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WHAT’S IN A NAME?? Your Business name also may be a valuable trademark.

Firstly, what is a Trademark?

A trademark is any term, design, number or combination of these elements that is applied to goods or services to enable the consumer to identify the particular source of the goods or services. Some examples include: brand names, slogans, and logos or combinations of them.   A service mark is the same as a trademark but which identifies and distinguishes the source of a service rather than goods.  “Trademark” is simply the broad, general term for either a trademark applied to goods or a service mark used in connection with services.  Put another way, a business name does not also function as a trademark or service mark unless it is also used in commerce to identify the source of the company’s goods or services.

 What is “Good Will”?

Standing alone, a trademark has no inherent value.  Its value is the “goodwill” that results from consumer association and recognition of the mark with the source of the product or service on or in connection with which the mark is used in commerce.

Should I Trademark my Business Name or Product?

A trademark can be an extremely valuable “intangible intellectual property asset” to any business.  It is therefore crucially important to approach selection, protection, development and registration of a trademark with this basic principle in mind.  Accordingly, any prudent business should obtain a full “availability search” prior to adopting and spending resources on the development and promotion of a trademark.  Our Comprehensive Trademark Availability Search  and Opinion combs the United States Patent and Trademark Office database, applicable state databases, and the internet for unregistered trademarks (so-called “common law” marks), and  domain name registries.  A competent search will yield any identical or confusingly similar marks already in use in commerce by other companies to which actual use your proposed mark may infringe.  If there are none, your proposed mark is available for you to adopt and use in commerce.  Once the search is completed, we furnish you with a written legal opinion of availability (or unavailability) upon which you can make an informed decision how best to proceed.  Our search and opinion not only will save you unnecessary outlay of time and money pursuing an unavailable trademark, but may well avert the much more costly and potentially devastating impact of defending a trademark infringement action in federal court. If you’d like us to analyze a potential trademark for you, please contact us for details.