Trade marks allow companies to distinguish themselves from the competition, so if you’re looking for business lawyers in Chicago who understand local regulations and the intricacies of registering trade marks, look no further. Understanding the process and importance of registering marks can help businesses protect their brand and various assets. Here, we’ll provide answers to some of the most frequently asked questions on trade marks, including how and where to register them, and the benefits of registering them.

What is a Trade Mark?

A trade mark is a sign or symbol used to identify goods or services provided by the owner or manufacturer. It could be in the form of a word, phrase, image, logo, shape, sound, smell or combination of these elements. The essence of a trade mark is that it serves to distinguish the goods or services marked with the mark from those of another manufacturer. When used on goods, trade marks provide a guarantee to consumers that those goods are highest quality and have been sourced from a well-respected manufacturer or business.

Where Can I Register a Trade Mark?

In the US, trade marks can be registered at the federal or state level, with federal registration providing the most comprehensive protection of a mark or brand. You can register a trade mark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) by filing an application and providing evidence of the mark's distinctiveness. Online applications are also available. You can find a business lawyer in Chicago with an understanding of local law to help you register your trade mark.

What are the Benefits of Registering a Trade Mark?

Registering your trade mark provides exclusive rights protection to your company to use and exploit the mark for its intended purpose. It also provides businesses with an opportunity to financially benefit from the mark. For example, businesses can license or franchise its mark to third parties in exchange for fees or royalties. Owners of marks may also be eligible to receive mandatory damages for any unauthorized use or infringement of their mark and may even be entitled to punitive damages. It also gives businesses a degree of control over their mark. If a consumer sees an unregistered mark used in a similar way it may dilute the company's own mark, so registered trade mark owners can take action against infringers.

Where Else Can I Protect My Trade Mark?

Although registering your trade mark gives you rights against unauthorised use in many countries, you may wish to register it in other countries too. Many countries have their own separate laws governing trade mark use, such as in Europe. Therefore, companies doing business internationally may decide to register marks in all countries in which they are going to sell products or services. If you are planning to do business overseas, you should consult a business lawyer with experience in international trade mark registration.


Trade marks are an important way to establish and protect the brand and various assets of businesses, so it’s important to understand the legal process and implications of trade mark registration. Fortunately, there are experienced business lawyers in Chicago who understand local regulations and can help companies appreciate the importance of trade mark registration and the process involved.


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