What Is A Trademark?

A trademark (or “TM”) is a word, phrase, symbol, or design that identifies and distinguishes the source of the goods of one party from those of others. A service mark is the same as a trademark, except that it identifies and distinguishes the sources of a service rather than goods. In fact, the term “trademark” often refers to service marks as well. Trademarks, in the general sense, typically protect brand names and logos used on goods and services.

The Law Office of Elliott J. Brown offers a broad range of TM services. We provide counsel to clients from various industries on brand protection matters including evaluating the strength of proposed names and marks, clearance of rights and selection, development, registration and protection of trademarks and domain names, enforcement, and managing IP portfolios worldwide. In addition, we offer other services to compliment your goals of building a brand.

Do I Need an Attorney To File My TM Application?

Hiring an experienced TM attorney to guide you is a crucial step towards obtaining your ®. Trademark law is ever-changing and not being aware of recent or proposed changes to the law could be the difference between registration and denial.

Additionally, while many trademark attorneys run a bare-bones search on the internet or a USPTO database search for a conflicting mark, our attorneys will conduct a robust search using cost-effective AI technology. This search will help you make a decision on whether to proceed with the application or a different course of action. 

What Kind of TM Work Do You Handle?

Our firm helps entrepreneurs, artists, creators, and businesses on the following transactional aspects of TM law:

  • Domestic and International TM applications
  • State Trademark Applications
  • TM Searches and Opinions
  • TM Portfolio Management
  • Consulting on Trademark Protection Strategies
  • Brand Building and Protection
  • Recordation of registered marks with Customs and Border Protection
  • IP Holding Company formation
What Are Your TM Application Prices?
We offer a flat fee TM filing package so you know yours costs upfront and can budget accordingly. Additionally for startups and new businesses looking to build and protect their brand, our Diamond Package includes the preparation and filing of one trademark application.

For more information about trademarks, check out our blog!

Trademark FAQs

Most frequent questions and answers about trademarks

How long does a trademark last?

Trademark protection lasts for a period of 10 years, but could last for an unlimited period of time if the proper maintenance documents are filed and applicable fees are paid on time.

What are trademark classes?

The Nice Agreement of 1957 (as amended), is an international IP agreement, whereby signatory countries categorizes trademarks for goods and services into 45 different International Classes. Each class represents a specific set of goods or services. For example, International Class (“IC”) 009 is the class for downloadable software but IC 042 is for software as a service (SaaS). It’s important to make sure you choose the proper class when filing an application. Choosing the wrong class could cause your application to be rejected.

What are the benefits of trademark registration?

You can find an entire FAQ page on this topic here.

Do I need a trademark if I own my business name?

Incorporating your business under a specific name does not entitle you to trademark protection automatically. While using your business name in commerce may entitle you to certain common law rights, it does not entitle you to the same protections as a federal (or state) trademark registration.

Do I need to be selling goods or services today to protect my brand?

Not necessarily. An “intent-to-use” application (known as a 1(b) application)), offers applicants up to three years (6 months + five 6-month renewals) to start using a mark after it receives a “Notice of Allowance.” Each extension request comes with a filing fee of $125 per mark per class. So if you anticipate the sale of goods/services within the three year time frame, you can plan ahead and file a 1(b) application to try and secure your rights in the mark.

How long does it take to get a trademark registration?

We wrote an entire FAQ on this question which you can find here.