Everything You Need to Know About Trademarks

Trademarks are so common that you most likely see them every single day without even registering their significance. However, if as an individual, business, or legal entity you need a trademark, it is critical to understand the legal nuances behind acquiring and keeping a legal trademark. These basics from Tampa business attorney Zagrebelsk Law will help you get started on the right foot.

Trademark lawWhat Exactly Is a Trademark?

A trademark can be a word, symbol, design, or phrase. Its purpose is to differentiate products or services from one another. A business, individual, or legal entity can own a trademark, but trademarks can be licensed to others for use.

For example, the Lego Group obtained a license from Lucasfilm to use the Star Wars trademark in their Lego Star Wars line. If the Lego Group had done this without permission, Lucasfilm could have pursued legal action for trademark infringement.

How Did Trademarks Come to Be?
Blacksmiths in the Roman Empire used their own form of trademarks to distinguish their swords from swords of other blacksmiths, but it wasn’t until 1266 that the first trademark legislation was passed by the Parliament of England. It required all bakers to include a unique mark in the bread they sold to help customers differentiate. By the late 1800s more modern trademark laws emerged to solidify ownership of a certain product or service and prevent the criminal act of defrauding the trademark.

What is Trademark Infringement?
This is defined as the use of atrademark by an unauthorized person without the proper legal allowances. Though trademark owners are not required to legally pursue every trademark infringement that occurs, infringement lawsuits are very common. If the unauthorized person’s use of the trademark caused confusion and weakened the value of the trademark in the community, then legal punishment can apply.

Since all aspects of trademarks, from licensing to infringement to maintenance can be complex, it is always best to hire a Tampa trademark lawyer to navigate the uncertain legal waters.

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