Sacramento Intellectual Property Law Blog

Glenn W. Peterson

On Behalf of | Apr 15, 2016 | Intellectual Property Litigation

When starting a company, it can be exciting and challenging to create a business trademark. A trademark is a logo, jingle, catchphrase or other feature that sets a Sacramento company apart from others. Trademarks are possibly the first thing that a customer identifies with a certain brand. For example, fans of a particular soft drink will immediately recognize their favorite brand’s logo and catchphrase.

Just as coming up with a trademark can be a creative process, it is important to realize that there are ways to infringe upon an existing trademark, which may result in legal action against the offender. To prevent this from accidentally happening, company owners should try to create a trademark that is unique and easily recognized as being different from others. According to the International Trademark Association, the following elements go into a solid trademark:

  • A stylized logo or pattern that catches the eye and attracts interest and may develop iconic value
  • A term or phrase that has no relation to other companies or people
  • An interesting phrase that is otherwise not related to the company’s products or services
  • A trademark that does not resemble others regionally or nationally
  • A phrase or symbol that does not unintentionally offend foreign clients

According to the Cornell University Law School’s Legal Information Institute, trademark owners may protect their rights to the trademark against infringement by proving their mark is valid and legally protected. They would also need to prove they own the trademark and that consumers could be confused or misled if the other party used a deceptively similar trademark.