Your trademark is what allows you to stand out in your industry. It can define your business and distinguish you from your competition. It might seem like a small part of your brand identity, but protecting your trademarks is crucial to your business.

We can help you with your trademark needs, whether registering your trademarks or ensuring no one is infringing on them. Contact the intellectual property lawyers at Lantz Law Group in Denver or Evergreen for your Colorado trademark services.

Call 720-571-8620 or use our secure online contact form to schedule your consultation.

Trademarks in Colorado

A trademark is a symbol, word, or group of words a company uses or registers to establish ownership. You can trademark icons, products, images, slogans, or even shapes of products. Registering a trademark gives you exclusive rights to use that trademark.

Trademarks protect your intellectual property. They can help with brand identity and equity, especially in markets outside Colorado, like national or international businesses. Registering your trademark is essential to lending legitimacy to your brand and your company.

Colorado Trademark Practice Areas

There are several issues related to trademarks, including:

Trademark Registration

Whether you’re starting a new business or trying to expand your current resources, you should consider registering a new trademark. Once you’ve designed or created something you’d like to protect, there are steps you should take. You’ll need to make sure your trademark is distinct and available. You’ll then file it with the necessary office at the state or federal level. You might need to present arguments on why your trademark is yours.

Filing a Trademark, State or Federal

Registering your trademark is critical to ensure your brand is protected. In Colorado, trademarks can be registered at state or federal levels. Choosing one over the other depends largely on where you do business.

Filing a federal registration with the United States Patent and Trademark Office offers more comprehensive protection.

Trademark Enforcement

Once you’ve successfully registered or acquired a trademark, you’ll need to perform maintenance and protect it. You may need to begin litigation to defend a trademark or bring litigation against another company for infringement.

Litigation actions could include cease and desist letters or complaints to recover domain names.

Trademark Transactions

You may choose to license or sell rights connected to your trademarked property. You should work with a Denver business transaction lawyer to establish how to sell these rights or prepare your affiliates to license your property. An attorney can also help you manage your trademark portfolio and track any associated risk from your trademarks and business ventures.

Trademark Issues We Can Help You With

Our trademark attorneys in Denver and Evergreen have helped clients resolve their trademark issues, including:

  • Registering a trademark
  • Litigating trademark issues
  • Trademark disputes
  • Researching trademarks
  • Licensing trademarks
  • Enforcing trademarks
  • Defending companies in infringement litigation

Call today to explore your specific queries.

Elements of a Trademark Dispute

Many cases of trademark disputes arise from infringement allegations, where one party believes the other is using their trademark without permission for their own gain. For a successful infringement claim, the plaintiff must establish the elements of their claim.

Validity of Trademark

A plaintiff must show that they are trying to protect a valid trademark. Either they have a registered trademark that the defendant has copied or passed off as their own, or the defendant is attempting to register a trademark that could be confused as the plaintiff’s own.

Use in Commerce & Infringement

If a plaintiff can show that they own a trademark, they must also show that the defendant’s use is infringing on their rights. This hinges on a few items: use in commerce, using the trademark, and the likelihood of confusion.

Use in Commerce

If a defendant uses the plaintiff’s trademark in ways connected to commerce, like selling goods or services, without permission, they could infringe on the plaintiff’s rights. For instance, using your brand’s name on their product is an example of trademark infringement.

Using the Infringing Mark

A defendant might not be using the plaintiff’s trademark directly on their products. Instead, they might be using the disputed trademark in connection with their business or services.

The Likelihood of Confusion

Confusion is the crux of many infringement claims. This concept examines how likely it would be for consumers to mix your products up with the alleged infringers’? If a defendant’s use of your trademark makes it seem like your product is theirs and a consumer believes them, you have a greater chance of a successful infringement claim.

How to Approach a Trademark Dispute

If you suspect a company or entity is infringing on your trademark, you should take quick legal action, working with an experienced Denver trademark attorney. They can explain how to handle the dispute and help you plan your next steps.

Send a Cease-and-Desist Letter

A cease-and-desist letter is a formal document that should clearly explain the defendant’s infringement. The letter will order them to stop using the trademark as their own. This is an efficient and relatively inexpensive option that can notify the defendant of their wrongdoing.

If they ignore your letter, that’s strong evidence you can use in an infringement lawsuit.

File an Infringement Lawsuit

If a defendant ignores your cease-and-desist letter, the next logical step to correct their infringement is to file a lawsuit. You can file a claim based on several options, such as the likelihood of confusion or the dilution or tarnishment of your trademark. You should ensure that their actions constitute infringement and that your lawsuit is justified.

Preparing for Trial and Pursuing a Settlement

Work with your attorney to prepare your case once you’ve filed a claim against the defendant. You will need evidence to show that you own the trademark and that you’re actively using it. The trial will be where you prove that the defendant’s actions could confuse consumers with your products or brands.

You can seek monetary damages from the defendant, as well as the destruction of anything infringing on your trademarks, and an order to stop them from using the trademark in the future. Your attorney may be able to negotiate a deal with the defendant before a trial is necessary, but you should work with a lawyer who’s ready to take the case to court if it’s needed.

FAQs about Trademarks in Colorado

How Long is the Trademark Process?

The trademark process varies, but it can be long before your application is examined. The USPTO estimates that the average time to first look over a trademark application is eight months. The average time for a successful registration is 14.7 months. The USPTO keeps track of the processing times here.

Can My Trademark Expire?

Your trademark can theoretically last forever. However, you must ensure that you renew and actively use it. A federal trademark lasts ten years, and can be renewed every ten years indefinitely.

Can You Revive an Expired Trademark?

Not every expired trademark can be revived. The possibility varies by jurisdiction. A trademark registered with the state of Colorado cannot be renewed. If your federal trademark lapses, it’s possible to revive it, but you must act quickly. Your attorney can file a petition for revival with the trademark office. The request should include a valid reason why the trademark lapsed.

Why Should I Work with a Trademark Lawyer?

Whether you’re considering filing a new trademark or working to maintain an existing trademark, you will benefit from the help of a skilled trademark attorney. Hiring a lawyer to help your trademark efforts is crucial. Their experience in the state and on federal applications can ensure accuracy on forms, up-to-date filings, and due diligence.

A Denver, CO business attorney can help you fight any infringement claims or help you work towards stopping someone else from stealing your intellectual property. Finding the right trademark lawyer to serve your national or international needs is the right step to success.

Contact Our Trademark Lawyers Today

If you’re working with trademarked property or are concerned that someone is using your brand or goods illegally, contact the Lantz Law Group in Denver today. We can protect your business and help you reclaim what’s yours.

Trademark law can be complicated, but our team has helped many clients accomplish their goals. Let us help you today. Call 720-571-8620 or use our online contact form.