Trade mark attorneys (or trade mark lawyers) are legal professionals who specialise on advising individuals, businesses and entrepreneurs about how best to protect and enforce their trade mark rights. There are a vast range of issues regarding trade marks that trade mark attorneys are qualified to help with – for instance, trade mark designs and how this can help your business thrive.
Trade Marks Overview
‘Trade mark’ refers to the names, symbols, logos, pictures and special characters that are used to represent a company, brand or its products/services. They are their own branch of intellectual property (and separate from patents and copyrights).
How to Find a Trade Mark Attorney
The Chartered Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys (CITMA) is a professional regulatory body that oversees the industry of trade mark attorneys. This organisation was founded in 1934, and to this day represents trained trade mark attorneys who are knowledgeable and provide high quality services. All attorneys listed through their directory and services are vetted for standard and quality, as they all have had to pass rigorous tests and ongoing assessments and abide by the code of conduct in order to be CITMA listed.
CITMA’s online listings are trustworthy and reliable as a result. Whatever reason you are seeking a trade mark attorney, it is best to find a registered one, as this provides assurance of the level of service you will receive. “Registered Trade Mark Attorney” is a protected job title, and it is illegal to use it unless you are on the trade mark attorney register (set out by the Trade Marks Act 1994). However, anybody can use the terms “trade mark attorney” or “trade mark agent”, so always do your research before hiring somebody.
What Can Trade Mark Attorneys Help With?
Most problems or questions people may have about trade marks can usually be resolved by a trade mark attorney. They are specialists in this area of the law. Some examples of trade mark advice you may seek are as follows:
- Choosing a new brand name
- Applying to register your brand name
- Resolving domain name disputes
- Conflicts over trade mark designs
- Infringements of your trade mark designs
If you are seeking to register your trade mark, a trade mark attorney is the best person to guide you through the process. Good trade mark attorneys will be able to help you along the whole way, up to the point of your trade mark being officially registered. They will also be able to advise on which trade mark will be best for you to use, and this is closely linked with your business’ success. They can ensure your trade mark is not already in use, and that it is possible to register it.
Trade mark attorneys are responsible for resolving trade mark disputes, so if your trade mark is being used by someone else (or something similar to your trade mark is being used) or if you are accused of infringing somebody’s trade mark, they will be the ones to make a decision.
What is a trade mark attorney? A trade mark attorney is a specially-trained legal advisor who is an expert in the field of trade marks. They offer help and advice to people on a wide range of trade mark related issues, queries, disputes and concerns. They also help guide companies on how to effectively enforce and protect their trade mark rights, and can clear up any confusion you may have about trade mark rights.
If you are a new business with an idea for a trade mark, if you have an existing trade mark or even if you have been accused of infringing somebody else’s trade mark, you may benefit from the professional advice of a trade mark attorney. Intellectual property laws are tough to navigate and difficult to comprehend if you aren’t of a legal background. Even if you are, the intellectual property laws can still be complicated, so recruiting the expertise of a registered trade mark attorney is a good idea. This clears up any doubts you may have, and helps ensure that you are operating lawfully and enforcing your trade mark rights.
If you are unclear about what exactly constitutes as a trademark, the definition is as follows: the symbols, names, special characters, logos and images used to represent a brand, company and/or its services. For your trade mark to be recognised and guaranteed legal protection, you must register it, which a trade mark attorney can guide you through.
Some examples of trade mark related issues that a trade mark attorney can assist you with:
- Seeking to register a new trade mark
- Checking whether a trade mark is already in use
- Choosing a new name for your brand or company
- Making an application to register your trade mark or new brand name
- Helping to reach a solution in disputes over domain names
- Helping to solve disputes over trade mark designs
- Dealing with the infringement of your trade mark
It is important that when you hire a trade mark attorney, you look for the title of “Registered Trade Mark Attorney”. This is legally protected, and it is a criminal offence to use this job title if you are not a registered trade mark attorney. However, anybody can use the title “trade mark attorney”, so it is important to run background checks on anyone you are considering hiring. The Chartered Institute for Trade Mark Attorneys (CITMA) is a professional and regulatory body that has an online directory of registered trade mark attorneys. In order to be listed, you must pass in-depth examinations and regular assessments of quality. If you seek a trade mark attorney, CITMA’s registry is a good place to start, and you can bring up a list of attorneys by your location.
By using a CITMA-listed trade mark attorney, you have an increased chance of getting the best trade mark advisory service possible. You also have the support of the professional organisation if you are unhappy with any service you have received. Trade marks are a complex matter, and confiding in a professional is the best way to negotiate them successfully.