Protecting Words, Phrases, Names, Symbols & Logos
Comprehensive Trademark Practice
A trademark can be 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. STEVEN IVY P.C. specializes in trademark procurements. In addition, our law firm handles a wide range of other intellectual property issues, such as patents, copyrights, trade secrets and post-grant reviews.
The hallmark of our practice is personal service. Therefore, we work closely with our clients to ensure that their interests are properly protected. STEVEN IVY P.C. is servicing clients in several Illinois counties, including: Cook County, Lake County, DuPage County, Kane County, DeKalb County, Will County, McHenry County and Kendall County. Our clients can meet with us in eight Illinois locations, including: Chicago, Lisle, Northbrook, Oak Brook, Rosemont, Saint Charles, Schaumburg, and Warrenville.
Trademarks vs. Patents
Inventors obtain patents to prevent others from using, or commercially exploiting, their invention. The main focus is on prevention of unauthorized practical application of the newly developed technology. Trademarks, on the other hand, are not concerned with how a new technology is used. Rather, they protect names and logos of products and services, used to identify the source of goods or services and distinguish them from the competition. Be that as it may, patents and trademarks are frequently used in combination to protect various products. For example, a design patent may be used to protect the appearance of an item, and at the same time, a trademark may be used to distinguish this item in the marketplace.
Benefits of Trademarks
Trademarks rights are limited to two categories: goods and services. Goods and services, in turn, are divided into trademark classes. If you are applying for a trademark, you must define which specific class of goods or services your product fits into. Typically, to obtain a trademark you must be the first person to use such a mark in your class. This trademark will give you the right to prevent others, in the same class, from using the same (or similar) trademark. For example, you can create the mark, Apple, for personal computers, but you won’t be able to stop a company that adopts the same name for their running shoes. However, reserving a trademark alone is not enough, because the trademark rights vest upon usage. Therefore, to get a full trademark protection your mark must be used in commerce.
Using Trademark Symbols
Once your trademark is registered, you may start using the ® symbol. There is no legal requirement that the ® be used, but the failure to use it may limit the amount of damages that the trademark owner can recover in an infringement lawsuit. If your trademark hasn’t been registered, you may use the TM or SM symbol. The TM and SM have no legal significance other than to indicate the fact that the owner is claiming trademark rights.