A trademark is a type of intellectual property consisting of a word, phrase, logo, sound, or smell that identifies the source of ownership of goods and/or services. Obtaining a federal trademark provides the trademark owner the exclusive right to use the trademark nationwide and allows the owner to pursue an infringement action against others for using an identical or confusingly similar mark. Obtaining a state trademark affords an owner a similar form of limited protection; however, the owner only has the exclusive right to use the trademark within the state she registers.
Businesses of any size must protect their assets, both financial and creative, and copyrights and trademarks are some of the most reliable ways to ensure a business is not exploited. These useful tools are essential for any company, but the process of registering a copyright may feel intimidating. Read below to learn about the dos and don’ts of copyright registration and how the Dallas law firm of Ritter Spencer PLLC can help.
Trademark Lawyer Chelsie Spencer was published in the State Bar of Texas Intellectual Property Section’s TipSheet Vol. 13 No. 2, discussing the USPTO’s treatment of trademark applications for goods containing cannabidiol. To view the article, continue reading below or click here.
Ritter Spencer attorney Chelsie Spencer is featured this morning on Fit Small Business. In the article, Top 28 Digital Branding Strategies, Mrs. Spencer advises content creators to ensure that the digital content they place online is legally protected.
Distinguishing your brand in the digital age can be a challenge, particularly due to the easy and instant access of information online and heightened market congestion. Digital theft of intellectual property is quite prevalent in the online age; however, content creators and brand owners can take steps to legally protect their works.
Recently, the United States Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) issued an internal directive which will likely assist pending and future CBD trademark registrations with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. What is CBD you ask? CBD is an acronym for cannabidiol, a cannabis compound derived from the marijuana plant. Importantly, CBD is a non-psychoactive compound, meaning that it lacks THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) – the cannabinoid compound associated with marijuana use. CBD has been added to a variety of goods, from oils, to vapor, to honey, to candies, and beyond.
When you file an application for federal trademark registration, the TEAS filing portal (Trademark Electronic Application System) will ask you to select a filing basis for your trademark application. There are two available bases for selection: 1(a) or 1(b). Both are derived from the Lanham Act, the statute governing trademarks. When you prepare to file your online trademark application, it can often be confusing as to which basis you should file with.
When registering a trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), any of the available application forms for filing will require that you specify whether you are applying for the mark in a standard character format, also referred to as a word mark, or in a special form, referred to as a stylized mark or design mark. Assuming that your business name is eligible for trademark registration, you may wonder whether you should trademark the business name or the business’s logo first. You have the option to register (a) the business name only (b) the logo or other design only or (c) both.
It’s time for Ritter Spencer’s first annual holiday trademark round up. During the holidays, you will see several commercials and other advertisement for holiday specific products. Many of the brands behind these advertisements protect their goods and services through federal trademark registration. Even the studios behind some of the famous and classic Christmas movies that you watch have trademarked the goods and services related to their movies and characters. By owning a trademark, trademark owners can exclude others from using a confusingly similar name that may lead to consumer confusion.
Continuing with our blog series covering federal trademarks, today we will be discussing trade dress. Trade dress is commonly defined as the total image or overall appearance of a product. Protectable trade dress may include design features such as color or color combinations, graphics, size, shape, and texture, among others. It is the combination of the unique design features which constitute trade dress and make it a protectable trademark.
Trademarks can include any word, name, symbol, device, or any combination thereof used to identify and distinguish goods and services used in interstate commerce. Most people know that trademarks consisting of words and/or graphic designs can be registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. However, non-traditional trademarks, which may include color, sound, texture, smell, taste, texture, etc., are also eligible for trademark registration under the Lanham Act. Non-traditional trademarks also include trade dress, which we will discuss on the blog next week.