Bay Area Law Firm Trusted for Trademark Protection and Litigation
Experienced Oakland attorneys help owners of logos, slogans and other marks
A memorable phrase, symbol or other unique mark can assure a product or service’s identity and marketability. Trademarks apply to products, while service marks apply to services. At Bay Oak Law in Oakland, we help California businesses to establish protections for the words and symbols that set their products and services apart. Our knowledgeable intellectual property lawyers act to protect holders from infringement and unfair competition. Business owners in the San Francisco Bay Area have relied on advice from our firm since 1998.
Skilled lawyers advise businesses on claiming rights to distinguishing marks
To deserve legal protections, a mark must be distinctive. When a person sees or hears the mark, they should be able to associate it with the product or service to which it is attached. The level of protection a trademark receives depends on how closely related the mark is to the attached product. Protection can be established either through the first use of a mark in commerce or the first registration of a mark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Though a trademark does not need to be registered to obtain protection, registration grants the owner the right to file an infringement lawsuit in federal court.
It is important to do research into existing trademarks before claiming one as your own. Otherwise, you may find yourself as the defendant in an intellectual property lawsuit. Our attorneys perform extensive trademark research. We also counsel clients on the level of protection they can expect to receive for their mark.
Reputable litigators manage trademark infringement and dilution claims
The illegitimate use of a trademark or service mark can result in unfair competition. Common types of misuse alleged in trademark litigation are:
- Infringement — If two marks are similar enough to create confusion among consumers, the newer mark may be found to infringe on the established mark.
- Dilution — The power of a mark may be weakened by its improper association with dissimilar goods or with lower quality products.
- Passing off — It is illegal to pass off an inauthentic product as the creation of another company or to pass off another company’s products as one’s own.
- Validity —Trademarks and service marks are valid for 10 years from the date of registration, although a statement of use has to be filed between the fifth and sixth years to keep the registration current. Marks can be renewed every five years. However, they can be lost if not continued in use. The original trademark holder may then be unable to enforce the rights they once held.
To protect our clients’ trademarks, we take advantage of the optimal remedies available, including mediation, arbitration and other forms of dispute resolution. When out of court settlement is not feasible, we will aggressively pursue your interests through litigation.
Contact knowledgeable Bay Area trademark infringement litigators today
Bay Oak Law in Oakland, California represents Bay Area business owners in the protection of trademarks and service marks. To schedule a free initial consultation with our firm, call us at 510-208-5500 or contact us online.