What is Trademark?
A trademark is a word, phrase, symbol, and/or design that identifies and distinguishes the source of the goods of one party from those of others. A service mark is a word, phrase, symbol, and/or design that identifies and distinguishes the source of a service rather than goods. Some examples include: brand names, slogans, and logos. The term “trademark” is often used in a general sense to refer to both trademarks and service marks.
Unlike patents and copyrights, trademarks do not expire after a set term of years. Trademark rights come from actual “use” (see below). Therefore, a trademark can last forever – so long as you continue to use the mark in commerce to indicate the source of goods and services.
Benefits of Registering a Trademark
There are numerous benefits to registering a trademark and utilizing the trademark services of a lawyer. Registering a trademark heightens the protection it receives, deters others from using your trademark, and increases the remedies should someone infringe upon the trademark. Using a trademark lawyer increases the likelihood of receiving all of the benefits discussed below.
Registering a trademark provides greater Protection
- Registering a trademark protects a company’s name or logo, which is often a company’s most valuable asset;
- Registering a trademark grants the trademark owner receives exclusive nationwide ownership of the mark;
- Registering a trademark decreases the likelihood of another party claiming that your trademark infringes upon their trademark;
- Registering a trademark provides official notice to others that a trademark is already taken; consequently, a company that later adopts a confusingly similar trademark cannot claim ignorance of the mark;
- Through registering a trademark the trademark owner obtains the future right to make the mark “incontestable,” which provides conclusive evidence regarding the validity of the mark and of the registrant’s exclusive right to use the mark; and
- Registering a trademark in the Pakistan can be used as a basis for obtaining registration in foreign countries.
Registering a trademark deters others from using your trademark
- By registering a trademark the trademark owner obtains the right to put a “, after the mark, alerting others to your registration and preventing the defense of innocent infringement;
- By registering a trademark the trademark will appear in trademark search reports ordered by others, likely discouraging others from proceeding with the registration of the same or similar mark; and
- Through registering a trademark the Pakistan Patent and Trademark Office will refuse registration to any trademarks it deems confusingly similar to the trademark.
Registering a trademark provides the trademark owner with greater remedies
- Registering a trademark grants the trademark owner the right to recover up to triple damages and fees of their trademark lawyer from an infringer;
- By registering a trademark the trademark owner receives the presumption of being the valid owner of the mark;
- Registering a trademark increases the likelihood of the successful filing of a dispute resolution policy for an infringing Internet domain name; and
- Registering a trademark gives the trademark owner an automatic right to sue in federal court.
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