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The cheapest easiest way to get exclusive rights on a business name and logo?

Slidell, LA |

i have a name and logo for a new business that i would like exclusive rights on. i was going online to do it and was adviced on one website to have legal representation to guarantee validity.

Attorney Answers 5

Posted

The cheapest, easiest way to secure rights is through a lawyer, which doesn't guarantee validity to anything, it just greatly increases your chances of success, especially when it sounds like you don't quite know what you need here.

"A name and logo" sound like you're looking for one or more trademarks, and since 1/2 of all TM applications get rejected by the USPTO, it's a very good idea to hire a lawyer for help, since choosing a viable and available trademark is the single biggest decision any business can make.

You need to know that just getting a trademark can take 6 months, or longer, and you only get the rights for the specific class(es) of goods and/or services that you use with the TM. Then, if you do manage to secure these TM rights, you have a continuing obligation to use the TM in commerce, and the continuing duty to police any misuses by others of your TM.

Disclaimer: Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on, since each state has different laws, each situation is fact specific, and it is impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship.

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Posted

The cheapest, easiest way to secure rights is through a lawyer, which doesn't guarantee validity to anything, it just greatly increases your chances of success, especially when it sounds like you don't quite know what you need here.

"A name and logo" sound like you're looking for one or more trademarks, and since 1/2 of all TM applications get rejected by the USPTO, it's a very good idea to hire a lawyer for help, since choosing a viable and available trademark is the single biggest decision any business can make.

You need to know that just getting a trademark can take 6 months, or longer, and you only get the rights for the specific class(es) of goods and/or services that you use with the TM. Then, if you do manage to secure these TM rights, you have a continuing obligation to use the TM in commerce, and the continuing duty to police any misuses by others of your TM.

Disclaimer: Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on, since each state has different laws, each situation is fact specific, and it is impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship.

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Posted

I guess the main question you need to ask yourself is whether you are looking for "cheapest and easiest" for the short run, or "cheapest and easiest" for the long run. While you might be able to secure some form of trademark rights for your name and logo on your own and reduce your costs, the chances that you will fail to obtain the full scope of the protection that is available, and the chances that you will later find that you are not protected are substantial. Hiring a qualified attorney with experience in trademark applications will ensure that you have selected a name and logo that are actually eligible for protection, can avoid costly and very time consuming problems with the application process, and can provide you with guidance on how to properly use your intellectual property to maintain your rights. Because the Patent and Trademark Office moves VERY slowly, a simple mistake in a trademark application can instantly double the application time.

In sum, this is very much like driving a car without insurance. Can you get away with it "cheaply and easily"? Yeah, but is it worth the risk?

NOTE: Because every legal matter is different, and cannot be addressed in the generalized content of a web site, you should not rely upon the information provided herein as legal advice, nor should you construe anything herein to be an offer to represent you. Legal advice can only come from a qualified attorney after having had an opportunity to become familiar with all of the specific facts and circumstances of a particular legal matter, and to apply or research the relevant law.

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Posted

EVERY business decision is an exercise in balancing risk. Doing nothing to mitigate risk is always the "cheapest easiest way" to do whatever it is that you want to do.

So, to answer your question, do nothing. Simply use the trade name and logo and press on doing your business.

The risk is quite high, however, that you'll be infringing someone else's trade name and/or trademark rights, that what you've selected for a trade name and trademark is not legally protectable, or, if it ever comes time to enforce whatever rights you develop in the name and mark, you will have to shoulder a very heavy evidentiary burden because you did not do any industry research beforehand or registered your rights properly or created an appropriate domain name portfolio. If infringing, you may, of course, have to pay monetary damages to the rightful trade name or mark owner and you will have to re-brand. This, in case it hasn't sunk in, is a sphincter-puckering amount of risk.

Branding your business properly is right up there as one of the MOST important business decisions you will ever make. Speak with a trademark attorney.

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Posted

You have been given good advice. You want to retain a trademark attorney to help you determine a variety of things: whether the marks you have chosen are available, whether there are similar marks in use that are confusingly similar, whether you should rely simply on securing common law rights (through use) or should effect state and/or federal registrations for your marks, the classes or categories of goods or services for which you should seek registration, etc. These are not issues on which you should go-it-alone.

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