A trademark is commonly defined as any word, name, or symbol that can be used to identify the source of a product. Trademarks are a type of intellectual property that can be crucial to the success of your business because they allow customers to easily identify the source of the products they buy and to associate those products with your brand. As most Dallas trademark attorneys can tell you, this matters a great deal because customers need to have confidence that the product they are purchasing is, in fact, the one that they intended to purchase. Whether it’s your brand name, company logo, or slogan, you have made it possible for customers to know immediately that your products are distinct from the products offered by competing companies. All of this goes to your company’s reputation, and you have worked very hard to earn that reputation. That’s why you need to be vigilant about protecting your brand with trademark monitoring, trademark enforcement, and, if necessary, trademark litigation.
The Dallas attorneys at Tauler Smith LLP are ready to discuss your trademark case and make sure you understand your legal rights. Send us an email today to schedule a free consultation.
What Is the Trademark Law in Texas?
The words and symbols associated with your business may be exactly what customers use to determine whether they should purchase your products or services, or whether they should go to a competitor for those same products or services. You’ve invested time, money, and resources into building your brand and establishing a reputation. But what happens when someone else comes along and tries to confuse prospective customers by manufacturing and/or selling a similar item? The good news is that trademarks and service marks can go a long way toward protecting you legally and ensuring that competing businesses can’t simply steal your brand’s reputation and customer goodwill.
An experienced Dallas trademark attorney can help you determine whether it would be beneficial for you to file a state or federal application for trademark protection. Moreover, an attorney who understands the nuances of intellectual property law can also help you enforce your trademark when someone has violated it. This may involve sending a cease and desist letter to the offending party, and it could also mean taking legal action in state or federal court.
Enforcing Your Trademark in Federal or Texas State Court
You will need to be vigilant about protecting your trademark, which will require constant monitoring and enforcement. The reality is that competing companies are probably not going to alert you when they attempt to steal your trademark, so you have to be on the lookout for possible violations of your intellectual property rights. Once you’ve identified a trademark violation, you will then need to enforce your rights by putting the offending party on notice and possibly filing a trademark claim in federal or state court.
Tauler Smith LLP will aggressively represent you and protect your trademark against violations in Dallas or anywhere else in Texas. Our Dallas litigators are dedicated to handling cases involving trademark infringement, copyright infringement, and trade secret violations. We understand the complexities of IP law, particularly when the lawsuit involves Texas-specific issues. Whether you are a business owner, artist, inventor, or any other individual who needs assistance protecting your trademark, we can help you.
Registering Your Trademark in Texas
When it comes to protecting your trademark, the first step is usually to register it with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). This is especially important if the product is used in interstate commerce because you will have federal trademark protection. For a company in Dallas, you may also want to register the trademark with the Texas Secretary of State.
Official registration may be granted if the trademark meets the following requirements:
- You must show that the trademark is already in use in the state of Texas.
- You must establish that your trademark has distinctive qualities from other products already in use.
- You must show that the trademark won’t confuse customers due to similarities with another trademark that’s already been registered.
Importantly, state registration is not available for copyrights and patents. If you want to protect your copyright or patent by registering with a government agency, you will need to file an application with the U.S. Copyright Office for copyrights or with the USPTO for patents. A knowledgeable Dallas IP attorney can help you with the trademark application process and, if necessary, the appeals process after an initial denial. An attorney can look over your application before it is filed and make sure that all forms are properly filled out and all necessary documents are included.
Benefits of Trademark Registration
Common law trademark protection applies even when you don’t formally register with the USPTO. Although you do not technically have to register your trademark, registration does come with certain advantages. For example, you will be able to affix the “TM” trademark sign on advertisements and promotional materials, which may discourage anyone else from stealing your trademark. Additionally, trademark registration allows you to take legal action in either Texas state or federal court when someone violates your trademark. Beyond that, you will also be eligible to apply for international trademark protection.
About Dallas, Texas
Dallas has seen a surge in population, with more than 100,000 new residents in the last decade bringing the city’s total population to more than 1.3 million. Four major interstate highways pass through Dallas: Interstate 20 (I-20), Interstate 30 (I-30), Interstate 35E (I-35E), and Interstate 45 (I-45). Downtown Dallas is located in the center of the city, and it is the second-largest business district in the entire state.
There are more than 40 colleges and universities with campuses in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Some of the largest schools in the surrounding area include Southern Methodist University, the University of Dallas, and the University of Texas at Dallas. Additionally, Dallas has one of the country’s largest media markets, with a number of local newspapers, TV stations, and radio stations. The Dallas Morning News, founded in 1885, is the main paper serving the area. Other publications serving Dallas include the Dallas Observer, the Dallas Weekly, and Elite News. There are also more than 100 radio stations operating within range of the city.
Free Consultation with the Dallas Trademark Lawyers at Tauler Smith LLP
If someone has violated your trademark, you need to speak with an attorney who is ready to fight for your rights. The Dallas trademark lawyers at Tauler Smith LLP know just how important a trademark can be to your business, especially when it comes to sales revenues. We have extensive experience representing both plaintiffs and defendants in Texas intellectual property cases, so we understand how the legal system works. We will help you take immediate action to protect your trademark and minimize the damage that could be done to your business by the other party.