In the last post, we discussed how individuals or corporate entities must understand that they can protect their intellectual property at both the federal and state level. By way of illustration, we began discussing how those seeking to protect their trademarks or service marks here in California can register either with the Secretary of State’s office.
As we've discussed on our blog, any individual or corporate entity can -- and should -- take steps to legally safeguard their intellectual property, starting with registering their creations with such federal entities as the U.S. Copyright Office or the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
Trademarks are another arm of the intellectual property world that help companies who want to protect their symbols, logos, names and goods. Applying for a trademark can be a difficult process, but eh legal protections it affords companies make it worth it in the end. But here's the question: how do you protect your trademark once you have earned it?
The U.S. Supreme Court will decide whether the Asian-American rock band The Slants can trademark their name. It has been previously deemed offensive by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
Whole Foods may very well be a healthy grocery store, but are they the worlds healthiest?
The Democratic National Committee (DNC) has created a mascot to taunt Donald Trump about not disclosing his tax returns. The character, called "Donald Ducks," looks similar to the Walt Disney character Donald Duck, but with blonde hair similar to Mr. Trump's. The mascot holds a sign that reads, "Donald Ducks Releasing His Tax Returns."
For many businesses, the most valuable asset is their brand. As such, it is important to put careful thought into choosing and protecting trademarks and designs that will identify you and your image in the eyes of your potential customers.
Watching television, reading magazines or just driving down the street, California residents are bombarded with the logos of fast food restaurants and retailers. Children begin to recognize these symbols from a young age. Therefore, if someone uses a substantially similar trademark, people could easily become confused. Trademark infringement not only affects consumers, but it affects the companies who have taken the time to build their reputations around their logos even more.
After an innovative new product hits the market and becomes a big success, it naturally follows that competitors will want to come up with a similar item to keep up. Sometimes, these new products cross the line and infringe on the trademark owned by the original product’s creator.
To prove trademark infringement, the allegedly aggrieved party must prove, among other things, that the defendant’s use of the trademarked material is likely to cause confusion among average consumers. In other words, if a consumer would see the plaintiff’s name or logo on a piece of the defendant’s merchandise and believe the item came from the plaintiff.