Charlotte Trademark Lawyer

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Charlotte, North Carolina Trademark Attorneys Protecting Your Brand

Trademark law is the law of brands and branding. When you create an original brand that appeals to consumers, it is important to protect that brand. If someone uses your trademark for a different purpose, it could confuse consumers, leading to missed opportunities and potentially difficult legal problems.

If you need help protecting your trademark or addressing a legal dispute involving your trademark, you should contact a Charlotte trademark lawyer to help defend your ideas and protect your trademark.

At Trego, Hines & Ladenheim, PLLC, our experienced team of attorneys focuses exclusively on intellectual property needs. Whether you live in North Carolina or anywhere else in the United States, we can secure your rights to use your intellectual property and defend it from those who would infringe on it.

What Is a Trademark?

Your trademark is your brand. Specifically, a trademark is any word, name, or symbol that you use to identify your goods and services to consumers. Coming up with your trademark is an important part of branding for your business because it distinguishes your goods from those of others.

Choosing an effective and protectable brand is often a far more difficult process than most people anticipate. Consulting with an experienced trademark lawyer can go a long way toward choosing an effective mark.

Once you choose a trademark, you’ll want to get it registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). This can be a complex, time-consuming process, so it is worthwhile to consult with a trademark attorney to help you with it.

How do I Protect My Trademark?

At common law, your trademark rights are very limited. Obtaining a Federal Trademark Registration from the United States Patent and Trademark Office is the best way to secure the broadest scope of protection for your trademark.

How to Get a Trademark Registration?

The process of getting a trademark registered is called trademark prosecution. It is an inherently complex and time-consuming process. At Trego, Hines & Ladenheim, a significant portion of our practice is focused on helping people protect their trademarks.

This involves preparing and filing trademark applications with the United States Patent and Trademark Office and the North Carolina Secretary of State Trademark Office.

Why Should I Get a Federal Trademark Registration?

  • Section 1(b) ITU: According to Section 1(b) of our United States Trademark Act, you must have a sincere intention to use your trademark for your goods or services in the near future.
  • Notice/Priority: When you get your federal trademark registration, you establish your priority rights, which proves that you are the first person to use this mark in commerce.
  • Prima Facie Evidence of Ownership & Validity: When you get your registration, you have evidence for your ownership of your trademark and, therefore, the validity of your rights.
  • Potential Incontestability: Eventually, after a period of prolonged use, your trademark can become contestable after your trademark registration, which means that it will be tough for others to challenge the validity of the mark.
  • Basis for Priority Filing in Foreign Jurisdictions: Once you have a federal trademark application on file in the United States, you can use that filing to help protect your intellectual property internationally. We can help.
  • Basis for Federal Court Jurisdiction: Your federal trademark registration is the basis for your jurisdiction in federal court. Therefore, if you need to fight to protect your trademark, it’s vital that you have it registered.
  • Basis for Accessing Anti-Counterfeiting Statutes: This would be in the instance that you want to be able to pursue civil or criminal enforcement actions against those using a fake version of your trademark.
  • Basis for U.S. Customs Registrations: If you want to prevent the importation of goods into the United States that infringe on your registered trademark, you can record your federal trademark registration with U.S. Customs and Border Patrol.

How Can a Trademark Attorney Help?

Depending on where you or your company are domiciled, the law might actually require you to hire a trademark lawyer to represent you before the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

While you might think that you can save money by filing your trademark application without a lawyer, you might find yourself dipping deeper into your pockets if there are issues with your application or if disputes arise over your trademark.

Choosing a new trademark is more difficult than most people imagine, and so is filing and prosecuting a trademark application. The right intellectual property lawyer can assist you with:

Preparing the Application

Is filing a trademark application easy? Some people think so. In reality, it is really easy to make mistakes when you try to act as your own lawyer.

Filing a trademark application is a complicated legal process. Mistakes can be costly and might even result in a loss of rights. You need an experienced Trademark Attorney to prepare the application.

Responding to Trademark Office Actions

All trademark applications that are filed at the United States Patent and Trademark Office are assigned to an Examiner.  These Examiners are attorneys who work for the Patent and Trademark Office. It is the job of the Examiner to determine if the mark should be registered.

If the Examiner finds a problem with the application, they will issue a Trademark Office Action.   The vast majority of applications encounter at least resistance during prosecution. Trademark Office Actions are very common.  If your application receives a Trademark Office Action, you should have an experienced Trademark Attorney prepare the necessary Response.

Negotiating

A lot of disputes over intellectual property, like trademarks, can be resolved through negotiations among legal professionals. Letting your lawyer handle your legal settlements for you can save you a lot of time and can help you resolve your conflicts as soon as possible.

Going before the TTAB

There is a special court system for dealing specifically with trademark matters called The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board.  If someone else opposes your trademark application, you will oppose someone else’s application, or if anyone tries to cancel a trademark registration – you will probably have to appear before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board.

You will need an experienced Trademark Attorney to handle your case. We have extensive experience in all types of TTAB proceedings.

Going to Court

You might be able to effectively resolve a dispute over a trademark without litigation. However, in the rare circumstances in which your case ends up in the courtroom, your lawyer can be by your side, standing up for you and your intellectual property. They can craft a strategic legal plan to defend your case and fight for your rights.

Providing Strategic Advice

It is critical to determine a lot of crucial information about your patent before you file your application. For instance, figuring out what class yours is in and whether such a trademark already exists is vital to make sure that your application is successful.

When you start working with a lawyer, you can put your trust in them to take care of such things and advise you on how to go forward with your application process.

Trego, Hines & Ladenheim, PLLC: Your Trademark Lawyers

When you come up with a trademark, it can be an exciting moment for your company. However, it can also usher in a period of time-consuming legal processes. Also, if someone disputes your trademark and accuses you of infringing on their intellectual property, you can expend a lot of time and resources to resolve the conflict.

On the other side of the same issue, enforcing your trademark against someone who is trying to use yours can be quite draining.

If you are looking for legal support when dealing with trademark issues, our team at Trego, Hines & Ladenheim, PLLC, can help. We are experienced trademark attorneys with proven success standing up for and supporting clients all over the United States. To find out more about how we can help you and your business, contact us today.

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