In our modern economy, a company’s trademarks (or service marks) often comprise an important and valuable asset of overall business. There are many marks for consumer products, such as food and beverages, that are estimated to be worth tens or even hundreds of millions of dollars. Stradley Ronon recognizes the value of this important asset and works with our clients to help select – and then to enhance, protect and enforce – those assets.
What Can Be Trademarked?
A mark is any word, name, symbol, logo or device (or any combination of these designations) used to identify and distinguish goods (trademarks) or services (service marks) offered by one entity from those offered by others. As an identifier, a mark symbolizes the quality and goodwill associated with the goods or services. Common law rights are created through use of the mark in commerce. Registration enhances and broadens the common law property rights created through use of the trademark.
Trademark registration is obtained from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, or the respective foreign trademark office, through an application and prosecution process. The enhancements accorded by federal registration include evidence of the validity of the mark and grant of an exclusive, nationwide right to use the mark. Once federal registration for a mark is obtained, it may thereafter be maintained through a renewal process so long as the owner continuously uses the mark in commerce.
Our Depth of Experience
Stradley Ronon’s trademark attorneys have extensive experience in the procurement of trademarks, having assisted clients during the selection, screening and clearance steps by reviewing detailed search reports and providing opinion analyses based upon the search results. Our attorneys have drafted and prosecuted trademark applications before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and, through our network of foreign associates, many international trademark offices.
We also advise clients in bringing or defending opposition and cancellation matters filed before the U.S. Trademark Trial and Appeal Board. Where infringement litigation is necessary to enforce a client’s trademark rights against others, or where litigation ensues against a client, we have successfully represented clients in commencing or defending claims of trademark infringement.
The depth of Stradley Ronon’s trademark experience goes beyond client matters. One of our attorneys has taught trademark law and unfair competition at Temple University Beasley School of Law since 1995. With our extensive experience in trademark prosecution and our depth of knowledge of trademark law, we are well-equipped to assist our clients in obtaining, maintaining and enforcing their trademark rights.