A trademark lawyer is an individual who provides expert legal advice on the usage, protection and enforcement of trademarks, which are protected symbols, names, logos, images and special characters adopted by a brand so as to distinguish its products and services from those of its competitors. Trademark attorneys are knowledgeable about case laws and legislation surrounding trademarks and are able to help clients in applying for and defending their trademarks.
If you become a trademark attorney, you will be providing your clients with both technical and legal advice. Not only will you be responsible for advising on the adoption and selection of new trademarks, but also for enforcing trademark rights in the instance of infringements. Additionally, you will be tasked with filing trademark applications, advising on the use and registration of trademarks, and researching selected trademarks to check if they are already in use across the globe.
Duties of a trademark attorney
A trademark lawyer helps ensure that your application is properly registered with the appropriate local or global trademark office. Subsequently, he or she will advise you on the prospects of your application becoming a registered trademark. In addition, the lawyer will help you evaluate the risks involved with adopting a particular word, phrase, logo or slogan. He or she may even help you determine whether the potential trademark could violate the rights of another entity or individual. Should you decide to adopt the trademark, your attorney will file the application and immediately communicate with the respective trademark office as required.
Prior to a specific trademark being registered, a thorough background search must be performed. This search helps verify if the trademark in question is already in use around the globe. As such, a trademark attorney will be required to perform extensive Internet background searches to see if a client’s proposed logo or mark is already in use and checking local business and state listings to see if the proposed mark has been used previously.
Moreover, a trademark lawyer is tasked with monitoring the use of his or her client’s mark so as to guard against trademark infringement. To achieve this, the attorney will often check on competitors to see if they are incorrectly using any of his client’s trademarks. Some attorneys may even ask their legal secretaries to set up and monitor automated Google Alerts systems that are designed to monitor use of clients’ trademarks and relay automatic notifications.
It is not uncommon to find a trademark lawyer with expertise in other areas of intellectual property such as patents and copyrights. Whereas a trademark attorney with expertise on patents may help his or her clients secure exclusives rights to inventions, one working on copyright cases may assist his or her client acquire exclusive rights to a specific work such as a written book or song.
A trademark attorney may also be responsible for preparing and filing paperwork with a court of law as required, facilitating the discovery process, and interviewing witnesses. If the case goes to trial, the lawyer represents his or her client in court. However, if the plaintiff and defendant decide to settle the case outside of court, the lawyer will carry out negotiations on behalf of his or her client.
In summary, a trademark lawyer is an individual who specializes in trademark law. He or she might provide assistance with trademark registration, including activities such as background trademark searches, and filing registration forms with respective trademark offices.