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Currently Browsing: Trademarks

Foreign Trademarks Must Be Registered in the U.S. to Be Enforceable Here

Unlike copyrights or patents, trademarks operate under a country-by-country legal regime.  The legal force of a registered trademark evaporates when crossing a border to a nation where it is not registered.  Without a registration in a country, a foreign trademark owner generally has no effective rights in that country, except for weaker common law rights that derive from actual trademark use. While European...

Beware of Trademark “Registration” Scams

As a trademark attorney, my clients often contact me about some solicitation that the client received in the mail, suggesting that they pay a hefty sum to have their trademark registered on some for-profit trademark list.  These entities have lofty sounding names like the Patent and Trademark Institute, Intellectual Property Register Services, ITR, World Trademark Registry and Trademark Compliance Center, but they...

Trademark, Service Mark — What’s the Difference?

“It makes no difference, night or day.  The shadow never seems to fade away.”  — The Band A potential client recently asked how is a service mark different from a trademark?  This is a common question we receive. A trademark is anything that is used to identify the source of goods or services.  Trademarks can consist of words, slogans, designs (logos), sounds or even scents.  Prominent...

Beware of International Trademark Scams

You file a trademark application for your business.  The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office registers your trademark.  Shortly after you receive your certificate of registration you receive a sort-of official looking letter from some organization offering to register your trademark “internationally” for a hefty fee.  This organization has some combination of words including “international”,...

“The Founder” Shows the Value of Trademarks for Growing Businesses

In the new film “The Founder” Michael Keaton’s Ray Kroc takes the concept for an efficient, high quality low cost diner with a limited menu and, through his relentless drive, expands it into the world’s biggest restaurant chain. In franchising the original concept developed by the brothers Dick and Mac McDonald, Kroc created the world’s most successful — and lucrative —...

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