Trademark Attorney, Lawyer: Trademark Registration & Trademark Infringement: Register a Brand Name? | Why a Trademark Lawyer Can Help

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Saturday, 26 January 2008

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Obtaining an opinion on trademark availability can save you a lot of money later. Having to re-brand because of a trademark infringement threat letter will cause you to lose all your goodwill, plus incur the expense of new signage and identity.

It is amazing to me that so many traditional and e-commerce companies spend hundreds of thousands of dollars or more to create an online presence for a new product or service without doing their due diligence on trademark availability issues. In large part because of the World Wide Web which makes every store front a global company, trademark availability has become very problematic. Finding a good brand name which doesn’t have prior use issues associated with it gets harder every day. Oftentimes, you find an available brand, but the domain name is not available. A large percentage of domain names are simply “parked” meaning that they may be available for trademark use. A good attorney can help you locate the registrant of a parked domain and potentially negotiate a purchase of that domain at a reasonable price.

In today’s online world, domain names and trademarks continue to increase in value. A large part of that increase in value is attributable to good old fashion principles of supply and demand. The fewer good domain/trademark combinations that are available, the more they are worth in the open market. Picking a good name with trademark and domain availability can add a tremendous amount of value to your business.

The costs of filing a trademark are small, but the far-reaching legal exposure you could face may cost you your business. While there are services that will simply register the trademark for you, these services typically do not collect and analyze conflicting trademarks.

Trademark availability searches provide just as much value as the act of filing itself. A trademark availability search will:

1. Identify whether the trademark you want is already registered
2. Identify whether similar trademarks are registered and assess the risk such registrations pose
3. Identify other uses, such as in a domain name, that may prevent the trademark holder from using its mark as it intends
4. Identify markets into which you could not expand due to prior trademark use by others

A trademark attorney can help you avoid the problems a company faces when its trademark is invalidated, including corrective advertising, rebranding, and even payment of major fees. You should spend just as much time, effort, and possibly money to evaluate and choose your intellectual property as you would to choose real property.

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