Apple has created trade dress intellectual property and obtained a trade dress registration for more than its Apple trademark – the bitten apple. It also has a registered trademark, a trade dress registration for its Apple Store Design.
Secure Your Brand
Descriptive trademarks are “bad brands,” since they don’t qualify for trademark registration. They spend 5 years on the Supplemental Register and after release, must still prove secondary meaning aka acquired distinctiveness in order to be enforceable against third parties. This is an expensive, difficult hurdle most that most can never meet.
Clients and marketing professionals are often confused as to the difference between registration of a domain name and registering a trademark or service mark. Domains names are not trademarks. A domain is nothing more than an Internet address, much like the street address where you live. Domain names do not afford protection against use of the domain name for competitive products or services unless separate trademark rights are established and registered.
Who wants to go to the expense and time to file for a federal trademark registration for a new brand name and then get rejected? As many as 70% of all trademark filings are initially rejected, with the Examining Lawyer at the USPTO issuing an Office Action refusing registration. Some Office Actions are scary, complicated, and require a lawyer.
While the advent of online public filing is a huge convenience to the public and legal practitioners alike, there are potential hazards. An entire industry has emerged, calculated to confuse the trademark applicant and extract fees for “watch services” which for many clients are either unnecessary or overly broad. Even worse, applicants who file without …