Understanding trademark protections

Glenn W. Peterson

If you or your company in California is interested in protecting your unique terms, products or inventions, you will want to understand the different types of registrations potentially available to you. As explained by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, copyrights are for protecting creative works such as literary writings, musical creations or even advertisements and other marketing deliverables. Patents protect inventions or processes. Trademarks protect a company name or logo, including a particular style of displaying such things.

When it comes to seeking a trademark, there is a very specific process that must be followed. This includes the need to file documents or take other actions at designed timeframes. Failure to follow the process may put your registration in jeopardy.

There are two essential things for you to know about trademarks once you have been granted one. The first is that a trademark is not granted for life. This means you will need to periodically update or maintain your registration to avoid it expiring or being cancelled. Planning an annual review of all marks is a wise idea. The other important point to know is that the USPTO is not responsible for making sure your mark is observed. You have the responsibility of enforcing your registration and pursuing action if you feel it has been violated.

If you would like to learn more about the different types of protections you may apply for with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, please feel free to visit the trademark and patent page of our California intellectual property website.