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.
If you have a patent, you should be aware of what constitutes infringement of your patent and how to identify its occurrence. According to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, patent infringement may happen when someone makes, sells, uses or offers to sell a patented invention without the permission of the true patent owner. Additionally, patent infringement can also take place if a product or production method that is covered by a patent is imported into the U.S., again without permission of the owner of the patent. This means that you can be the victim of infringement for a long period of time without being aware there is even a problem.
Intellectual property consists of the ideas and inventions that businesses and individuals create for their own purposes. This property is legally protected from infringement under the copyright, patent and trademark laws currently in use in the U.S. At Millstone, Peterson & Watts, LLP, our staff knows that in many cases, infringement of intellectual property misappropriation can pass from the civil realm into a criminal matter.
If you have confidential business information that is central to your company’s success within your industry, that information may be considered a trade secret by California law. California is one of many states that has adopted the Uniform Trade Secrets Act, and it is this law that determines whether or not your business information may be protected. According to the statutes, this can include anything as unique to your business as a formula, or something as commonplace as your company’s customer list. In California, this may include any proprietary information that your employees may create.
In our post last week, we discussed the importance of symbols, logos and names in branding products. Many companies not only trademark their name but also a familiar design or logo associated with their brand. Humans inherently recognize symbols and patterns - a trait that companies have long been capitalizing on.
Imagine that you had the good fortune as an insightful and hard-working business entrepreneur to link the product or service you provide to the public with a mark that is instantly identifiable to the great majority of consumers.