Gerben Law Firm has registered over 5,500+ trademarks.
First, a trademark registration gives you legal protection in the form of “presumptions.” Imagine a competitor is “inspired” by your logo and you bring legal claims against them. Without a registration, you have the legal burden of proving that you own the trademark in the first place, you used it before they did, and that the marks are likely to be confused. With a registered trademark, the law presumes you are the owner and that your trademark is valid throughout the United States.
It also presumes that you used it as of the federal filing date, called a priority date.
It is hard to quantify just how important these benefits are, but if a registration provides a potential infringer enough information to show that it could be in serious legal trouble, it could avoid the need for a lawsuit all together, saves tens, even hundreds of thousands of dollars.
A registered trademark also is searchable on the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s database which is regularly scoured by trademark professionals and companies to research potential new trademarks. If they see a trademark that is similar to the one they want to use, they will likely be deterred from using that potentially infringing trademark.
A trademark registration is also a company asset – it can be bought, sold, and investors typically look at a trademark portfolio as a sign that the company is doing what they need to do to protect their intellectual property. If an investor is going to trust a production company with millions of his or her dollars, they want to make sure that production company is doing everything it needs to do to protect that investment.
How do I Register a Production Logo with the U.S. Government?
Trademark registration starts with the application process. A trademark attorney can craft the application to match your specific needs. The application must contain a plain recitation of the services provided and it is important not to be overly broad, as this can lead to delays or, in some cases, unforeseen challenges (and challengers.)
For example, a production company may work with filmmakers to help secure financing, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they should file in Class 36 for financial services. Suddenly, a production company will find itself compared to large financial institutions and could potentially have their trademark application denied because of this. It’s important to know what goes into the trademark application to avoid these issues.
Next the ownership of the trademark application must be evaluated and confirmed. If the wrong owner submits the application, it is void, even after registration.
Once the application is filed, it is the start of a 9+ month application process with several potential deadlines and correspondence with the Examining Attorney assigned to the application. An experienced attorney can assist with the examination process, known as “prosecution” of the trademark application.
A strong production logo can display to the world the quality and expertise of the production company. Whether you are established or just starting out, consider protecting your production logo with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.