Why a Trademark or Service Mark

A Trademark or a “Service Mark” is a word, phrase, symbol, and/or design that represents and distinguishes someone’s products or services from those of others. Examples include brand names, slogans, and logos.

A Trademark speaks truly in any language, and it never dies

The term "trademark" is often used in a general sense to refer to both trademarks and service marks. 

Unlike patents and copyrights, a trademark ™ or registered trademark (®) never expires; it remains “Active” as long as one continues to use the mark in trade.  If a trademark is registered, to have the registration active, it needs to be maintained by paying the required fees, signing declarations and filing specific documents in specified intervals.

A trademark registration is not mandatory.  It’s possible to establish “common law” rights in a mark based only on use of the mark in commerce, without any registration.  However, a national registration of a trademark with the patent and trademark office has numerous benefits, the most important being a notification to the world of the claim of rights of the mark.

Dealing with a Trademark Search

A search for the registered trademarks, or published trademark applications with the leading patent and trademark offices never fulfills a trademark search requirement, since a registration with the patent and trademark office is not an obligation to obtaining trademark rights in many countries including the United States. Many in force trademarks exist at common law without ever being registered with a country’s trademark office.

Our experts look beyond the federal registrations. We look for common-law trademarks, unregistered marks in the market and also regional (state) trademark registrations.

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