Frequently asked questions about trademarks

While there are no hard deadlines for filing for a trademark, you should apply for a trademark as soon as possible to avoid others copying your brand or coming up with a similar brand. As you prepare to protect your brand, here are some of the most frequently asked questions about trademarks.

1) Can I trademark more than one mark at the same time? 

  • You can only register one mark for each trademark application as each trademark application is examined separately for trademarkability. You will have to file separate applications for logos, business names, slogans, etc.

2) Can more than one company use the same trademark? 

  • Yes, companies can use the same mark in business as long as the products or services are not similar enough to cause confusion among customers.

3) How much compensation can I get if someone infringes my trademark? 

  • The amount of compensation your receive depends on the case. Courts usually award one or more of the following:
    • Profits related to the trademark 
    • infringement Damages related to your brand
    • Attorney costs and court fees

4) Can I register a trademark in my state? 

  • If you do business only within your state, then filing a trademark application with your state's secretary of state may give you enough protection. If you are using or plan to use the mark across the US, in multiple states, or online then you need a federally registered trademark with the USPTO.

5) Can I register an international trademark? 

  • An international trademark doesn't exist, but you can register a trademark in separate countries. Typically you will have to register your trademark in each country of interest.

6) What is a service mark? 

  • A service mark protects a business's services instead of its products and offers protection the same protection as a trademark for a product.

7) What is trade dress? 

A trade dress refers to a visual appearance of a product and/or packaging material that serves as a signal of the product's source.

8) What is a counterfeit? 

A counterfeit is a replica of a product from another company that includes a copy of a trademark and other features.

9) Do I need an attorney to register a trademark? 

You don't have to hire a lawyer, but doing so can help your case. Experienced attorneys know what makes a strong trademark and can help you file the right paperwork to protect your intellectual property. You'll have a higher rate of success if you get help from an attorney and the process may be much faster.

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