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Protect your company trademark

Trademarks are a valuable form of intellectual property that help businesses brand themselves in the eyes of the public. From slogans to images to taglines, companies can register many sorts of different identifiers as trademarks. But trademarks are no good to northern Kentucky entrepreneurs if someone else uses the trademark without permission. If unauthorized trademark use is not challenged, the trademark may become useless to the owner.

It is easy to think the heavy lifting is over once you have successfully filed your trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. However, Entrepreneur.com points out that your trademark can be devalued in a number of ways. For one thing, your own employees might not use the trademark in the proper manner. Third parties can also use the trademark in ways that infringe upon its rightful use. Laying out terms of use is one way to combat this kind of misuse.

However, a more common problem with trademark abuse occurs when other companies start using products with a brand name or slogan that resembles or outright duplicates your trademark. Some foreign companies will create products that rip off American manufactured goods and sell them overseas. In other cases, a product by a competitor may simply bear a trademarked logo that looks very much like yours but lacks a detail such as a slogan that usually accompanies the image.

It is important to contest early efforts to infringe upon your trademark. To make sure your chances in future litigation are successful, registering your trademarks carefully is a crucial first step. Do not try to trademark generic words, as a court will likely not recognize a trademark that is not distinctive. Make sure taglines and phrases used by your company are trademarked. You may also want to trademark part or all of your company's name. Proper research of existing trademarks will also help you to not accidentally register a trademark that is already owned by another party.

When you actually encounter a case of someone using your trademark, a common first step according to FindLaw is to send a cease and desist letter to the infringing party. This may be enough to stop the infringement, however, in some cases an infringing party may have already done a lot of damage or refuses to stop using the trademark. In this case you should have a qualified attorney to help you file a lawsuit to stop the infringement and recover damages.

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Gatlin Voelker,PLLC

Gatlin Voelker, PLLC
2500 Chamber Center Dr. Ste. 203
Fort Mitchell, KY 41017

Phone: 859-781-9100
Fax: 888-456-9179
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Call : 859-781-9100