Our trademark attorneys regularly advise new business owners and entrepreneurs launching a new product or service whether their brand names, product lines and brand designs are available for use in their intended marketplace and can be properly registered and protected (see trademark search).

A business owner or entrepreneur’s brand identity (aka trademarks) can be among a business’ most valuable assets.  Trademarks identify the products and/or services of a business, to enable consumers and potential clients to distinguish between its products and/or services from different businesses in the same or similar business industry.  A trademark is a word, phrase, symbol, design, logo, or a combination of elements that identify and distinguish the source of the goods of one business or individual from those of another business or individual.  A service mark is the same as a trademark, except that it identifies and distinguishes the source of a service rather than the source of the goods.

In order to avoid a potential trademark infringement lawsuit, it is important that a new business owner or entrepreneur select a trademark that is distinguishable from any pending or registered state and federal trademarks.  In other words, it is important that a new business owner or entrepreneur avoid launching a brand that would be identical or confusingly similar to any pending or registered state and federal trademarks.  The “likelihood of confusion” standard is often a confusing concept to understand for many business owners.

In a likelihood confusion analysis, the Trademark Act set forth the following factors as the most relevant in determining if a trademark is confusingly similar to a pending or registered trademark: 1) similarity of the marks, 2) similarity and nature of the goods and/or services, and similarity of the trade channels of […]