1400 Gables Ct #103 Plano, TX 75075
5601 Bridge Street, #300, Ft. Worth, TX 76112

Dallas Intellectual Property Attorney Talks About Trademarks

Dallas business attorney, Richard “Ric” Armstrong, discusses the basic things all business owners should know about trademarks.

If you start and run a business of any kind, you want your customers to know your name and to be able to identify you easily. To accomplish this, you’ll want to establish a trademark—basically, an identifiable brand name and/or logo that people associate with your business.

What Is a Trademark?

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) defines a trademark as “a word, phrase, symbol, or design, or a combination thereof, that identifies and distinguishes the source of the goods of one party from those of others.” A trademark is legally considered intellectual property, meaning if someone else uses your brand name, logo or design to do business, you have the right to sue them for any income they received as a result, or any income you lost as a result of the confusion.

Do I Have to Register My Trademark?

You may be able to claim the rights to it based on common law, as long as you can demonstrate that you have been using that brand name/logo as a commercial identifier. However, proving a common law claim in court can be complicated and challenging.

By contrast, registering your trademark with the USPTO officially gives you legal claim to the mark, serves the public notice that you have the rights (and others don’t), and makes your claim much easier to enforce in court if the need arises. And you can start the process before you put a mark into use.

You also have the option of filing for registration of a state trademark with the Texas Secretary of State; however, this is only enforceable within the state, so most intellectual property attorneys recommend doing either both the state and federal registry, or just the federal registry.

There are two challenging—and important—aspects of the trademark process. First, your mark needs to be unique enough that it sets itself apart from any competing brands and existing marks. And second, trademarks aren’t granted for everything, but only the specific goods or services you provide. So it’ll be important to consider what your company does now, and how you might expand in the future, before choosing to register your mark.

For your best protection, you should consult a knowledgeable Dallas business attorney for guidance in registering your trademark, as well as for legal assistance if your trademark gets violated or challenged. To learn more, call Armstrong The Law Firm, P.C., today at 972-424-L-A-W-S (5297).

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Armstrong The Law Firm, P.C.
Plano Location
1400 Gables Ct #103
Plano, TX 75075

Fort Worth Location (By Appointment Only)
5601 Bridge Street, Ste. 300
Ft. Worth, Texas 76112

Phone: (972) 424-5297