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How to Register and Protect Your Trademarks

Registration is Essential to Protecting your Good  Name and Reputation 

Protecting your business’s intellectual property is a task best handled by a knowledgeable and experienced California trademark law firm. A trademark (sometimes referred to as a service mark) includes any word, sign, symbol, or device that is used by one business to distinguish its goods and/or services from another business. Registering your trademark is essential to protecting your company’s good name and reputation. The application process to obtain trademark protection can be lengthy and confusing. A California trademark attorney can help you through the application process and obtain trademark protection more quickly.

Overview of Trademark Application Process

Not every sign or symbol is eligible for trademark protection. Once you have selected a sign, symbol, or other “mark” that does qualify for protection, however, and that mark is not substantially similar to another mark already registered, the following steps must be completed:

  • Preparing and submitting the application: The process for obtaining trademark protection officially begins when the mark owner files an application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The application will include information about the mark itself (its format and design) as well as the goods and/or services to which it corresponds (for example, the trademark for Apple computers – the apple with a “bite” out of the right side – corresponds to a particular type of computing devices). This application and the requisite filing fees are submitted for approval to the USPTO.
  • Review by a USPTO attorney: Once it is determined that the application meets minimum requirements, a USPTO attorney will review your application and proposed mark more closely. Of particular concern to the USPTO attorney will be whether your mark is substantially similar to an existing mark. If there is a substantial reason why your mark should not be registered, the attorney may send a letter explaining the problem. You would then have a limited amount of time to remedy the problem or else your application will be considered to be abandoned.
  • Publication of mark: If the mark is approved, it will be published in the “Official Gazette”. Individuals who believe their own mark or business will be harmed by the registration have a 30-day window from the date of first publication to object to the registration of the mark. If there is no opposition (or if the opposition is unsuccessful in challenging the registration), the mark will be registered. It then falls to the mark’s owner to maintain the registration and take action against those he or she believes are infringing on the trademark.

Contact a California Trademark Attorney Today

JGPC Law is your California trademark law firm to call with your IP, trade secrets, and business needs. We can assist you in applying for trademark protection as well as responding to objections from other businesses or the USPTO attorney assigned to your application. Our firm serves clients throughout California, including small businesses in San Leandro, Berkeley, Oakland, Livermore, Pleasanton, Danville, Walnut Creek, and Concord. Call our firm at (925) 463-9600 for assistance in registering your trademark, or reach us through our firm’s online contact form.

trademark protection

JGPC Business Law is a business law firm providing cost-effective, quality legal services to privately held businesses, corporations, limited liability companies (LLCs), general partnerships, joint ventures, limited liability partnerships (LLPs), limited partnerships (LP), trusts, business start ups, entrepreneurs, business owners, managers, executives, investors, buyers & sellers throughout the Tri-Valley and the East Bay Area, including Pleasanton, Dublin, Livermore, San Ramon, Danville, Walnut Creek, Castro Valley, Fremont, Tracy, Modesto, Manteca, Stockton and all of Alameda County and Contra Costa County. We are here to serve all of your business and corporate law needs.