Trademark Lawyer Bergen County NJ
If you own a New Jersey business and have yet to formally safeguard your branding, it’s important to connect with a trademark lawyer Bergen County, NJ businesses rely on. Your company’s name, its logo, its advertising slogans, and all of the other tools you use to identify your identity in the marketplace are intellectual property. If you don’t formally safeguard your intellectual property through the trademark registration process, you will leave your intellectual property vulnerable to infringement and your company vulnerable to intellectual property lawsuits filed by competitors. Especially if your business is small and only operates locally, it can be tempting to forego formalizing your intellectual property rights through the trademark registration process. However, maintaining your competitive edge in the marketplace by asserting a protected company brand and guarding against lawsuits insisting that your intellectual property doesn’t belong to you are worthy investments of your resources.
How Does the Trademark Registration Process Work?
The trademark registration process generally takes several months to complete. Depending on how fast the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is processing applications, it will likely take that agency 3-4 months to review your trademark application once it has been submitted. Obviously, it takes time for our Bergen County, NJ trademark lawyer team to properly draft a trademark application, so you’ll want to account for that preparation time as well when estimating how long it will take to receive your registered mark.
If the USPTO concludes that your mark doesn’t conflict with a mark that it is currently protected and that your application has been filled out properly over the initial 3-4 month review process, your mark will then be subjected to a publication phase that lasts 30 days. It is during this 30-day period that competitors (or any other member of the public) are permitted to formally object to your trademark registration application. Provided that either no one objects or no objections stick your application will then enter the final review phase of the process. If all has gone well and our team will do its utmost to ensure that all does go well you’ll receive your registration certificate shortly thereafter.
What should I include in my trademark?
Every trademark registration is unique, but there are some items that make your registration more successful. Here are some items that trademark attorneys agree make for a good trademark:
- The trademark should be easy to spell, easy to read, and easy to pronounce
- The trademark should have the ability to be understood properly in countries beyond your own
- The trademark should have no negative meanings associated with it, including in other languages
- The trademark should be clear and unambiguous, meaning it’s easy for everyone to understand
- Finally, the trademark should be easy to use through different types of marketing channels
Different Categories of Trademarks
There are several types of trademarks that are recognized in the legal system. Ideally, your trademark should fall under one of the following categories:
- Arbitrary Marks: These include words that do have a real meaning in the given language, but they don’t actually relate to the product being sold. For example, the word “Amazon” is used for online retailers.
- Coined Words: These are made-up words that don’t actually have any meaning in any language, but they become known as the product. One famous example of this is Kodak for film.
- Suggestive Marks: These words hint at an attribute of the product without being just a basic descriptor. A great example of this is “Netflix,” the online movie and television streaming service. The “Net” part of the word implies an internet service, while “Flix” is a way of describing films.
Can I register my business name as my trademark?
This doesn’t always have a clear answer and must be decided on a case-by-case basis. If your business name can be considered distinctive enough, you should be able to register it. If you have an unusual name with an interesting spelling, the chances are greater that you’ll get this approved to be trademarked.
Can I use a trademark even if it has been used for many years?
Absolutely! Having a history of use with a symbol or word you want to trademark is a great way to claim rights over it. Even if it has been used for many years, it pays to protect yourself and invest in trademarking it as soon as you have a distinctive one under your belt.
What Happens to a Trademark if a Business Files for Bankruptcy?
If a business must file for bankruptcy it may file for Chapter 11. This will allow them to come up with a plan that usually results in the reorganization of the company to pay off debts. Chapter 11 allows for the company to remain open and continue doing business. A bankruptcy trustee will be responsible for any licenses or trademarks. Most of the time, as long a business continues to pay off its debts successfully, it may be able to maintain the rights to its trademarks. It is important to note that under Section 365 (n) of the US Bankruptcy Code, trademarks do not include official protections in the same way that other types of intellectual property do. This means there is no guarantee that a trademark will be protected if a business files for bankruptcy. If a business owner does not follow through with the expectations that are put in place, they risk losing the rights to their trademark and in some cases risk the liquidation of all licenses. During bankruptcy proceedings, an attorney will be an important component in helping protect any trademarks that were filed under your business.
Do This Before Filing for Trademark Protection
As a business owner, your brand is your reputation. Developing a brand that is clear, effective, and memorable is a proven way to put you ahead of your competitors. Firms and entrepreneurs who have been in business for a while already know this.
However, developing your brand is one thing. Protecting your brand is something different entirely. Federal trademark protection is one of the best things you can do to protect your brand and the reputation of your business. If you’ve ever been unsure about where to get started, consulting with a trademark lawyer in Bergen County, NJ, is a good place to start. Here are some things to think about.
To put it simply, anything that is distinct and unique to your business can be trademarked. This includes the name of your business and the names of any products you produce or sell. Additionally, you can also file a trademark for any visual or auditory mediums that are unique to your business, like logos and sound effects. It’s a good idea to register these things because it stops competitors from stealing or tarnishing your hard-earned reputation. Filing for trademarks will also ensure that your customers are never confused. They can always be certain that they are receiving the quality they expect from you.
Trademarks can be filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. You can complete this process yourself or you can have a lawyer complete it on your behalf.
Hiring a Lawyer
While the registration process does not require legal representation, there are a number of reasons why a trademark lawyer in Bergen County, NJ, might be useful in the process. Chances are, your business has multiple trademark interests. The attorneys at Kaplan Law Practice will be able to assess your business and make recommendations for potential filings. Additionally, they can relieve you of the burden of having to file the documents yourself.
For business owners who already have active trademarks on file, Kaplan Law Practice can also help protect trademarks and enforce their legal protections.
Why Should You Hire a Trademark Lawyer?
While it’s not legally required to hire an attorney when registering a trademark, there are plenty of reasons why you should. A trademark lawyer in Bergen County, NJ, has the experience to guide you through the long and confusing process, which means less stress for you and a lower chance of refusal based on a technicality. With the help of an attorney from Kaplan Law Practice, you can rest assured that you’re in good hands.
To Enforce Your Rights
Once you’ve registered your trademark, the work isn’t done. While the federal government has a record of your intellectual property, the Trademark Office isn’t responsible for enforcement. That means if someone uses your trademark without your permission, you have to fight the battle on your own.
However, if you have a trademark lawyer in Bergen County, NJ, an experienced legal professional has your back. An attorney can argue your case in court and protect your intellectual property. The proceeding is in civil court, so you can represent yourself, but it’s a lot of work, and you may not understand all the legal jargon. Additionally, if the other side has representation, you’ll be at a disadvantage even if you’re in the right.
To Offer Advice
During the trademark application process, you’ll have to make many decisions. You may not know the significance of each, especially if you’ve never registered a trademark before. If you make a poor decision out of ignorance, it can result in a refusal or impact your ability to fight for your intellectual property in the future.
Hiring a trademark lawyer in Bergen County, NJ, ensures that you have sound advice when you make these decisions. An attorney understands the ramifications of trademark registration and can explain the application where it diverges into legal-ese.
To Respond To Refusals
The Trademark Office doesn’t approve all applications. In fact, it can refuse to register a trademark for a variety of reasons. For example, if your proposed trademark only describes the product or company, it will be rejected. The Trademark Office will also reject any proposed trademark that’s too similar to an existing one.
An attorney from Kaplan Law Practice can argue against a refusal. If the response is successful, you don’t have to go through the trouble of creating a new application.
Registering a trademark is essential to protecting your intellectual property, but it’s not an easy process. With the help of an experienced lawyer, you can get a federal record of your trademark with minimal hassle.
Should you identify any infringements or conflicts with your trademarks, Kaplan Law Practice can advocate for you. They can draft cease-and-desist letters and appeal any denials you received from the United States Trademark and Patent Office. Consulting with Kaplan Law practice is a worthwhile investment that can save you and your business considerable time and money.
Legal Assistance Is Available
Too often, businesses wait until a dispute over branding has arisen to connect with the New Jersey intellectual property team at Kaplan Law Practice, LLC. While we’re certainly happy to be of service when branding disputes arise, we understand that it is in the best interests of companies to avoid such disputes whenever possible. That is why we spend a great deal of our time and energy helping businesses register their trademarks, secure patents for inventions, and copyright their original works of art and authorship. If you’re a business owner, know that you’ll spend some resources when securing a trademark registration but this investment will help to ensure that your company isn’t deprived of much more significant resources in the event of infringement or a lawsuit down the road. Please allow our Bergen County trademark lawyer team to assist you with your legal needs today; the Law offices of Joshua Kaplan look forward to speaking with you.
A trademark can mean everything to the viability of a business. A trademark is defined as a phrase, symbol, or word utilized to identify a business. For many of the country’s most successful businesses, their trademark has become a meaningful aspect of our consumer society. Here in the United States trademark infringement is taken incredibly seriously. The punishment for trademark infringement can ruin a person’s reputation and financially devastate their financial goals. Below we will examine just what trademark infringement truly is, and what the legal ramifications of infringement can be. If you have been accused of trademark infringement, it is imperative to speak immediately with a Bergen County, NJ trademark lawyer.
What Is Trademark Infringement?
In the event of trademark infringement, the trademark owner has the right to file a civil lawsuit addressing the violation. The process of infringement takes place when a person or corporation’s intellectual property is utilized, reproduced, or even sold without the company’s permission. In order to prove that infringement took place, there are a number of criteria that must be met. For instance, the trademark in this instance has to be owned by the victim. The attorneys for the victim must be able to prove that the accused had access to the trademark and knowingly used the trademark without the permission of the owner.
What Trademark Infringement Could Cost You
Due to the financial toll that trademark infringement can take on a company, the punishment for infringement can be significant. As a Bergen County, NJ trademark lawyer can explain, trademark infringement can constitute either a civil or criminal offense. In a civil copyright infringement case, a person may have to pay up to $30,000 in infringement fines. In a case in which the offender was willfully infringing they could be forced to pay as much as $150,000. It should be noted that trademark infringement can cost you in more than just finances.
What Should I Do If I Have Been Accused of Trademark Infringement?
If one has been accused of trademark infringement the viability of their business is at risk. Fortunately, a skilled legal professional can assist you through the process of a domain dispute. At Kaplan Law Practice, LLC, we fully understand how an accusation of trademark infringement could impact your professional and personal life. With that being said, we are prepared to do whatever it takes to represent you to the best of our abilities. To schedule a complimentary initial consultation with a skilled Bergen County, NJ trademark lawyer, call our office today.