Benjamin Appelbaum, Attorney at Law

A company can own trademarks that are not registered

Trademarks are names and symbols that help consumers in New Jersey and around the country to identify the products and services that they want to purchase again. By trademarking a catchy name or a memorable logo, a business can make sure that its customers can find its products again. At the same time, trademarks can help consumers to remember the products and services that they do not want to purchase again.

Developing trademarks and protecting the trademarks from copycats can help a business to build customer loyalty. As soon as a company starts to use a trademark on its goods, the trademark is protected by common law. However, a company will have more trademark rights if it files an application for federal trademark registration.

A company that hasn't obtained a federal trademark registration for a name or logo can place a 'TM" symbol next to a design to signify that the design is trademarked. A federal trademark registration symbol, ®, can only be used after a trademark is registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. If a trademark is appropriated by a competitor, the owner of the trademark can file a lawsuit against the competitor even if the trademark has not been officially registered.

Though a company may claim ownership to an unregistered trademark, it might be challenging for the company to prove that it owns it. A trademark law attorney can help a trademark owner to gather evidence that it is the owner of a trademark and prove that another party is infringing on the trademark.

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Benjamin Appelbaum, Attorney at Law - Intellectual Property

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