Every trademark user gains certain common law rights and protections. However, it is generally a better practice to register a trademark because the owner of a registered trademark has a greater ability to stop others from using the mark. Trademarks can be registered both at the state level or the federal level. In Colorado, trademarks are registered with the Secretary of State. The United States Patent and Trademark Office keeps track of all federally registered trademarks.
Trademarks protect words, names, symbols, sounds and/or colors that distinguish the goods and services of one individual or business from those manufactured or provided by another. In other words, a trademark indicates for the public the source of the goods. Not every word, name, symbol, sound or color is eligible to become a trademark, so it is a good idea to talk to an experienced intellectual property attorney before pursuing registration.
Trademarks must be used in commerce. The exception to this rule is the USPTO will allow applicants to file for a trademark that the applicant intends to use in commerce within the next six months.
The attorneys at Garlin Driscoll have experience helping their clients register trademarks at both the state and federal level. If you have a potential trademark that you are interested in protecting, contact us to see how we might be able to assist you.