not protect an overarching idea within a work. Instead, a copyright is effective in safeguarding the expression of your idea in a particular medium. In addition, your copyright registration can help prevent unauthorized copying of an author or an artist’s creative works. Furthermore, it entitles the owner of the copyright to compensatory damages if an infringement occurs after your copyright is registered.
Federal copyright applications are filed with the US Copyright Office and, much like the trademark registration process, can be time-consuming and is fairly complex. That is why it is in your best interest to consult with an experienced and knowledgeable copyright lawyer.
Have Questions? Contact Omni Legal Group Today
For further information or to schedule a consultation with a leading IP lawyer in Los Angeles, please contact the highly reputable Omni Legal Group at 310.276.6664 or visit www.OmniLegalGroup.com to learn more. We possess the knowledge, resources, and experience to assist you in your efforts to secure and protect your IP.