Trademarks can be an extremely valuable asset for businesses because they are often critical for establishing a business’ brand and maintaining brand integrity. Brand assets that may be trademarked include a company’s name, logo, and slogan. Trademarks are important intellectual property rights that businesses and individuals can potentially use for commercial purposes, which may include licensing agreements with other companies. When someone steals your trademark and tries to monetize it for their own benefit, it could have severe ramifications for your brand because consumers could become confused. Experienced Austin trademark attorneys can help you enforce a trademark by identifying knockoff products and warning the offending party of the possibility of legal action.
Email Tauler Smith LLP to schedule a free consultation about your Austin trademark case.
Texas Trademark Law
Before commencing with a trademark infringement claim in Texas, it is necessary to understand exactly what a trademark is and how it works. A trademark is similar to copyrights and patents in that they are all intellectual property rights. Where a trademark differs from copyrights and patents is in its unique application to a product or service’s name, slogan, logo, or other symbols and designs. (Copyrights protect works of authorship or other creative works, and patents protect formulas or designs.) A main purpose of trademark law is to ensure that consumers can trust that the products or services they purchase come from the expected source. When a company steals a trademark, it can cause consumers to confuse different brands. That’s when it may become necessary for a trademark holder to send a cease & desist letter to the offending party and, if that doesn’t work, bring a lawsuit in U.S. District Court.
Trademark Registration with the USPTO
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) processes trademark applications. Although common law protection for trademark does exist, it can still be a good idea to apply for a trademark with the USPTO. In fact, getting your trademark officially recognized and registered at the federal level comes with considerable benefits, including the ability to file a lawsuit for trademark infringement in federal court. Additionally, since trademark protection applies nationwide, trademark registration means that competitors in other states won’t be able to steal your brand. It is also possible to get international trademark protection through the Madrid Protocol, which is a worldwide trademark treaty.
Trademark Litigation in Austin, Texas
Tauler Smith LLP is a law firm that offers exceptional service and carefully tailored strategies to clients throughout Texas. If you need assistance with a trademark infringement lawsuit, or if you have been accused of trademark infringement, we can help you. Our Austin litigation team will examine your trademark and help you take steps to protect against infringement by competing businesses. We know how the trademark application and registration process works, and we also understand how to navigate the federal courts to enforce your intellectual property rights. Beyond that, we can assist you with trademark renewals and trademark licensing deals.
On the flip side of trademark enforcement is trademark defense. If you received a letter or email accusing you of violating someone else’s trademark, you could be exposed to significant liability. One way to avoid this is to have a trademark clearance search performed before you select a name, slogan, logo, or design for your company or product. Regardless of how diligent you are, however, it’s still possible that you will be targeted with an allegation of trademark infringement. This is when you are going to want an experienced Austin trademark attorney on your side to raise strong defenses.
Austin is one of the largest cities in Texas, with an area of 327 square miles and a population of almost one million people. Austin has a sizable Hispanic population, which accounts for more than 32% of all residents (315,000 people). Additionally, Austin has 67,000 African American residents and 87,000 Asian residents. Residents who use Austin’s roads can find them difficult to navigate due to congestion, particularly during the rush hour commute to and from work. According to at least one study, Austin has the worst traffic congestion of any city in Texas.
Several high-tech companies have headquarters in the Austin Round Rock area, which has earned a reputation as a technology hub in recent years. Some of the Fortune 500 companies with headquarters or regional offices in Austin include 3M, Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, IBM, Intel, Oracle, Tesla, Texas Instruments, and Whole Foods Market. Austin is also a popular spot for venture capital investors, as well as business incubators and accelerators looking to help startup companies grow financially strong. More than $1 billion is invested in Austin-based companies annually.