How to Register Trademark in Los Angeles Using Local Legal Counsel
Having a unique and protected brand identity can be very important for businesses, especially in highly competitive markets such as Los Angeles3 min read
Having a unique and protected brand identity can be very important for businesses, especially in highly competitive markets such as Los Angeles. One protection that companies should consider is registering a trademark. In order to register a trademark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) however, companies must comply with a range of complex laws and procedures. Since each jurisdiction may have its own special requirements, it is wise for companies to look for the specialized, local legal counsel when navigating the trademark registration process.
The USPTO defines trademarks as words or symbols that “identify and distinguish the source of goods or services of one party from those of others”. Trademarks may include anything from logos, slogans, and product packaging designs, to titles of a business name or individual’s logo. In Los Angeles, registering a trademark can protect a business from unauthorized use of its brand by others. It may also gives a company the exclusive right to use a registered trademark and receive appropriate profits from its use.
The process of registering a trademark can be broken down into the following three main steps.
1. Formalizing Your Trademark
The first step in registering a trademark is to formalize the desired trademark. The majority of trademark registrations in the United States are done through the USPTO and applicants should follow the guidelines set out in its website.
Before submitting your trademark, it is important to check that it does not already exist. The USPTO’s website has the Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS), which allows applicants to find existing trademarks, that may be similar or identical to their proposed mark. This step is important to prevent trademark infringement and is best done through the services of legal counsel, that can throughly search the TESS databases for any existing trademarks.
It is also important to consult with a business attorney to review the proposed mark and ensure that it will be approved by the USPTO.
2. Make the Trademark Application
Once your trademark is finalized, the next step is to make a trademark application. The USPTO requires an official application, accompanied by all the necessary documents as well as payment of any applicable fees. Companies may opt to file the application online or through the mail.
There are a few things to consider when making an application. First, applicants must decide which “class or classes” they will register their trademarks in. The USPTO divides trademarks into 45 classes, including categories like food and beverage, jewelry, toys, and clothing. Applicants must decide to which kinds of goods or services, their registration needs to relate.
Another important thing to consider is that, applicants can register their trademark on a state or federal level. While state level trademark registration only protects the mark against use in the state it is registered in, federal level registration can grant exclusive rights to the trademark across the US.
Given the potential complexity of this process, it is advisable to consult a business lawyer, able to advising on the options and best course of action.
3. Maintenance and Enforcement
The last step in registering a trademark is to maintain and enforce it. Once registered, companies need to regularly inspect the marketplace, to ensure that their trademark is not being infringed upon by other parties. If any trademark infringements are discovered, businesses should take the necessary steps to protect their trademarks, which could involve legal action against the infringing party.
It is wise to have a business lawyer on hand to help deal with any disputes, such as copyright infringement or trademark violation. Lawyers in Los Angeles, who are well versed in the local regulations, can provide the necessary assistance. Alternatively, companies can also turn to legal staffing services such as UpCounsel, which connects businesses to experienced lawyers, serving in an on-demand capacity.