With Trademarks, Time is of the Essence
The owner of a mark generally is the first to either use the mark or file an application that ultimately issues as a federal trademark registration from the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. Amongst two or more persons competing for ownership of a desirable mark, the one with the earliest federal registration filing date or use will prevail. An excellent first step is filing an application to federally register a mark, even prior to its use. Frequently, doing so is the quickest and least costly way to establish the earliest trademark ownership date. Registration at the state level may be preferable or more appropriate in many instances, but, unlike a federal application, a state application may not be filed prior to use of the mark.
Protecting a mark also requires diligence in determining its availability for use and registration. Because the first to use or apply for federal registration of a mark will be considered the owner, research to uncover prior users, existing federal trademark applications and both state and federal trademark registrations should be completed before any decision is made to adopt a mark. No such research can be completely exhaustive; however, CARR trademark lawyers use state-of-the art resources to identify potential issues in behalf of clients, before a mark is adopted and investment of capital in advertising is made—in short, before unnecessary risk is taken.
CARR Intellectual Property attorneys serve clients throughout Texas, the United States, and the world. We counsel inventors and businesses in Dallas, Fort Worth, Austin, Plano, Richardson, Frisco, Marshall and other cities in Texas. Our attorneys also serve many international clients, including companies in Hong Kong, Taiwan, United Kingdom, Canada, and Israel.