Whether you’re an entrepreneur, artist, author, or photographer, you will need to protect your brand or company name
Taking steps to secure your name, brand, logo, or work is an important aspect of protecting your investment.
A trademark lawyer Los Angeles can get you there…
If you have any questions about getting your trademark registered, you can email me Sam Mollaei Esq., Trademark Lawyer, directly at [email protected]
As you can imagine, if you created something and everybody had the right to use it without paying you, not very many people would go through the trouble of creating anything.
There are 3 intellectual property rights:
Trademark protects the names, symbols or slogans for products or services that you sell.
Copyright protects your writings and art.
And Patent protect your inventions.
With that understanding, let’s review each basic principles of intellectual property…
What is Trademark?
Trademark is any word, name, symbol, design, device, or any combination used to identify products or services and distinguishes the sources of the services or goods back to the owner.
A trademark identifies the source of goods and lets the public know that the good or service comes from you and not from someone else.
Trademark allows your customers to trust your brand and name.
Trademark law can be used to protect names, designs, logos, slogans, symbols, colors, packaging, containers, or any other marks used by businesses to identify the sources of their goods and services.
A trademark owner has the exclusive rights to use its mark to identify its product or service.
This allows a trademark owner to prevent others from using the same or confusingly similar mark to identify the same or similar products or services.
For example, a mark for a clothing line stops other from using the same mark for clothing, but a car manufacturer can still use it.
What Are the Benefits of Trademark Registration?
Registering your Trademark has the following 8 benefits:
1. Legal presumption that you are the owner of the mark.
2. Legal presumption that you have the exclusive right to use the mark.
3. Puts public on notice of ownership of the mark.
4. Your mark will be listed on USPTO‘s website which means that others can find your marks when searching the database to see if their mark is available. The existence of your mark in the database can help others avoid a mark that is similar to yours.
5. Gives you the ability to record registration with U.S. Customs & Border Protection. This will prevent importing of marks that could infringe your mark.
6. Right to bring legal action concerning mark in federal court.
7. You will have the ability to use trademark registration as basis for foreign filing. This will allow you to get worldwide protection should your business expand.
8. Able to use federal trademark registration symbol ®. This symbol indicates that you have federally registered your trademark with the USPSTO. It puts the public on notice that your mark is registered and that you have nation-wide rights in it.
How Long Does Trademark Protection Last?
Registered Trademarks are protected for a period of 10 years. Trademarks are also able to get renewed indefinitely.
How Can a Trademark Lawyer Help Get My Trademark?
Sam mollaei, Esq., Trademark Lawyer
I help entrepreneurs save time, money, and aggravation as they navigate the complexities of trademark registration. I also help them avoid costly legal mistakes in the selection and use of their trademarks.
Most trademark applicants use a trademark lawyer for filing an an application, and for receiving legal advice regarding the use of trademark.
A trademark attorney may help you avoid potential legal drawbacks. Common legal assistance that a trademark lawyer can provide with your trademark needs include:
If you decide to apply for Trademark registration, I can register your trademark. All you have to do is email me at [email protected] to get started…
Trademark registration is obtained from the United States Patent & Trademark Office to help protect your brand. Trademark registration has many advantages such as creating a legal presumption of ownership and the right to sue for infringement should an infringement occur.
Registering your mark will help prevent others from potentially selecting a confusingly similar mark. Trademark registration will also allow you to place a “®” mark next to your brand name and indicates that you have federally registered your trademark. Thus, registration is the most important step in protecting your trademark.
Trademark Clearance Search
A trademark lawyer can do a Trademark Clearance Search before you choose a name, logo, or slogan for your business.
Search of federal and state trademark registration databases for similar marks that are used on related goods or services before filing. Our search tells if your mark or a similar mark is already registered or is awaiting registration.
This prevents a trademark application from being rejected by the Untied States Patent & Trademark Office and prevents a possible infringement lawsuit. Please note, the USPTO does not conduct trademark searches. Thus, it’s crucial for a trademark lawyer to do a trademark search before you choose a mark.
Cease and Desist Letter
A document written by an entertainment lawyer sent to an infringer to halt purportedly unlawful activity. The letter warns that if the infringer does not cease and desist by the deadline specified in the letter, that party may be sued.
A trademark lawyer is able to offer legal advice regarding the use of your trademark, filing an application, and the likelihood of success in the registration process. Further, a trademark attorney may help you prevent legal pitfalls that can occur in the future.
You may not realize it, but you – and everyone around you – interacts with trademarks every single day. Why?
Well, it is because trademark is really just a proper and official synonym for the word brand.
Whether you are a singer, graphic designer, artist, photographer, writer, or business owner, trademarking your intellectual properly is important.
Furthermore, it isn’t very expensive either! And, this is especially true if you get the right kind of trademark lawyer to lend you a hand. I’m experienced and affordable – just send me an email at [email protected] and we’ll get started.
What Can Be Trademarked?
Before you learn the costs of trademarking, you probably want to know what can be trademarked in the first place.
Almost anything can be a trademark – invented words, dictionary words, slogans, phrases, logos, colors, shapes, and names all qualify for trademarking.
Basically, the identity of the trademark is more important than getting caught up in the details of what can be trademarked. The trademark distinguishes your business from another, so it has to be unique.
There are three types of trademarks:
Service marks and trademarks: Words, phrases, or symbols that define a company’s services or goods. Service marks are for services while trademarks are for goods.Certification marks: Are characteristics of a product, such as a t-shirt that’s 100% cotton.Collective marks: Work just like trademarks but apply the trademark to a group instead of an individual business.
When it comes to trademarking, there are some things that are really tough to trademark. In this case, you should consult with me Sam Mollaei Esq., Trademark Lawyer, at [email protected] to determine if you’ll be able to obtain the trademark.
Some things you may have a tough time trademarking include:
Generic namesGeographic names Descriptive names that aren’t distinguishableSurnames for a product
Then there are things that can’t be trademarked:
Government insignia or symbolsVulgar/disparaging phrases or wordsGeneric terms or phrasesProper names or a likeness of a person without their consentThe likeness of a former or current United States presidentSounds or motifs (should be copyrighted instead)Deceptive, immoral, or scandalous symbols or words
How Much Does It Cost to Trademark a Name?
There is no cut and dry answer in regard to how much it will cost to trademark a name. This is because the answer varies based on a number of different things.
For example, what type of registration do you need? How complicated is what you are trying to trademark? And, what method of trademarking are you going to use?
The answers to each of these questions will ultimately decide how much it costs to trademark a name. The brightside is – regardless of your answers – you aren’t going to experience too much of a price sticker shot. Why? Well, it’s because trademarking isn’t nearly as pricey as it sounds.
The best first step for you is contacting a trademark lawyer to determine the trademark attorney cost and process.
In total, there are three different trademark application/filing fees including:
TEAS Plus – $225 per class of goods/servicesTEAS Reduced Fee (TEAS RF) – $275 per class of goods/services; orTEAS Regular – $400 per class of goods and services
Determining exactly how much a trademark is going to cost can be a bit unclear. The final number is calculated depending on what kind of goods or service you are trying to slap a trademark named on.
Furthermore, the trademark lawyer you hire is factored into the cost. Sure, a trademark lawyer is going to take care of all the hard work. He or she is going to weave through all of the paperwork.
Now, a typical trademark lawyer would charge you an hourly rate. I, however, believe in doing things differently. I prefer to bill my trademark clients using a flat-rate. I believe this is more transparent when it comes to the filing fees and some of the other costs associated with getting that trademark.
What is the Federal Filing Fee for a Trademark?
The federal registration filing fee for a trademark is one of the more expensive costs, starting at $275, because it will provide your trademark with all of the benefits that a state filed trademark would not have.
Furthermore, a federally trademark named just allows your business name to be recognized all across the U.S. instead of just in the state you reside in. This can be extremely beneficial if you are trademarking the name of a business you intend on building a website for to sell services or products to people from all over the U.S.
Basically, a federal trademark is ideal for anyone who doesn’t just want their name to be local.
The starting point for the federal trademark registration is $275 if you file online. This, however, does not include other fees – such as your attorney expenses.
How Much Does it Cost to Trademark a Logo?
The cost to trademark a logo is anywhere from $275 to $600, not counting legal fees.
If you are looking for a more budget friendly option, you do have the choice to only register your trademark with your state for a cheaper price of $50-$150. State registration doesn’t provide as much protection as federal registration does.
It’s important to hire a lawyer who can not only help you determine how much does it cost to trademark a logo, but can also do a search to make sure you can trademark your logo or business name.
How Much Does it Cost to Trademark a Business Name?
To trademark a business name, it costs between $275 and $325 for the filing fees. Additionally, you’ll need to pay attorney fees, state fees of $100-$200, and maintenance fees as needed in the future.
In order to trademark a business name, you have to have a formal business entity with a registered name in your state. If you are a sole proprietor, you can do this by filing a fictitious name, which is also called a doing business as (DBA) name.
You’ll apply for a trademark with the USPTO electronically or by paper. It’s important to point out that an electronic application is much faster and preferred over paper.
If you’re going to use your name for more than one class of services or goods, you’ll have to pay a fee for each. For example, if you want to sell software as well as web services, you’ll have two fees.
If you’re unsure about how to determine the cost of your trademarking needs, contact me at [email protected] and I can provide a quote.
How Much Does it Cost to Trademark a Slogan?
A slogan is a word or phrase typically associated with a business, product, or service and the fee for trademarking your slogan is $325-$375 depending on how you file.
Considering a slogan is technically intellectual property and part of branding, it is not uncommon for a slogan to be trademarked.
How Do You Trademark a Slogan?
In order to trademark your slogan, it must be connected to your brand. If your brand and slogan are not connected in some way – you cannot trademark it.
If you aren’t sure whether or not your slogan can be trademarked, an intellectual property lawyer – such as myself – could lend you some assistance. Technically, there are just a few steps to getting your slogan trademarked.
Step One: Make sure the slogan is available. You can only trademark a slogan if it hasn’t been trademarked by someone else. This just involves checking the online database that belongs to the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Fortunately, this is also something a lawyer could help you with.
Step Two: You will either obtain a hard copy of the application or you will visit the United States Patent and Trademark Office website to fill out the application online.
Step Three: Fill out the application as completely as possible. Then, you just have to pay the necessary filing fees. To date, it costs roughly $325 to file your trademark online or $375 if you decide to file with a paper application.
If the slogan you are using is utilized with more than one type of product or service, you will have to pay extra filing fees. Naturally, it is also important to keep in mind that filing fees are nonrefundable.
Finally, you just have to wait for your trademark application to be processed. As long as you paid your fees and filled out the paperwork properly, your slogan trademark should be registered with the online database once the paperwork is processed.
To being the process of trademarking your slogan, email me at [email protected] today.
How Much Does it Cost to Trademark a Product?
To trademark a product, you will pay $325-$375 for the filling fees and additional attorney fees as applicable.
Trademarking a product is considered branding that product. For example, Nike’s swish check mark is how they trademark their products.
An attorney can do a search to determine if you can trademark your invention or mark and then file the right applications to make sure your trademark has the best chance of approval.
How Much Does it Cost to Trademark a Design?
To trademark a design, you’ll pay between $275 and $325 for the filing fees and any applicable attorney fees.
There are many types of designs that can be trademarked, but you should check with a lawyer to be sure that your design can.
Some of the types of designs that can be trademarked include product designs, color schemes, logos, packaging design, or label design.
Your design must be unique to be trademarked.
To apply for a trademark for a design, you’ll need to follow the process of applying for a trademark. This process is the same for any trademark, but there are a few unique design related pieces to be aware of:
Your application must include an image of your design.You have to decide if you want to trademark the design in black and white or in color. It’s important to know that choosing black and white allows you protection for any color in the future, but choosing a certain color scheme locks you into those colors.
The process may take several months, but once your trademark is approved, you are protected.
How Much Does it Cost to Trademark a Phrase?
It costs $275 to $325, plus attorney fees, to trademark a phrase.
Trademarking a phrase is the same process as trademarking a slogan. It’s something you want to do if you come up with something unique that you want your business to be known by.
The phrase must be unique or have a distinctive meaning, which will be your job to prove in order to get a trademark.
How Much Does it Cost to Trademark a Brand Name?
To trademark a brand name, it costs between $275 and $325 for the filing fees. Additionally, you’ll pay applicable attorney fees, potential state fees of $100-$200, and maintenance fees in the future.
Trademarking a brand name is the same as trademarking a business name. The terms are interchangeable because your business is your brand and your brand is your business.
Trademark Maintenance Fees
To keep your trademark alive, you will have to pay trademark maintenance fees. It’s currently $100 at year 5 and then an additional $500 at year 10 and every 10 years after.
At year 5, you have to file out what’s called a Declaration of Use of Mark in Commerce, also known as Section 8 and pay the $100 fee.
At year 10 and every 10 years after, you’ll file a Combined Declaration of Use of Mark in Commerce and Application for Renewal of Registration of a Mark under Section 8 & 9, also known as Section 8 and 9, and pay the $100 fee for Section 8 and the fee of $400 for Section 9.
That sounds confusing, so let’s break it down:
5 years after your trademark, you’ll have to renew it using Section 8 and paying a $100 fee. If you don’t do this before the 6th year, you’ll have 6 additional months to take care of this, but it will cost you an extra $100 penalty.
Then, at year 10, you’ll renew with Section 8 again and pay that same $100 fee. Plus, you’ll need to fill out Section 9 and pay a $400 fee for that.
Every 10 years after, you’ll fill out Sections 8 and 9 and pay the $500 to keep the trademark alive.
Trademark Cost Per Class
The trademark cost per class is $275.
The class means the types of goods or services the trademark will apply to. A trademark only applies to one class unless you specify and pay for additional classes.
You may need this if you plan to sell different types of products or services and want the trademark to apply to them all.
There are 45 classes:
- Cleaning Substances
- Industrial Oils
- Common Metals
- Hand Tools
- Computers and Scientific Devices
- Medical Supplies
- Precious Metals
- Musical Instruments
- Paper Goods
- Rubber Products
- Leather Goods
- Building Materials
- Household Utensils
- Ropes and Textile Products
- Yarns and Threads
- Lace and Embroidery
- Games and Sporting Goods
- Meat, Fish, and Poultry
- Coffee, Flour, and Rice
- Grains and Agriculture
- Beers and Beverages
- Alcoholic Beverages
- Tobacco Products
- Advertising and Business Services
- Insurance and Finance Services
- Construction and Repair Services
- Telecommunications Services
- Shipping and Travel Services
- Material Treatment Services
- Education and Entertainment Services
- Science and Technology Services
- Food Services
- Medical and Vet Services
- Legal and Security Services
As you can see, it’s quite an exhaustive list and you may even need multiple classes to cover a small product or service line.
How Do I Select a Strong Trademark?
A strong trademark allows you to prevent third-parties from using your mark.
When it comes to selecting a strong Trademark, two factors come into play: likelihood of confusion and strength of the mark.
Likelihood of confusion exists when the marks are similar and the goods or services are related in such a way that consumers believe that they come from the same source.
Likelihood of confusion occurs when two key elements are present: 1. Marks and similar, and 2. Goods and services are related.
Marks are similar when the marks look like, sound alike, have similar meanings, or create similar commercial impressions. Further, good and services are related when consumers mistakenly believe the goods and services come from the same source.
Note that the marks and the goods do not need to be identical; they only need to be similar and related.
The strength of a trademark is determined based on a 4-part gradient:
- Generic Terms – Common, everyday names; incapable of identifying source. They are the weakest mark and are not able to be registered (i.e.- “TEA” for a mark for teas).
- Descriptive Terms – Merely describe a feature or quality of the goods or services, and don’t identify and don’t distinguish the good or services. Although these are warmer than generic terms, these are not able to be registered (i.e.- “Yummy Yogurt” for a mark for yogurt shop).
- Suggestive Terms – Suggest qualities and characteristics of goods or services without actually describing them. These are mostly able to be registered (i.e.- “Quick N’ Easy” for a mark for microwaves).
- Arbitrary Terms – Creative or unusual terms that are inherently distinctive and the source is identifiable. They are the easiest mark to protect and are able to be registered (i.e.- “Argo” for a mark for an insurance agency).
Further, there are other factors that may prevent your mark from getting registered. These include when the mark is a surname, geographically descriptive, deceptive, disparaging or offensive, misspelling of descriptive or generic wording, name or likeness, title of a single movie or movie, and ornamental and decorative terms.
Contract a trademark attorney if you have any questions about whether you can trademark your mark.
Sam Mollaei, Esq. Trademark Lawyer
- A trademark is a legal protection for your name, brand, logo, or slogan
- Trademark registration provides nationwide protection
- Select a mark that is strong and not likely to cause confusion
- Hiring a trademark attorney is highly recommend
- And remember, your trademark is the face of your business
Obtaining a trademark to protect your name, idea, or design is a good idea, but it’s not something you should try to do alone because the process is complicated and can easily be done wrong rendering your trademark useless.
Additionally, you need to be aware of the maintenance requirements and fees because the USPTO doesn’t send out a notice letting you know it’s time to renew.
The best thing you can do for your trademark is to hire a lawyer to make sure you can even trademark it in the first place and then file the required paperwork for you. The lawyer will also make sure you’re aware of your future obligations to keep the trademark valid.
I understand you want to save as much money as possible, but this isn’t an area to do so if you want to have a long-lasting, valid trademark. The good news is that I’m reasonably priced and fully transparent. You’ll receive a no-obligation quote before we ever do any work.
Contact me, Sam Mollaei Esq., Trademark Lawyer, at [email protected] to get started with your trademark registration.
What is Copyright?
Copyright is a form of legal protection that protects original, artistic and literary works.
Copyright gives the creator the exclusive right to its use and distribution with the intention of allowing the creator to receive compensation for his or her intellectual effort.
Copyright protects a work from the time it is created in a fixed form.
Copyright protects any kind of art, including musical works (including lyrics), literary works (books, articles, blog posts), dramatic works (plays, tv scripts, screenplays, plays), photographs and illustrations (paintings, drawings, graphic designs), motion pictures and videos, and sound recordings.
The owner of a copyright has the exclusive rights to:
- Make copies of the work
- Make derivatives or revisions (modifying work to produce new work)
- Distribute or publish the work (giving someone your work under a license)
- Perform the work in public, or
- Display the work in public.
What is “Work Made For Hire?” & How Does it Apply to Me as an Employee or Employer?
Generally, the person who creates a work is considered the copyright owner.
However, there is an exception to the general rule called the
Work Made for Hire which means that if a work is made for hire, the employer is considered the copyright owner even if the employee actually created the work.
In order to be defined as “work made for hire,” the work must be prepared by an employee within the scope of his or her employment. Further, the parties must expressly agree in a written contract that the work is considered a work made for hire.
Please note that in most cases, this principle applies only to full-time employees. If you are an independent contractor, you work will be covered under the “work made for hire” doctrine only if your contract says so.
What is Copyright Infringement?
Ensuring that your work is copyrighted is essential.
Copyright Infringement occurs when someone copies or exploits a work without the copyright owner’s permission.
Infringement is the equivalent of stealing physical property.
To be infringing, the infringer’s work need not be identical. The standard for infringement is whether the work is “substantially similar” to the original work.
“Substantially similar” means that an average person perceiving the two works would recognize that the “artistic expression” was copied from the other.
There is a lot of vagueness regarding the concept of “artistic expression.” “Artistic expression” means the specific artistic courses of action and details that go into a work but not general concepts such as subject matter to similar artistic style.
What is the Fair Use?
Fair Use is the defense against a claim of copyright infringement.
The following items are usually deemed fair use and thus may be a defense to Copyright infringement:
- Criticism and Commentary – Critique of a copyrighted work, such as a book review, may require excerpts from the book.
- Parody – parodying an artist work is considered fair use; i.e.- YouTube parodies.
- News Reporting – Copyrighted material is needed to explain a news event to the public
- Research and Scholarship – A work contributing to research and educational purposes may require using other’s copyrighted reference material and may be considered fair use.
- Non-profit Educational Uses – Teachers and instructors may use copyrighted materials to instruct their students for educational purposes.
Do I Need to Copyright My Work?
You are not required to register your work for copyright. Copyright is secured automatically when the work is fixed in a tangible form.
While registration of the work with the Copyright Office is not required for copyright protection,
Copyright may confer advantages including the ability to sue for infringement, and helping you secure statutory damages and attorney fees.
Early copyright registration is the best proactive step you can take to ensure that you will have the full protection should an infringement occur.
How Can a Copyright Lawyer Secure Copyright Protection?
A copyright lawyer can also help license your work which is an agreement between you and a brand to help you make money for your work.
Further, Cease and Desist letters are very common methods that prevents unlawful infringement of your work.
Also, a copyright can also help with your marketing goals in order to attain the biggest fan base for your work that you deserve.
Copyright assistance includes help with any of the following:
- Registration – There are important benefits that are gained by registering a work. Registration makes it easier to prove that you own the work and to legally pursue infringement if they occur.
- Licensing – This is a contractual agreement between the copyright owner and user who wants to use the brand in association with a product for an agreed period of time. Having a license helps produce revenue for your creative work.
- Cease and Desist – Also known as an “infringement letter” is a document sent to an individual or business to halt purportedly unlawful activity and not take it up again later. The letter warns that if the infringer does not cease and desist by the deadline specified in the letter, that party may be sued.
- Marketing – We can help you exploit and market your copyright material so you can attain the greatest audience for your work. The bigger the audience for your work, the more successful.
A copyright lawyer is able to offer legal advice and service regarding the use of copyright, filing a registration, licensing, cease and desist letters, and marketing. Further, a copyright attorney may help prevent legal problems before they occur.