Does the USPTO determine trademark infringement?
The USPTO examines trademark applications to determine if there is likelihood of confusion between the mark in the application and a previously registered trademark or another mark in a prior, pending application. If no conflict is found and all other statutory requirements are met, the examining attorney can approve the mark for publication. The USPTO has no powers of enforcement concerning the use of trademarks in the marketplace.
What if someone else is using my registered mark on related goods and services?
You may challenge use of your trademark by someone else in several ways, depending on the factual situation. You should consider contacting a law firm or attorney practicing in trademark law, such as Nyman IP at firstname.lastname@example.org or 312.724.9938. Time can be of the essence.
What are trademark monitoring and document filing services?
Applicants for federal trademark registration often receive unsolicited communications from companies requesting fees for trademark-related services, such as monitoring and document filing. Although solicitations from these companies frequently display customer-specific information, including USPTO serial number or registration number and owner name, companies that offer these services are not affiliated or associated with the USPTO or any other federal agency. Great caution should be exercised before paying any money to these solicitors. If you have hired a trademark attorney to assist with your federal trademark application, any correspondence you may receive directly (addressed to you, not your legal representative) should be treated with great suspicion.
Should I conduct a search for similar trademarks before filing an application?
It is advisable to conduct a search before filing your application. Registration of a mark by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is not guaranteed. A comprehensive trademark search allows a potential applicant to assess the trademark landscape for their proposed mark, providing insight to possible challenges with federal registration. Commissioning a comprehensive trademark search and option additionally allows a business or individual to identify and evaluate potential opposition or infringement issues, facilitating an informed decision as to whether to continue a branding strategy for a proposed mark. Nyman IP provides a comprehensive trademark search, analysis, and opinion package for clients desiring detailed knowledge of a proposed mark prior to embarking on extensive branding or marketing campaigns.
Should I hire an attorney?
The trademark application process is complex. Although not required, most applicants use private trademark attorneys for legal advice regarding use of their trademark, filing an application, and the likelihood of success in the registration process, since not all applications proceed to registration. A private trademark attorney (not associated with the USPTO) may help you avoid many potential pitfalls.
For more information relating to representation for preparation, filing, examining, and maintaining your federal trademark registration, contact a trademark law firm such as Nyman IP at email@example.com or 312.487.2532.
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United States Patent and Trademark Office, www.uspto.gov