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Trademarks & Copyrights: Protect your brand and products

Trademarks & Copyrights: Protect your brand and products


Branding your business is essential in today’s competitive marketplace.  Most businesses strive to develop their brands and the awareness that results from this process.  One of the most important aspects of branding is the establishment of a means of identifying a product or service by use of a name, symbol, logo, or a combination of these items, commonly known as trademarks or service marks.

A trademark is used to define marks that are affixed to goodsService marks are used to define marks that are used in connection with services.  Trademark laws are designed to enable the trademark proprietor to develop goodwill for the product as well as to prevent another party from exploiting that goodwill, regardless of whether the exploitation is intentional or innocent.

The key elements of a trademark are that it must be distinguishable and that it must be used in commerce.  To secure maximum protection, a trademark proprietor can seek to register the trademark under federal and Florida state statutes.  Registering your trademark provides many benefits:

  • It allows authorized use of the registered trademark symbol in conjunction with the mark, which may deter others from using the mark.
  • Registration on the federal register is evidence of the validity of the registration, the registrant’s ownership of the mark, and the exclusive right to use the mark on identified goods in commerce.

A trademark or service mark that is in use and has been infringed allows the trademark proprietor to sue the infringing party for monetary damages and/or an injunction prohibiting the infringing use.

Procuring trademark protection on either the Florida state or federal level requires a considerable amount of time, skill, and money.  An experienced trademark attorney can determine if the benefits to be derived from registration justify the expense and can research trademark databases to determine if there are any conflicting marks.  Finally, a trademark attorney can complete the application and deal with any problems that may occur while it is being processed for registration.


Copyright protection is granted by the state of Florida and by the federal government to the creators of original works for a fixed period of time upon disclosure or publication of the work.  Copyright protection has historically been granted to literary works but has been expanded to include music, computer software, photography and certain works of art.

A copyright is generally a collection of five exclusive rights:

  • the right to reproduce the work
  • the right to prepare derivative works based upon a copyrighted work
  • the right to distribute copies to the public for sale or lease
  • the right to perform the work publicly
  • the right to display the work publicly.

To protect a copyright, an original work must contain certain language providing notice upon publication of the work.  In addition, a creator of a work may apply for federal copyright protection.  Registration of the copyright is generally a prerequisite for commencing an action for copyright infringement under federal law.  Therefore, consultation with an experienced copyright lawyer is essential to ensure your copyright is properly registered and protected.

Contact The Hulse Law Office to discuss the necessary steps to protect your intellectual property through trademark and copyright registration.


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