Registering your business’s trademarks is an important first step toward building a recognizable and protectable brand. We provide comprehensive trademark protection services, including clearance, registration, monitoring, and enforcement.
Experienced Trademark Attorneys Serving the Sugar Land and Houston Areas
If you operate a business of any kind, you almost certainly have at least one trademark – if not several. Trademarks are what people commonly recognize as brand names, logos, and slogans. In legal terms, they are the “indicia of source” that help consumers differentiate between competitors in the marketplace. Trademarks can carry extraordinary value. Trademarks build consumer confidence and customer loyalty, and they can be worth millions (or even tens or hundreds of millions) of dollars when it comes time to sell. For all businesses, trademark protection should be a top priority, and this starts with selecting and registering a protectable mark. At Romano & Sumner, we represent entrepreneurs and businesses of all sizes in all aspects of trademark protection and enforcement. Our attorneys routinely assess the availability of trademark rights (known as “trademark clearance”) and prosecute registration applications with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), and we have significant experience in trademark litigation. No matter the scale of your business’s trademark needs or the size of your trademark portfolio, we have the capabilities, resources, and in-depth knowledge required to help make sure your trademarks are secure.
Trademark Protection FAQs
Q: What are the minimum requirements for trademark protection?
Under federal trademark law, limited trademark rights arise automatically upon use of a mark. However, these “common law” rights are limited, as (i) they are subject to any pre-existing rights owned by third parties, and (ii) they only cover the geographic area in which the mark is used. These limitations are among the primary reasons why all business owners should seek to register their trademarks with the USPTO. Trademark registration affords nationwide protection, and it ensures that other companies will not legally be able to adopt confusingly similar trademarks in the future.
Q: What is involved in filing for trademark registration with the USPTO?
Filing for federal trademark registration is a fairly straightforward process, provided that you have taken the necessary steps to prepare. These steps include:
- Ordering a trademark search and conducting a clearance analysis to ensure that your chosen mark is available for registration;
- Clearly identifying the products or services in connection with which the mark is used;
- Assessing any potential roadblocks to registration and determining the potential costs involved in corresponding with the trademark examiner; and,
- Compiling all of the information required to be submitted with the registration application.
Q: What if the USPTO denies my trademark registration application?
Trademark registration applications get denied for a variety of reasons, and understanding why your application has been denied is the first step toward understanding what options you have available. Unless your application has been denied because registration is clearly barred by a pre-existing registered mark (in which case you may be able to negotiate a license with the owner), in most cases you will have an opportunity to respond to the denial and make any necessary revisions in order to have your application approved.
Q: Is trademark clearance research necessary?
While not strictly necessary from a registration perspective, conducting thorough trademark clearance research is almost always a good idea. If you do not clear your trademark prior to filing:
- You run the risk of infringing another company’s pre-existing trademark rights;
- You run the risk of having your registration application denied; and,
- You run the risk of pouring money into a brand that you are not able to protect (and may not legally be able to use).
Q: What is required to prove trademark infringement?
Trademark infringement involves the use of either: (i) a third party’s trademark, or (ii) a trademark that is “confusingly similar” to a third party’s trademark, without the third party’s consent. For example, if you run a “Super Bowl” promotion without getting a license from the NFL, you can face liability for trademark infringement. Note, however, that it is enough for the infringing trademark to be “confusingly similar.” As a result, if a competitor is using a trademark that is similar – but not identical – to yours, you may have grounds to pursue legal action.
Speak with a Trademark Attorney at Romano & Sumner
If you have questions about registering your company’s trademarks, if you have received a cease-and-desist letter, or if a competitor is infringing on your trademark rights, we encourage you to contact us for an initial consultation. To speak with a trademark attorney at our offices in Sugar Land, TX, please call (281) 242-0995 or get in touch online today.
Romano & Sumner, LLC is proud to serve these Texas areas
Cities / Suburbs:
The Woodlands | Sugar Land | Baytown | Conroe | Katy | Friendswood | Pearland | League City | Richmond | Rosenberg | Spring | Humble | Kingwood | Clear Lake City | Stafford | Jersey Village | Cypress | Missouri City
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Harris County, Fort Bend County, and surrounding counties