Trademarks and Copyright Matters in Orlando and Across Florida

A trademark includes any word, name, symbol, device, or any combination, used or intended to be used to identify and distinguish the goods/services of one seller or provider from those of others, and to indicate the source of the goods/services. Registration of a mark is not mandatory but it does provide some advantages.

What is a Trademark?

A trademark is any word, name, symbol, design or any combination of those, used to identify and distinguish one person's goods from another's.
A service mark is basically the same thing as a trademark, but it is used to distinguish intangible services rather than products or goods
Collective membership marks are trademarks or service marks used by a collective group or organization and includes marks used to indicate membership in some association or organization
A certification mark is any word, name, symbol or design, or any combination of those who certifies the goods and services of others when they meet certain standards. The owner of the mark exercises control over the mark, but others may use it.

Do I need to Trademark my product?

Registering your trademark is not necessary to establish your rights. However, when you register your mark a public record is made of your ownership of the mark and you receive the following benefits:

You may bring a federal action concerning the mark
Your mark will be listed in the United States Patent and Trademark Office online database
Exclusive rights to use the mark

How do I obtain a Trademark?

To obtain a trademark you must complete an application (paper or online) and send it, with the correct application fee, to the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The application process is complex and an attorney from Allen & Dawson, PLLC would be more than happy to assist you in the process. A Trademark can also help you conduct a search of the United States Patent and Trademark Office database before you file your application to determine whether there is a trademark similar to your already in existence. It may take anywhere from a year to several years for your application to completely process and your mark to register.

How long does a Trademark last?

As long as you file all maintenance and renewal documents in a timely manner, your trademark registration will remain valid.

What is Trademark enforcement?

If you have registered your trademark and believe that someone is using it without your permission you should contact Allen & Dawson, PLLC immediately.

Two common forms of trademark infringement are:

Contributory Infringement: An individual may be held liable for another's trademark infringement if they assist in the infringement.

Inducing Infringement: An individual may be liable for contributory infringement if he intentionally suggests that another person infringe a trademark and the other person does so.

Collateral Use of Marks

An individual may use the words or symbols of an existing trademark as long as they design their mark in such a way that it can be distinguished from the already existing mark. There should be no chance of confusion. If the mark does cause likelihood of confusion, the individual may be liable for trademark infringement.

The source for all copyright information contained herein is:

Contact an Experienced Trademark Lawyer from ALLEN & DAWSON

Help is here! If you would like to obtain a trademark or need help protecting a trademark that you already have, contact us immediately. You need an experienced Trademark lawyer on your case. 

A copyright is a form of protection for an author's "original works". Copyright protection is grounded in the U.S. Constitution and is available for published and unpublished literary, dramatic, musical, artistic and other intellectual works. In order to have copyright protection there must be:

an original work of authorship;
the work must be fixed in a tangible medium; and
there must be a minimal amount of creativity.

Copyrights do not protect your ideas. They protect the tangible expression of your ideas.

Do I need a Copyright?

The owner of a copyright has exclusive rights to do and authorize others to do the following:

Reproduce the work
Prepare derivative works based upon the work
Distribute copies of the work
Perform or display the work publicly

To receive these exclusive rights and to be able to bring a lawsuit for copyright infringement, you must first obtain a copyright.

How do I obtain a Copyright?

A copyright is automatically secured as soon as you "create" an original work. A "poor man's copyright" can be obtained by sending a copy of your work to yourself, but is not a substitute for an officially registered copyright.

To be federally protected by copyright laws you must register your copyright by completing an application (paper or online) and sending it, with the correct application fee, to the Library of Congress Copyright Office. Registration becomes effective upon receipt of your application.

Once it has been determined that your application is acceptable and meets all necessary requirements, your registration is assigned a number and catalogued online. The application process is complex and a Copyright attorney from ALLEN & DAWSON would be more than happy to assist you in the process.

How long does a Copyright last?

For works created after January 1, l978 copyright protection lasts for the life of the author plus an additional 70 years. Special anonymous works and works created prior to January 1, 1978, have different copyright durations

What is Copyright enforcement?

Properly registering your copyright with the Library of Congress Copyright office establishes a public record. Therefore, if you have properly registered your copyright, you have a cause of action against anyone who then copies your work. When determining whether a copyright has been illegally copied upon there is a 2 part test that is used: (1) Access-whether the alleged infringer had access to the copyrighted work and (2) Substantial similarity-whether the copied work is substantially similar to the original copyrighted work. Once it has been established that the copyrighted work has been infringed, the holder of the copyright may take action! At this point you need a copyright attorney who has experience in copyright enforcement.

Indirect Copyright Infringement

There are three forms of indirect copyright infringement:

Contributory Infringement: this happens when someone knowingly induces, causes, or materially contributes to the infringing conduct of another
Vicarious Infringement Liability: this is when someone who has the right and the ability to supervise the copyright infringer also has an obvious and direct financial interest in the infringement of the copyrighted materials.

Intentional Inducement of Indirect Infringement Liability: This occurs when someone distributes a device or product with the clear object of promoting its use to infringe copyrights. The distributor of the device or product will be held liable for any resulting acts of infringement that result.

If you think that your copyright has been infringed or you would like legal assistance to enforce your copyright, call a copyright attorney at ALLEN & DAWSON.

The source for all copyright information contained herein is: