New Jersey businesses are able to seek copyrights and trademarks of their intellectual property in order to protect it. After companies file for copyrights or trademarks with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, their proposed marks and intellectual property will be investigated to make certain that they comply with the law and are not too similar to material that has already received trademarks or copyrights.
It may be possible for a New Jersey trademark holder to transfer that mark to another party. Once the transfer occurs, that party has the same right to use and defend it against infringement that the original owner once had. In the event that only one mark is being transferred, the process may be relatively easy. However, that may not be the case if multiple marks are being transferred.
New Jersey business owners who are interested in trademark registration might not be clear on the differences between different symbols associated with trademarks, and when they are allowed to be used. The two common symbols for trademarks and registered trademarks can mean different things and can be used at different times during the process of trademark registration.
A real-life court battle involving the Fox Network's television show "Empire" adds to the show's fictional drama that has attracted many viewers in New Jersey and around the world. A record label known as Empire Distribution has challenged the network's use of the word "empire" and alleged trademark infringement.
New Jersey trademark owners and applicants should remain vigilant against ruses designed to compel them to purchase unnecessary trademark services. Scammers are obtaining the names of the owners from a database at the United States Patent and Trademark Office and are pretending to operate on behalf of the USPTO. The prevalence of this practice has been so rampant that a public meeting was held by the USPTO in order to spread awareness about the issue and to propose methods for combating it.
New Jersey comic fans might be interested in a trademark dispute involving Hasbro, Warner Bros. and DC Comics. Hasbro is the owner of the Transformers brand, and it claims that Warner Bros. and DC have committed trademark infringement. Specifically, Hasbro claims that a DC character named Bumblebee could be confused with the Autobot also named Bumblebee. The character created by DC is a teenage girl who has the ability to shrink.
Many New Jersey residents are familiar with using terms like Google or Xerox as verbs rather than the trademarked names they represent. A pair of entrepreneurs have been challenging these trademarks in court, arguing that the trademarks should be taken away. Although lower courts have ruled against the two entrepreneurs, they are continuing to pursue their lawsuit, filing a petition to take their case to the Supreme Court.
The key to success for New Jersey business owners and others throughout the country is to create a powerful brand. However, after the brand name is created, it is important to know how to protect it. The first step is to create a name that stands out and is not being used by another company. Business owners can use the Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS) to find out if their preferred choice is still available for use.
A June Supreme Court ruling may be of interest to New Jersey music lovers. A band by the name of The Slants consists of Asian-American members. The lead man in the group stated that the band name was meant to reclaim the offensive term so that it could be repurposed as a point of pride.
New Jersey residents may not be aware that the names of many common household items were once fiercely protected intellectual property. Thermos, cellophane and aspirin are all used generically today to refer to a broad range of goods, but they were once trademarks associated with specific products. Legislators addressed the issue of genericized trademarks with the passage of the Langham Act in 1946, but the law does not make clear how trademarks should be treated when they become commonly used as verbs rather than nouns.