Mark Briggs Phoenix Attorney on How to Register a Trademark
In last week’s blog post, we took our first step in examining the trademark, which the United States Patent Trade Office (USPTO) defines as “…a word, phrase, symbol, or design, or a combination thereof, that identifies and distinguishes the source of the goods of one party from those of others.” We also took a look at several different types of marks, and identified which of those are most likely to be approved by the USPTO for trademark registration.
So now we come to part two of our trademark journey: just how do you register a trademark?
First off, let’s take a look at what trademark protection offers. Remember that not all trademarks need to be registered, and you can still use the “™” symbol even without registering your mark. A registered trademark gives you certain legal protections, including the right to use the “®” registered trademark symbol, public listing of your trademark in the USPTO database, and the ability to contest infringement upon your trademark in the federal court system.
When attempting to register your trademark, the first thing you should do is conduct a search of the USPTO’s trademark database. If the mark is unclaimed, then registering your trademark online (USPTO.gov) should be relatively painless (“relatively” being the critical word here.) However, if the trademark has already been claimed—and there’s a pretty good chance it has—you will most likely need to hire the help of a trademark attorney, who can help you navigate the murky waters of patent/trademark law to find you at least some form of protection of your mark. In fact, I would recommend that you always hire a trademark lawyer at the outset of your registration process. An attorney can help you conduct a more comprehensive trademark search, avoid potential future lawsuits stemming from a mismanaged application, and secure the best possible protection for your trademark. Because hiring a trademark lawyer during the application phase is a small investment compared to the major dollars you would have to spend defending yourself from future legal challenges.
Have you ever attempted to register a trademark with the USPTO? Did you encounter any difficulties, or was the process a breeze? Please feel free to share your experiences in the comment section.
Mark Briggs Phoenix Attorney on Registering Trademarks:
If you run a small business, you all-but-certainly have some intellectual property you would like to protect. It’s just the nature of the world these days: things like patents, copyrights and trademarks are everywhere, protecting you and your creations from theft by competitors. Continue reading
In this week’s blog post, Mark Briggs Arizona attorney covers several things you need to know if you are considering franchising your growing small business.
You did it. Your business is thriving, your client base is growing, and you have a strong foothold in your market. And so, being the ambitious entrepreneur that you are, you now have your eyes on a bigger prize: expansion—or, more specifically, franchising. Continue reading
In this week’s blog post, Phoenix lawyer Mark Briggs explains the importance of a solid operating agreement in your business and outlines five things you need to include.
In a recent post, I described some of the benefits to forming a limited liability company, commonlycalled an “LLC.” I like LLCs, because they offer the structural flexibility of a partnership, as well as the liability protection of a corporation. However, just as a partnership requires a partnership agreement, an LLC with more than one owner (commonly called a “member”) should have an operating agreement. Continue reading
While it may seem like a mundane task, setting up a well-organized filing system is essential for your small business. Small business owner and Phoenix attorney Mark Briggs discusses why:
When you’re setting up your small business and readying it for launch, you’ve got a lot of things on your mind: hiring staff, learning the industry, marketing, and about 17,000 other things. When thinking up your business strategy, you’re often eyeing the big picture, and as such it can be easy to let some of the smaller—but nevertheless important—necessities fall through the cracks. Continue reading
In this week’s blog post, lawyer Mark Briggs discusses legal issues that could be related to changing the name of your business.
In Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare famously wrote, “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” Well, maybe so, but I think even the Bard would agree that names are important—be it with flowers, or businesses.
There’s little doubt that picking a name for your new business is a big deal. It is your company’s identity, brand and main differentiator. It usually never changes, but for a variety of reasons (such as a shift in business strategy,) you may want to change your company’s name down the line. Continue reading
Maybe you have new business ideas all the time, but how do you know if they’re any good? It is always wise to invest time into due diligence before jumping in to the development process. Phoenix lawyer Mark Briggs was recently over at Small Businesses Do It Better, guest blogging on the topic of how to evaluate business ideas. Check out the full post by clicking here.
Recently the Arizona Republic ran an article discussing the state of the city’s historic preservation fund. Mark Briggs, Phoenix lawyer and member of the Historic Preservation Commission, was asked to comment on the situation:
In 2006, City of Phoenix voters approved a bond that would raise $13 million to spend on preserving historic buildings in the city. As of this year, nearly all of that money has been committed. The only program that does still have remaining funds is the exterior-rehabilitation grant program, which provides money for rehabilitation to homeowners who promise to preserve a structure’s historic qualities. This likely means that any delayed projects may be delayed indefinitely, and the historic preservation is in a difficult position. To those who appreciate the value of the historic buildings we do have in the valley, it is disheartening to hear that the preservation bond has run out. Mark Briggs Phoenix lawyer was the chairman of the 2006 Historic Preservation Bond Subcommittee and is currently a member of the city’s Historic Preservation commission. He was asked to provide his perspective on the issue. To read the full article with Mark’s commentary, please click here.
Photo credit: Kabugenyo at en.wikipedia
Starting a new business is exciting, liberating…and risky. Phoenix lawyer Mark Briggs provides aspiring entrepreneurs with advice on three mistakes to avoid making:
Daunting though it may be, all prospective small business owners need to acknowledge a very telling stat: nearly half of all business ventures fail to reach their fifth birthday. As a result, it’s especially important to avoid any common mistakes that might doom your startup from jump street. With that in mind, here are three mistakes to avoid when starting a new business: Continue reading
Following the recent news that the Department of Justice is blocking the proposed merger between US Airways and American Airlines. Phoenix-based attorney Mark Briggs comments on this development:
The antitrust division of the Department of Justice filed a lawsuit yesterday to block the merger between US Airways and American Airlines. Although this not an easy call for me, I reluctantly agree with the feds on this one. Continue reading