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How Long is a Trademark Good For?

If you’re new in the business and you’re trying to set up an ecommerce site, you’ll probably take a good long look at some of biggest names in the field to figure out who your competition is. Which companies dominate your industry? Once you have a list, you’ll probably think it’s a good idea to replicate a few of the things your competition is doing. After all, if it works for them, then it could work for you, right?

However, if that plan includes using logos, marks or other marketing details or elements that are too similar or even strongly based on the ones they use, that could land you in a lot of legal trouble. That’s because they probably own trademarks.

how long is a trademark good for

How trademarks work

If you’ve ever wondered why there aren’t more companies coming out of the woodwork and copying what big-name organizations like Google, Amazon, IBM and more do, that’s because they’re afraid of violating intellectual property rights. These companies register their trademarks so they can protect their brand and business. That’s a wise move for you to consider, too.   

Owning a trademark means you can keep someone else—especially a competitor—from using your mark. If you don’t register a trademark, someone else can come in and use your mark, logo or anything that is strongly associated with your brand, service or company. That’s going to confuse your customers and lead them to buy products or sign up for the services from the wrong company. That’s a sneaky way to steal your customers. If you don’t want that to happen, then register your trademark to protect your intellectual property rights, Mashable says.

How long is a trademark good for?

Acquiring trademark rights is an important part of protecting your brand identity from any infringement. If you’re worried about how long your rights will last, though, don't be. As long as the trademark is in use, then it will continue to be valid and enforceable. That rule is also true for trademarks registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and state governments. That means your trademark can be in continuous use, even for as long as a hundred years or more.

Register for a trademark

You’ll need to come up with the requirements before you can register for a trademark. The best way to file a trademark application with the USPTO is to secure legal help. By hiring the services of a lawyer, you can get the answers you need to basic questions, from “How Long is a Trademark Good For?” to “What can a trademark do for you?” While you can represent yourself, it’s in your best interests to hire an IP attorney to help you. If you want to make sure you arrive at the best decision for your company, then you’ll want to hire a lawyer. Many business owners also turn to attorneys for help even after they have registered their trademarks.

Consult with a lawyer

It can take a while to go over the legalese. Get a lawyer so you’d have someone to explain the legal proceeding to you in layman’s terms. You have someone to guide you every step of the way, so you won’t get lost or confused. Your lawyer will look over your requirements and ensure that they’re complete before they’re submitted. Your lawyer can also provide you with much-needed advice to ensure that there everything is in order, which boosts your chances of getting a registration as soon as possible.

Do your homework

Before you register a trademark, it’s important that you check if anyone else is already using the brand, mark or logo you want to use. Your IP lawyer can help you by putting together a research report to help you ensure that’s the case. If it turns out that another business is already using something similar or quite the same, then you’d have saved yourself a lot of time and trouble by finding out now. That should give you enough time to pursue the necessary changes before you launch your company in the market.

Avoid mistakes

Registration mistakes can delay the process. The longer you don’t register your trademark, though, the more vulnerable it is to copyright infringement. By the time you file, it may be too late. Someone else may have beaten you to the term, phrase or word. Register with the help of your trademark attorney and save yourself the stress and hassle of having to think of another mark, logo or name for your business.

Enforce your rights

More than the help in filing an application and registering your trademark, the right lawyer can also represent you in court in case someone tries to steal your intellectual property. If you’ve already trademarked the logo, word or symbol that you commercially use for your organization, then you can put a stop to any competitor who wants to use these to lure customers to their door. For instance, if a competitor uses a mascot similar to yours or uses a name or even logo that’s too close to your own, then you could file a lawsuit against them. Talk to your legal counsel to find out what your options are. With an attorney, you can find out how to enforce your trademark rights.

Choose a law firm

There are IP law firms that can help you like Johnson Dalal. Whether you are starting out in the business or have been in the industry for a long time, taking steps to protect your intellectual property can prevent potentially costly disputes and headaches in the future. From asking yourself: “How Long is a Trademark Good For?” to meeting the requirements of the USPTO or sending a cease and desist letter to companies that use your trade or service mark, an IP lawyer can help you in a multitude of ways. If you want to grow your business, then protect your assets first. Find out what else we can do for you. Talk to our intellectual property lawyers by calling us at (954) 507-4500.

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