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California Trademark Attorney

California Trademark Attorney

Trademarks and other forms of intellectual property are vital assets for many individuals and businesses. Trademarks help establish and maintain a unique brand that differentiates you from your competitors, and maintaining your trademarks requires you to register them.

If you’ve ever tried to handle this yourself, though, you know it’s not as easy as it sounds.

At Fridman Law Firm, we understand how challenging it can be for entrepreneurs to identify, register, and protect their trademarks. That’s why we are dedicated to supporting your drive for growth and innovation by offering legal expertise to help you navigate the complexities of your respective industry. Our California trademark attorneys have extensive knowledge and experience in trademark-related matters. We offer our clients comprehensive counsel and protection against intellectual property infringement.

The legal team at Fridman Law Firm understands the relevance of a trademark as a vital part of your business or company’s identity. Whether you’re getting started with your startup or running an established company, our California trademark lawyers can guide you on any trademark-related issue. Call 212-262-9823 or fill out our contact form to schedule a free consultation with our California trademark attorneys.

What Is a Trademark?

The United States Patent and Trademark Office defines a trademark as any word, catchphrase, symbol, design, or combination of these elements uniquely identifying your goods or services. It provides a way to distinguish you from your competitors and enables customers to recognize you in the marketplace.

Having a trademark helps identify the source of your goods and services, provides legal protection for your brand, and guards against fraud and counterfeiting. Unlike common belief, having a trademark doesn’t mean owning a word or phrase. Instead, a trademark means you only have rights to how the word or phrase is used in relation to your goods or services.

Suppose you use a phrase as a trademark for your bakery to uniquely identify your goods from others in the same field. Having this trademark doesn’t mean that other businesses can’t use the same phrase for non-pastry-related goods or services.

What Can Be Trademarked?

Generally, almost every element of your brand can be a trademark, meaning you can trademark anything that identifies and distinguishes your goods or services. Some of the elements that can be trademarked include:

  • Names. You can trademark the name of your product or company. An example of a trademarked company name includes Google for Google LLC, while iPad is an example of a trademarked product.
  • Logos and symbols. Brands can trademark their logos to distinguish them from others in the marketplace. Examples include Nike’s “swoosh,” McDonald’s golden arches, and vehicle emblems.
  • Phrases and slogans. Businesses can also trademark phrases and slogans that uniquely identify them. For instance, the slogan “It’s finger-lickin’ good” is a trademark of Kentucky Fried Chicken, popularly known as KFC.
  • Sounds. Brands could trademark certain sounds that uniquely identify them. For instance, the roaring lion sound is a trademark of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM).
  • Designs. Unique designs can be trademarked and used to distinguish one brand from another. An example of a trademarked design is the contoured Coca-Cola bottle.
  • Colors or color schemes. Common trademark colors include Cadbury Purple, T-Mobile Magenta, and Home Depot Orange.

It’s important to note that trademarks aren’t limited to these elements; you can trademark anything that represents your company and distinguishes your products or services from others. Other trademarks may include band names, blog names, podcast names, fictitious characters, services, YouTube channel names, or a combination of these elements.

Trademarks and other IP rights are the cornerstones that protect your business, and their proper and timely registration is crucial. If your trademark remains unprotected, there’s a risk that a competitor might replicate your innovation, potentially gaining market share and profits that could have rightfully been yours.

California Trademark Laws

The 2014 California Business and Professions Code provides the general provisions and other copyright-related laws. Among these are common law trademark rights, which allow businesses and individuals to establish trademark rights through the common law use of a mark. Even without formal registration, you may have some protection for your trademark if you can demonstrate prior and continuous use of the mark in commerce.

California trademark laws also provide the criteria under which the state may deny registration of a trademark. Articles 2 through 11 of the Model State Trademark Law provide guidelines for:

  • Application for trademark registration
  • Issuance of a certificate of registration
  • Cancellation of trademark registrations
  • Fraudulent registrations
  • Trademark-related violations
  • Severability of trademarks

The skilled and experienced California trademark attorneys at Fridman Law Firm understand California trademark laws and can help you with legal guidance and representation if you have to deal with the USPTO. Here are ways our lawyers can help with your trademark-related needs:

  • Identifying your company’s potential trademarks
  • Doing a proper trademark search and clearance
  • Devising a proper filing strategy
  • Drafting a trademark application that meets USPTO’s technical specifications

In addition to these, our California trademark lawyers can help you enforce your intellectual property rights, create cease and desist letters, handle trademark renewals, and negotiate trademark licenses.

At Fridman Law Firm, our trademark attorneys leverage their extensive experience to deliver innovative, results-driven strategies for the benefit of our clients. We share in our clients’ commitment to addressing business challenges with a strong sense of purpose — regardless of the scale or complexity — while empowering businesses with strategic solutions.

Types of Trademarks

Trademarks are essential for identifying and distinguishing the source of products, and it is paramount to understand the various types before registering one. Below are the common types of trademarks.

Fanciful Trademarks

These refer to invented words that only relate to specific goods or services. These marks can be names, phrases, or logos that are different from anything else that exists. These marks are usually words that don’t have meaning in common language, making it easy to obtain trademark protection. Examples of fanciful trademarks include Nike, Adidas, and Nikon.

Arbitrary Trademarks

These marks are words or phrases that have meaning in common language, but the trademarks are not used in connection with their meaning. Think of terms like “Apple” for computers or “Camel” for cigarettes.

Suggestive Trademarks

These marks refer to words or phrases that are legally distinctive and have some association with a product or service, but this association isn’t always apparent. Suggestive trademarks require imagination or perception to connect them to the products or services they brand.

Suggestive trademarks strike a balance between providing consumers with some information about the product or service and leaving room for imagination and interpretation. They are often more memorable and easier to protect as trademarks compared to purely descriptive ones.

Here are some examples of suggestive trademarks: “Microsoft” for computer software and technology. This suggests microcomputers and software without explicitly stating the name of the computer. “Netflix” for online streaming services. This name suggests relaxation and entertainment (such as a movie night) without directly stating it. “Greyhound” for long-distance bus transportation implies speed and agility without explicitly describing it.

Descriptive Trademarks

These marks refer to words or phrases that merely describe a product or service without necessarily identifying or distinguishing the source of those products or services. These trademarks are considered weak marks and are only registrable in certain circumstances, such as when they gain secondary meaning through extensive use in commerce. Examples of descriptive trademarks include “creamy” for yogurt and “bed and breakfast” for lodging reservation services.

Contact Fridman Law Firm for All Your Trademark-Related Needs

Obtaining a trademark for your products or services can be daunting, especially if it is your first time. Working with experienced intellectual property experts such as Fridman Law Firm can set you up for success. Our California business lawyers empower businesses with unparalleled legal expertise for a higher chance of success in today’s digital world.

Our trademark lawyers will advise you on how to register and use your trademark, as well as enforce your intellectual property rights. Call 212-262-9823 today or complete our online contact form to learn more about how our California trademark attorneys can help with your trademark issues.