Trademarks are necessary to protect intellectual property such as the name of your business, slogans and products. Legal cases involving trademarks and copyrights can be very complex due to the case by case nature of intellectual property. Hiring an experienced attorney in your field will give you advantages. Here are reasons why a trademark infringement attorney can help defend your trademark.
When to Use an Attorney
Although it doesn’t provide a list of attorneys, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) website is a resource for conducting trademark searches without a lawyer. Another way to search for existing trademarks is through an online trademark service, which also doesn’t require legal assistance. Here are times when you will need to contact an attorney:
Protecting Your Trademark
The commercial elements of your trademark need to meet distinction requirements which are based on four categories viewed by courts (arbitrary, suggestive, descriptive, generic). Infringement occurs when a party uses your trademark in a way that creates “likelihood of confusion” among consumers in the sale of a good. Here are some of the factors that courts consider determining infringement:
Finding the Appropriate Attorney
Make sure that your choice of a trademark infringement attorney is backed by experience in conducting searches, filing USPTO applications and defending trademarks in court. An attorney who is familiar with your industry can help make the application process smoother. Find out if your attorney handles your application or assigns it to a paralegal. Avoid attorneys that don’t work directly with your case or those that pose as experts without a license.
It’s possible to do some of your own research on trademark information, but there will be other times when an attorney can be a big help, particularly when it involves the court.