Trademarks (brands) are among the most valuable assets owned by a company. They include words, symbols or designs that identify and distinguish products or services from one source from those products and services provided by others. The basic reasons that trademarks are useful to the consumer and to a company is that they:

1. Identify and distinguish a product or service;
2. Serve as an assurance of consistency of quality;
3. Assist in advertising and promoting a product or service.

Without trademarks, a consumer might not be able to distinguish products of different manufacturers or quality products from mediocre imitations.

In the United States, trademark rights are created and acquired by adoption and use. Once adopted, a trademark should be used continuously in order to maintain rights in it. The owner of a trademark, however, can acquire additional advantages by registering the trademarks with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

In many countries, rights are acquired through registration alone, although subsequent use of them on products may be necessary to maintain these rights. Since trademark laws vary widely from country to country, they require careful study for international marketing programs.

Unlike patents and copyrights, trademark rights can last forever. But trademark rights can also be lost forever. Exclusive rights to trademarks are usually lost through careless and improper use, resulting in the trademarks becoming descriptive or generic words for products. In order to avoid this, trademark owners should:

1. use trademarks as adjectives;
2. Distinguish trademarks from common words;
3. Avoid changing or modifying trademarks.

We can explain trademark laws and practice to you. We offer our clients the following services related to trademarks:

Domestic and international development and implementation of branding strategies and enforcement;

Domestic and international trademark search reports, analyses, and opinions with regard to registerability, validity, use and infringement issues;

Preparation and filing of domestic and international trademark applications;

Prosecution of trademark applications before the United States Patent and Trademark Office and management of prosecution of trademarks before patent and trademark offices worldwide;

Appeals before the United States Patent and Trademark Office and the various appellate courts;

Trademark watch and maintenance services;

Transfer, assignment and licensing transactions for trademark properties.

If you would like more information or assistance regarding trademarks, please contact us at gwenn@onsidecounsel.com or 781.888.0424

OnsideCounsel is pleased to offer intellectual property portfolio overview and manangement services.  Our attorneys and staff will review your portfolio either at your facilities or remotely. Once the portfolio is reviewed, our management services will allow you to focus on what's important.... YOUR BUSINESS!

OnsideCounsel will audit your company to ensure that you are due-dligence ready.  Whether you are trying to get financing, prepare for a merger/acquisition or go public, it is important that your records are complete.