Trademark Law

Trademark Basics from the USPTO - Hurdles to Filing a Trademark Application

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How do I protect my brand? It seems like a simple question, but it doesn't always have a simple answer.  One route of protection is through a trademark registration. The U.S. federal trademark application process can be confusing.  Here are a few things the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office believes all applicants need to know before they get started.

The Trademark Application Process is a Legal Proceeding

  • You may file a trademark application without an attorney. But, if you want legal advice you should consider an attorney that practices trademark law.
  • Foreign attorneys and non-attorneys who work for trademark filing companies are not permitted to advise you, help you fill out a form, sign documents for you, or take actions on your application for you.
  • Hiring someone who is not allowed by the USPTO’s rules to represent you can delay your application and jeopardize its validity.
  • You sign a trademark application under "oath." When you sign the application you are saying, "I swear what I state is true."

Your Trademark Application Must Meet Numerous Legal Requirements/Hurdles

  • Is your trademark federally registrable?
  • Can you properly identify your goods or services?
  • Can you identify the proper filing basis for your application?
  • Has your trademark been used in interstate commerce?
  • Who is the actual owner of the trademark?

To help you navigate the trademark process you can search the USPTO website for guidance and read the "Basic Facts About Trademarks" guidebook

More answers to your questions can be found on Texas trademark attorney Tamera Bennett's website here.

Protecting Your Business Trademark - Interview with Texas Trademark Lawyer Tamera Bennett

How Do I Protect My Business Trademark #trademark #intellectualproperty#createprotect Attorney Tamera H. Bennett

Whether you're a big or small business, you need to know how to protect your brand. Texas trademark lawyer Tamera Bennett was interviewed for Insureon to help business owners answer the following questions:

  1. Why do I have to defend my trademark?
  2. How can I protect my business from a trademark lawsuit?
  3. What do I do if my business is accused of trademark infringement?

Click here to read the full article and trademark attorney Tamera Bennett's responses.

When Your Legal Blog Takes On The World

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World dominance wasn't our goal. But, a little blog featuring current issues on trademark, copyright and entertainment law has readers from 128 countries.

One thing trademark lawyer Tamera Bennett enjoys is helping U.S. clients protect their trademarks and copyrights in foreign countries. Most people don't realize that a federal U.S. trademark registration does not extend to Canada, Mexico or other foreign countries.

When your brand is launching outside the United States of America, you need a plan for protecting your trademark in foreign countries. There may be certain benefits to timing the filing of trademark applications in foreign territories based on when you file a trademark application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Give Texas trademark lawyer Tamera Bennett a call when you are ready to take on the world.

New Trademark Filing Fees and New USPTO Website

Watch for info on using the new USPTO website.

The US Patent and Trademark Office launched their new website. The site, dedicated to the filing and prosecution of federal patent and trademark applications, provides a more user-friendly platform for filing documents and researching trademark applications and registrations. Watch the video above for a quick tutorial on the new trademark office website. I will say after further poking around the site, the back-end for searching TEAS and TSDR have not yet been revised.

Effective January 17, 2015, federal trademark application fees were revised into four filing classifications.

  • A paper trademark application is $375.00 per international class.
  • An electronic TEAS RF application is $275.00 per international class.
  • An electronic TEAS Plus application is $225.00 per international class.
  • An electronic TEAS application is $325.00 per international class.

Confused about which electronic application is right for you? Take a look at this video explaining when each application is appropriate.

Or, contact Dallas-area trademark attorney Tamera Bennett with any questions.

 

 

Top 2014 Entertainment, Trademark & Copyright Law Blog Posts

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Celebrating 2014 - Lawyer Tamera Bennett Shares the Fun From 2014

From a business and personal perspective, 2014 has just been a ton of fun. Making some decisions and implementing them on reducing stress and increasing productivity actually worked! I want to extend a big thank you to my friends, colleagues, referral sources and family for making it a fantastic year.

Here's a quick look at the fun stuff:

January - A great time at the Grammy Awards with my husband and son. And, the first ever Entertainment Law Update Podcast Happy Hour in Beverly Hills with my co-host, film and TV lawyer Gordon Firemark.

February - Great kick-off to hosting lunches in and around Dallas for Women In IP. Our group usually meets in Frisco/Plano. Let me know if you are female attorney, paralegal or support staff in trademark, copyright or patent law. You are always welcome to join us.

March - I took a sabbatical from SXSW (scary, but I did it) and had an amazing Spring Break vacation with my husband, son and family friends.

April - My first article in the TEXAS LAWYER was published. I attended the Christian Women In Media Annual Conference.

May - The long-awaited new website launched that combines my blog and website all in one spot. And, adds Law Pay as a great service to our clients for paying their bills online. Woot!

June - Hosted Third Annual Beach Chic party for a group of wonderful ladies.

July - Paris and London, baby. From the Beatles to Harry Potter to the Eiffel Tour. Trip of a lifetime. Honored to speak at the Roaring Lamb's Christian Writer's conference on copyright law and book publishing.  Second article published in the TEXAS LAWYER.

Grammy Future Now - 2014 - Austin

Grammy Future Now - 2014 - Austin

August - In a crazy pursuit to prepare to hike at Philmont Scout Ranch in July 2015, I committed myself to getting in shape with Crossfit Coppell Central.  I'm still going strong and actually really love it. Personal best bench press is 100 pounds. Honored to moderate a panel for the Texas Grammy Chapter at the annual professional development event.

September - Had a fun time presenting to the Flower Mound Bar Association on "Yes, Your Clients Own Trademarks (copyright and patents, too)".

October - Shooting hoops on the Dallas Mavericks practice court as "team building" for the Texas Chapter Grammy Board.

November - Watching our son's high school marching band compete at the Texas UIL State Marching Band finals and winning 6th at the Bands of America Marching Band Grand Nationals. Speaking at the TexasBarCLE Entertainment Law Institute CLE on trademark fair use and publishing an article on the same topic in the TEXAS LAWYER newspaper.

December - Teaching the Law Merit Badge to a group of Boy Scouts that cannot wait for the Mock Trial that I know will be a highlight of January 2015! Preparing my heart during Advent and celebrating Christmas.

Celebrating 8 Years of Create Protect - Current Trends In IP and Entertainment Law Blog

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Eight years ago, in December 2006, music and trademark lawyer Tamera Bennett wrote her first blog posts.

More than 460 posts later, her blog covering current trends in IP (trademark & copyright) and entertainment law matters is still going strong.  Thank you to the readers. Feel free to drop us a note in the comments section or from the Contact Us page on any topics you would like to see in 2015 on the Create Protect blog.

Episode 57 - Entertainment Law Update Podcast - Tamera Bennett & Gordon Firemark

Click the arrow below to play the Entertainment Law Update Podcast Episode 57

Dallas Music and Trademark lawyer Tamera Bennett and LA Film and TV lawyer Gordon Firemark bring you the updates on copyright, trademark and entertainment law matters in their monthly podcast by entertainment lawyers for entertainment lawyers. Listen this month to see if there are any "Blurred Lines" or blurred photos.  You might hear the strains of "Rocky Top" and decide you need some sassy new shoes.


What Is The Difference Between A Trademark and A Copyright?

The terms trademark and copyright are often used interchangeably. In fact, they refer to two distinct types of intellectual property. It's important for a business owner to know the difference between a trademark and copyright because the law protects them differently.

A trademark is a word, phrase, symbol or design, or a combination of words, phrases, symbols or designs, that identifies and distinguishes the source of the goods of one party from those of others. Examples of well-known trademarks include NIKE, CHANEL and ZYRTEC.

A copyright is an original work of authorship fixed in a tangible medium of expression. This includes a song, book, photograph, painting or sound recording.

In the United States, you begin to have common law rights in a trademark when you use the trademark on your product or to promote your service. Click for more details on the trademark selection and registration processes.

A copyright is only protected once you express your idea in a tangible way. Meaning you write down the music and lyrics to your song or you paint your masterpiece.  Click here to learn more about copyright protection.

Neither trademark or copyright law protect an idea. 


Denton Trademark Lawyer Tamera Bennett Guest On Marketing Podcast

Texas trademark lawyer Tamera H. Bennett joins host Nick Augustine on the LawTalkRadio Podcast and shares tips for marketing and branding firms who want to avoid trademark pitfalls and lawsuits.

Topics covered in the 30 minute interview:

  • Tell us a little about yourself and why you chose to practice trademark law;
  • Describe a typical client and the trademark services your firm provides;
  • For marketing and branding firms, what are some trademark pitfalls?
  • What can happen if a creative firm/client gets sued for TM infringement?
  • How do you help trademark owners learn how to leverage their marks?
  • Do creative firms frequently use trademark lawyers for their client work?
  • Are there any resources you recommend to people who want to learn more?

Tamera H. Bennett is a wife, mom, lawyer, mediator, blogger, podcaster, and legal writer. With fifteen years in law practice, Tamera guides clients in licensing of materials to and from third parties. In addition to music licensing, trademark application prosecution and trademark licensing agreements, Tamera advises clients on co-branding, product placement, endorsement and sponsorship agreements. 

Bennett Law Office, PC , 132 West Main Street, Lewisville, Texas 75057, Phone: (972) 244-3210, Website Link

Sponsor: Members’ Choice Federal Credit Union on Unicorn Lake Boulevard.  You may be eligible to join if you live, work, worship or attend school in Denton or Argyle, Texas.

Learn more about Nick and Lone Star Content Marketing by clicking here.

5 Tips to Find the Perfect Trademark Lawyer

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What's wonderful in this day-in-age is that lawyers develop niche practice areas. Yes, there are still general practice lawyers out there. If you're looking for a trademark attorney to help you register a trademark or protect your brand, look for an attorney who works with trademark law everyday.

So, how do I find the right trademark lawyer for me?

Ask for a referral | 

Speak to a trusted adviser or business colleague and see who they recommend.  Call up your accountant or your divorce lawyer and see if they have a recommendation for a local trademark attorney.

Contact the local county bar association |

Denton, Dallas, Tarrant and the surrounding counties here in Texas have local bar associations that attorneys join. Most of these organizations have a referral network and can connect you with a trademark lawyer in the Dallas Metroplex area.

Search the web |

Search the web for trademark attorneys in your geographic area.  You don't always have to go to the "big city" to find a quality attorney that is helpful and cost-effective. As an example, in my area many people search for a dallas-trademark-attorney.  When in fact they might live or work in Lewisville, Flower Mound, or Denton and would drive right past my office to get to Dallas.  If you search local, you might find the perfect trademark lawyer in your neighborhood.

You don’t always have to go to the “big city” to find a quality trademark attorney that is helpful and cost-effective.

Ask questions when you contact the office | 

Most likely you'll speak to a trademark paralegal or associate attorney on your first inquiry to the office. While "how much does a trademark cost?" is an important question, it's not the only question.

Consider asking what percentage of the lawyer's practice is trademark law. 

Ask how long the lawyer has been practicing law. 

Ask what all is included in the fee quoted. There can often be post-filing expenses in the trademark application process and you need to know what is included in your fee. 

If you live in a state where trademark lawyers are Board Certified, then ask if the lawyer is Board Certified in Trademark or Intellectual Property law.  Texas does not offer board certification in either area. 

Ask if you can take care of all your business over the phone and email.  Traveling to and from the lawyer's office might not be feasible for you.

Ask yourself if this lawyer is a good fit for my business |

You know better than anybody if your personality clicks with the trademark lawyer. Take a moment and ask yourself if you would like to continue to work with this trademark lawyer over the next several years.


Free Legal Resources for Trademark, Copyright, Patent Law

As lawyers and law students it is wonderful to find free legal research resources. Thank you to authors James Boyle and Jennifer Jenkins for pining Intellectual Property: Law & the Information Society—Cases and Materials. The free case book is current through 2014. You will need to purchase the casebook to receive the 2015 updates.

This book is the first in a series of Duke Open Coursebooks provided for free.  There is also a companion book including selected code sections for the Copyright Act, Trademark/Lanham Act and Patent Act.

Please read the license included with the books/materials.

This post contains an affiliate link. That means if you click the link and buy something, I may receive a benefit.