Trademark, Trade Dress and Design
With the dramatic development of digital communications and network technologies, and as global distribution channels enable businesses to market themselves to a worldwide audience, protecting and enforcing marks, trade dress, product designs and brand identities is of crucial importance. As these intangible business assets embody valuable goodwill and serve as a distinct source identifier for the products and services of the business, in this environment, such assets continue to take on greater significance in developing and maintaining brand integrity, reputation and recognition for the business.
Yet, because of their intrinsic value, trademarks and related assets are vulnerable to violation, whether by way of direct or indirect infringement – or worse, through counterfeiting – and the goodwill of the business pilfered as a result. Vigilance is the order of the day, and businesses are well advised to proactively undertake the appropriate legal steps to protect, defend and enforce their trademarks, trade dress and product designs.
Navigating the intersection of trademark, trade dress, design patent and design copyright law can be a delicate endeavor. Complicating the threshold issue—what protection to pursue—is that seeking protection for various features under a particular legal process may inhibit or even preclude the ability to obtain protection under another discipline.
At Wilentz, our intellectual property attorneys understand this intricate legal interplay. We work closely with our business clients to identify the protectable elements and features of their trademarks, service marks, product dress and designs. We have prosecuted hundreds of trademark and service mark matters before the USPTO and have further obtained registrations for product trade dress. Where available, we have further sought and obtained design patents and copyright registrations on a variety of product designs to provide additional protection to that intellectual property.
At Wilentz, we provide a full range of trademark based legal services, such as:
- Counseling clients on branding strategies and the initial selection of a mark or design.
- Conducting clearance through trademark availability searches and opinions on “freedom to operate” (right to use), infringement and enforceability.
- Preparing, filing and prosecuting trademark, service mark and trade dress registration applications before the USPTO.
- Initiating enforcement actions against infringers and other intellectual property rights violations.
- Inter partes and ex partes proceedings before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (e.g., opposition proceedings, cancellation proceedings).
- Negotiating and drafting licenses, concurrent use, right to use, and other trademark based agreements.
- Litigating trademark infringement, trade dress infringement, dilution, unfair competition and false advertising cases in the state and federal courts.
- Prosecuting and resolving domain name disputes.
Now, more than ever, proper, effective and strategic branding and positioning is crucial. At Wilentz, through incisive and effective protection and enforcement strategies, we assist our clients meet their brand objectives and enhance the goodwill associated with their intangible trademark based assets.