Steve Ekechuku works with individuals and businesses to help protect their brands and company goodwill through his trademark law services.
What is a trademark?
A trademark is a valuable asset to your business. US trademark law offers broad protection for intellectual property. The United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) defines a trademark/service mark as a “brand name..[that] includes any word, name, symbol, device, or any combination, used or intended to be used to identify and distinguish the goods/services of one seller or provider from those of others, and to indicate the source of the goods/services” https://www.uspto.gov/trademarks/basics. Trademarks help the consumer distinguish one product from another. For businesses, trademarks protect their goodwill, which can make a trademark extraordinarily valuable.
Benefits of a Trademark
US Individuals and businesses should vigorously protect their trademark: the best way to do this is by applying for a trademark with the USPTO. Trademarks registered with the USPTO enjoy various rights, which may include: the US Bureau of Customs excluding infringing imports of your mark, the right to obtain relief in court (injunctive, money, treble damages, and defendant’s profit), the ability to register the mark in other countries that offer reciprocal trademark rights, and other benefits.
Do you have to register your trademark?
You have trademark rights as soon as you use your mark in commerce; this is often referred to as a common law right. Such a right, however, is limited to the geographic region that the mark is used. Further, a search of a common law trademark in the USPTO database would not turn up the mark so there is an increased likeliness that this mark might be infringed. It is almost always in your best interest to register your trademark with the USPTO. In addition to the benefits listed above, you have a legal presumption of ownership nationwide and not simply the region you do business.
Denial of Trademarks
A trademark could be denied for a multitude of reasons. Oftentimes, people filing their own trademark might do a general search of the USPTO trademark database and google and conclude that there are no issues. However, in addition to a likelihood of confusion denial, trademarks can be rejected for various other reasons, such as: merely descriptive, geographically descriptive, scandalous, and ornamentation and surname. It is best to take your time before filing a trademark so as to avoid delay or redoing the process. An attorney can advise you on possible issues prior to filing your trademark.
Steve Ekechuku provides thorough support for business individuals seeking to protect their brand and potentially file a trademark. Mr. Ekechuku employs a four-step process to your trademark.
1) Steve runs a comprehensive search to determine if your mark might potentially conflict with existing trademarks.
2) After performing a trademark search, Steve will draft an opinion letter and provide a consultation based on the results of his search and advise on an alternate trademark if necessary.
3) After providing an opinion letter, Steve will draft your trademark application for your review. Once your draft is approved, Steve will file your application with the USPTO. Steve will respond to any Office Actions and keep you abreast of any updates in your application.
4) Ekechuku Law offers up to a year of trademark monitoring to ensure the protection of your trademark.