A trademark lawyer is a qualified professional with specialization in trademark law and practice. As a professional, he would have had to pass a number of examinations and also be part of an association, which professes a set of ethics and codes of conduct. He would also be required to be registered as a trademark lawyer.

In the countries of the British Commonwealth including New Zealand, Australia and the United Kingdom, special qualifications need to be obtained to be called a trademark lawyer. These are examinations that will need to be passed and may have titles such as “Protected” or “Exclusive” qualifications. This however, is not so here in the US.

Getting the services of trademark lawyers is recommended as they have full knowledge of all the laws pertaining to trademarks, the procedures to be followed to get trademarks registered etc. The following list shows some of what they do.

- A trademark lawyer helps you in choosing an appropriate trademark that will not violate any of the provisions of the trademark laws. He will arrange for conducting searches for similar trademarks and get a report on the outcome of such a search. Once the trademark is known to be available for registration, he will advise you on the costs to be incurred in getting the trademark registered.

- He helps you with the drafting of your application with particular reference to the description of the product. This is a vital requirement in the registration process.

- A trademark lawyer ensures that your application is complete in all respects and meets all the stringent requirements of the USPTO. Slight differences in the graphics from the norms can result in the application being rejected and he ensures that this does not happen.

 

- He represents you at the USPTO when answering all objections from them about your application. He writes briefs addressing the initial objections after submission of the application.

- He advises you in the filing and registration process. You can learn about the search process, online searching, costs, FAQ reviews and other matters pertaining to trademarks from him.

- He can help you defend yourself on matters relating to trademarks, if the need arises. If you get cease and desist letters, which are letters received from another party who believes his rights have been infringed, he can handle the situation to every one's satisfaction.

You can find a trademark lawyer through online directories or the yellow pages. You can also ask for referrals from your friends and business associates. If you do not succeed, you can contact the referral services of the State Bar Council.

While finding a trademark lawyer is relatively easy, finding a good one requires some serious effort. Obviously, you do not want a beginner with little or no practice. If you get one, it is likely to be a gamble.

You should look for quality by perhaps requesting another lawyer to recommend a trademark lawyer who can be trusted to handle your trademark matters. Someone handling trademark cases in your neighborhood can be approached and if he is unable to spare the time, he can be asked to recommend someone else.

Lawyers receive referral fees for sending clients to other lawyers. Such fees are about a third of the fees to be paid to the lawyer who will eventually handle the case. This is quite an incentive for a lawyer to send you to a good one. By openly discussing the issue, you can find the right lawyer. By being decisive and eager, you can find the right trademark lawyer.
 

Trademark law is one of the three branches of Intellectual Property Law. The other branches are Patent Law and Copyright Law.


As an overview, patent law guards new inventions that can be valuable by giving the owner or patentee the right to keep out other individuals from using the said invention in their enterprises. Copyright law, on the other hand, protects the rights of artists for their creation of their works, be it a book, film, or an artwork from any unauthorized imitation of the said work. Copyright law, however, has nothing to do with the idea of the creation or work; it merely protects its expression.

Meanwhile, trademark law protects marks or names that are in connection with the merchandise or product. A trademark can be a word, color, sound, icon, image, phrase, or way of packaging that is acquired and utilized by an organization or corporation for easy recognition of their merchandise and services that will set them apart from other corporations or organizations. Services and not product merchandise, however, are identified by a service mark (which is similar to that of a trademark).

From a historical point of view, trademark law was pioneered by the Englishmen during the 13th century to guard the customers from spurious merchandise. In the late 19th century, the governments of Britain and the United States of America established Trademark agencies that controlled the registration of trademarks.

Basically, trademark law thwarts illegal use of a product-identifying mark or sign and guarantees consumers that the product they are purchasing are made by the same producer and are not poorly manufactured counterfeit products. The law at the same time also promises the producer or manufacturer that imitators will not reap the financial rewards. It also protects the reputation of the real manufacturer.

Trademark fundamentally protects consumers from being duped. It guarantees liberal competition by defending the benevolence of the person or company who possesses the mark. It essentially concerns itself with the buffet of services and commodities.

Trademark law practically has an effect on creative artists as well (writers or authors, designers, etc). It endows creative artists and their business associates broad protections from any unlawful use of a trademark as long as it does not misled the public that the use was endorsed by the owner of the trademark.

Trademark law and the art world connect through titles, trade dress, domain names, literary characters, and mishandling of the name of an author.

Titles are at times protected under unjust competition and trademark laws. It is not protected by the copyright law. Protection of a title is granted when it accomplishes a secondary meaning. Secondary meaning is similar to that of the titles commercial appeal. Titles must also be popularly known to meet the criteria. Usually, titles of series are great trademark contenders. Also, titles in one merchandise can be protected in another type of merchandise. Lastly, one-shot titles are not consequently allowed to trademark protection.

Trade dress, in trademark law, is merchandise's recognizable image. It is actually the merchandise's characteristic color, shape, image, packaging, or a combination of these factors that the consumers will easily connect with a certain source.

Domain names are web addresses consigned to certain computers on the internet. These names are extensively utilized by companies in connection with entertainment, information, and publishing. Any use of the domain name without permission is a violation of the trademark right of the owner. Fortunately, current legislations have made battling unlawful trademark users.

In connection with literature, sometimes a story or a novel's character is so appealing that it actually takes a life of its own outside its original medium. Consequently literary characters may become linked with a certain product. With this occurrence, the literary character can be sheltered by unfair competition and trademark laws, even though it may not protected by copyright anymore.

Trademark law also has sanctions over the mishandling of an author's name. According to unfair competition laws any author can take legal action against bogus source designation or false advertising if their role to a certain literary piece or work is imprecisely depicted. Another violation of the right of an author is an illegal unauthorized modification of their work.

In a nutshell, the trademark law is concerned about corporate integrity and educated purchasing decisions. It promotes the progress of the society's economy.