Best Lawyers for Trademark Law in America

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Lawyer
  • Location:
    Denver, Colorado
  • Practice Areas:
    Trademark Law Copyright Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Boston, Massachusetts
  • Practice Areas:
    Trademark Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Chicago, Illinois
  • Practice Areas:
    Trademark Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Richmond, Virginia
  • Practice Areas:
    Litigation - Intellectual Property Government Relations Practice Litigation - Environmental Trademark Law Litigation - Trusts and Estates Litigation - Patent Commercial Litigation Criminal Defense: White-Collar Litigation - Banking and Finance
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Atlanta, Georgia
  • Practice Areas:
    Antitrust Law Arbitration Litigation - Antitrust Mediation Corporate Law Trademark Law Litigation - Intellectual Property
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Orlando, Florida Jacksonville, Florida
  • Practice Areas:
    Litigation - Intellectual Property Copyright Law Patent Law Litigation - Patent Trademark Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Practice Areas:
    Trademark Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Red Bank, New Jersey
  • Practice Areas:
    Copyright Law Patent Law Trademark Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Seattle, Washington
  • Practice Areas:
    Trademark Law Patent Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Practice Areas:
    Franchise Law Commercial Litigation First Amendment Law Trademark Law Litigation - Intellectual Property
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Boulder, Colorado
  • Practice Areas:
    Trademark Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Southfield, Michigan
  • Practice Areas:
    Trademark Law Litigation - Intellectual Property Litigation - Patent Patent Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Houston, Texas
  • Practice Areas:
    Trade Secrets Law Trademark Law Patent Law Litigation - Patent
Lawyer
  • Location:
    New York, New York
  • Practice Areas:
    Trademark Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Scottsdale, Arizona
  • Practice Areas:
    Litigation - Intellectual Property Copyright Law Trademark Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Memphis, Tennessee
  • Practice Areas:
    Copyright Law Litigation - Intellectual Property Litigation - Patent Trademark Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Austin, Texas
  • Practice Areas:
    Litigation - Intellectual Property Trademark Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Practice Areas:
    Trademark Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Practice Areas:
    Patent Law Litigation - Intellectual Property Trademark Law Copyright Law Litigation - Patent
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Columbus, Ohio
  • Practice Areas:
    Corporate Law Trademark Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Nashville, Tennessee
  • Practice Areas:
    Patent Law Litigation - Patent Trademark Law Trade Secrets Law Copyright Law Litigation - Intellectual Property
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Louisville, Kentucky
  • Practice Areas:
    Litigation - Patent Copyright Law Trademark Law Information Technology Law Litigation - Intellectual Property
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Boston, Massachusetts
  • Practice Areas:
    Litigation - Intellectual Property Copyright Law Trademark Law Patent Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Ann Arbor, Michigan
  • Practice Areas:
    Trademark Law Litigation - Patent Copyright Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Chicago, Illinois
  • Practice Areas:
    Patent Law Trademark Law Trade Secrets Law Litigation - Intellectual Property Litigation - Patent
Lawyer
  • Location:
    New York, New York
  • Practice Areas:
    Copyright Law Trademark Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Nashville, Tennessee
  • Practice Areas:
    Litigation - Intellectual Property Copyright Law Trademark Law Patent Law Litigation - Patent
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Practice Areas:
    Trademark Law Litigation - Intellectual Property Litigation - Patent
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Memphis, Tennessee
  • Practice Areas:
    Trademark Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Nashville, Tennessee
  • Practice Areas:
    Trademark Law Art Law Information Technology Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Atlanta, Georgia
  • Practice Areas:
    Trademark Law Advertising Law Litigation - Intellectual Property
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
  • Practice Areas:
    Patent Law Technology Law Trademark Law Trade Secrets Law Litigation - Intellectual Property
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Fort Wayne, Indiana
  • Practice Areas:
    Bet-the-Company Litigation Copyright Law Litigation - Intellectual Property Litigation - Patent Trademark Law Commercial Litigation Patent Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    San Francisco, California
  • Practice Areas:
    Product Liability Litigation - Defendants Trademark Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Winston-Salem, North Carolina
  • Practice Areas:
    Trademark Law Litigation - Intellectual Property Franchise Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Salt Lake City, Utah
  • Practice Areas:
    Litigation - Intellectual Property Litigation - Patent Copyright Law Patent Law Trademark Law Information Technology Law Commercial Litigation Trade Secrets Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Birmingham, Alabama
  • Practice Areas:
    Trademark Law Nonprofit / Charities Law Tax Law Copyright Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Atlanta, Georgia
  • Practice Areas:
    Trademark Law Franchise Law Litigation - Intellectual Property
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Seattle, Washington
  • Practice Areas:
    Trademark Law Copyright Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Austin, Texas
  • Practice Areas:
    Litigation - Intellectual Property Trademark Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
  • Practice Areas:
    Trademark Law Copyright Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Southfield, Michigan
  • Practice Areas:
    Litigation - Patent Patent Law Litigation - Intellectual Property Trademark Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Huntsville, Alabama
  • Practice Areas:
    Litigation - Patent Copyright Law Trade Secrets Law Patent Law Trademark Law Litigation - Intellectual Property
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Chicago, Illinois
  • Practice Areas:
    Trademark Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Salt Lake City, Utah
  • Practice Areas:
    Patent Law Litigation - Intellectual Property Trademark Law Copyright Law Litigation - Patent
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Baton Rouge, Louisiana
  • Practice Areas:
    Trademark Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    San Francisco, California
  • Practice Areas:
    Trademark Law
Lawyer
Morgan Chu was awarded 2020 "Lawyer of the Year" in Elasticsearch.PracticeArea

Morgan Chu

Irell & Manella LLP
  • Location:
    Los Angeles, California
  • Practice Areas:
    Information Technology Law Commercial Litigation Bet-the-Company Litigation Litigation - Intellectual Property Trademark Law Technology Law Litigation - Patent Patent Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Irvine, California
  • Practice Areas:
    Trademark Law Litigation - Patent Patent Law Litigation - Intellectual Property
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Austin, Texas
  • Practice Areas:
    Trademark Law Litigation - Intellectual Property Commercial Litigation Litigation - Patent
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Providence, Rhode Island
  • Practice Areas:
    Trademark Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Birmingham, Alabama
  • Practice Areas:
    Information Technology Law Litigation - Intellectual Property Construction Law Commercial Litigation Trademark Law Litigation - Patent
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Practice Areas:
    Trademark Law Technology Law Copyright Law Patent Law Information Technology Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Boston, Massachusetts
  • Practice Areas:
    Trademark Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Seattle, Washington
  • Practice Areas:
    Patent Law Litigation - Intellectual Property Trademark Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Dallas, Texas
  • Practice Areas:
    Trademark Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Practice Areas:
    Trademark Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Seattle, Washington
  • Practice Areas:
    Information Technology Law Trademark Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Phoenix, Arizona
  • Practice Areas:
    Technology Law Trademark Law Copyright Law Patent Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Washington, District of Columbia
  • Practice Areas:
    Trademark Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Practice Areas:
    Trademark Law Copyright Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Atlanta, Georgia
  • Practice Areas:
    Litigation - Intellectual Property Trademark Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Orlando, Florida
  • Practice Areas:
    Litigation - Intellectual Property Trademark Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Winston-Salem, North Carolina
  • Practice Areas:
    Copyright Law Trademark Law Litigation - Intellectual Property
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Baton Rouge, Louisiana
  • Practice Areas:
    Patent Law Trademark Law Technology Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Birmingham, Alabama
  • Practice Areas:
    Franchise Law Antitrust Law Trademark Law Copyright Law Advertising Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Practice Areas:
    Trademark Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Orlando, Florida
  • Practice Areas:
    Copyright Law Trademark Law Litigation - Intellectual Property
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Atlanta, Georgia
  • Practice Areas:
    Litigation - Intellectual Property Trademark Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Little Rock, Arkansas
  • Practice Areas:
    Technology Law Copyright Law Trademark Law Patent Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Chicago, Illinois
  • Practice Areas:
    Litigation - Intellectual Property Trademark Law Litigation - Patent
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Seattle, Washington
  • Practice Areas:
    Litigation - Intellectual Property Litigation - Patent Copyright Law Trademark Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Concord, Massachusetts
  • Practice Areas:
    Trademark Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • Practice Areas:
    Trademark Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Austin, Texas
  • Practice Areas:
    Trademark Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    New Bern, North Carolina
  • Practice Areas:
    Litigation - Patent Commercial Litigation Patent Law Litigation - Intellectual Property Trademark Law Litigation - Construction Copyright Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Overland Park, Kansas
  • Practice Areas:
    Trademark Law Copyright Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Portland, Oregon
  • Practice Areas:
    Trademark Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Chicago, Illinois
  • Practice Areas:
    Trademark Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Nashville, Tennessee
  • Practice Areas:
    Trademark Law Trade Secrets Law Franchise Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Atlanta, Georgia
  • Practice Areas:
    Litigation - Intellectual Property Trademark Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Sewickley, Pennsylvania
  • Practice Areas:
    Copyright Law Trademark Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    St. Louis, Missouri
  • Practice Areas:
    Technology Law Copyright Law Trademark Law Corporate Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Irvine, California
  • Practice Areas:
    Litigation - Intellectual Property Trademark Law Litigation - Patent Commercial Litigation
Lawyer
  • Location:
    St. Louis, Missouri
  • Practice Areas:
    Copyright Law Patent Law Trademark Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
  • Practice Areas:
    Trademark Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Reston, Virginia
  • Practice Areas:
    Trademark Law Patent Law Litigation - Intellectual Property Litigation - Patent
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Portland, Maine
  • Practice Areas:
    Litigation - Intellectual Property Trademark Law Litigation - Patent Copyright Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • Practice Areas:
    Litigation - Patent Litigation - Intellectual Property Trademark Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Salt Lake City, Utah
  • Practice Areas:
    Trademark Law Patent Law Litigation - Patent Litigation - Intellectual Property
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Birmingham, Alabama
  • Practice Areas:
    Franchise Law Copyright Law Litigation - Intellectual Property Trademark Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Chicago, Illinois
  • Practice Areas:
    Trademark Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Chicago, Illinois
  • Practice Areas:
    Trademark Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    New York, New York
  • Practice Areas:
    Trademark Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Chicago, Illinois
  • Practice Areas:
    Patent Law Trademark Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Practice Areas:
    Litigation - Intellectual Property Trademark Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Practice Areas:
    Trademark Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Chicago, Illinois
  • Practice Areas:
    Litigation - Intellectual Property Litigation - Patent Patent Law Trademark Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Scottsdale, Arizona
  • Practice Areas:
    Copyright Law Trademark Law Litigation - Patent Technology Law Trade Secrets Law Litigation - Intellectual Property
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Memphis, Tennessee
  • Practice Areas:
    Franchise Law Trademark Law Litigation - Intellectual Property
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Practice Areas:
    Information Technology Law Trademark Law IT Outsourcing Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    San Francisco, California
  • Practice Areas:
    Trademark Law Litigation - Intellectual Property Commercial Litigation
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Practice Areas:
    Trademark Law Patent Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Boston, Massachusetts
  • Practice Areas:
    Trademark Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    New York, New York
  • Practice Areas:
    Litigation - Intellectual Property Copyright Law Trademark Law Information Technology Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Austin, Texas
  • Practice Areas:
    Trademark Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • Practice Areas:
    Trademark Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Seattle, Washington
  • Practice Areas:
    Copyright Law Trademark Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
  • Practice Areas:
    Patent Law Trademark Law
Lawyer
Peter J. Guffin was awarded  "Lawyer of the Year" in

Peter J. Guffin

Pierce Atwood LLP
  • Location:
    Portland, Maine
  • Practice Areas:
    Trademark Law Copyright Law Litigation - Intellectual Property
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Seattle, Washington
  • Practice Areas:
    Trademark Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Chicago, Illinois
  • Practice Areas:
    Trademark Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Memphis, Tennessee
  • Practice Areas:
    Litigation - Intellectual Property Trademark Law Bet-the-Company Litigation Commercial Litigation
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Huntsville, Alabama
  • Practice Areas:
    Patent Law Litigation - Patent Litigation - Intellectual Property Trademark Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Dallas, Texas
  • Practice Areas:
    Litigation - Intellectual Property Litigation - Patent Trade Secrets Law Trademark Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Practice Areas:
    Trademark Law Copyright Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Nashville, Tennessee
  • Practice Areas:
    Franchise Law Privacy and Data Security Law First Amendment Law Copyright Law Trade Secrets Law Media Law Trademark Law Entertainment Law - Theater Advertising Law Litigation - Patent Commercial Litigation Communications Law Entertainment Law - Music Litigation - First Amendment Litigation - Intellectual Property
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Portland, Oregon
  • Practice Areas:
    Trademark Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Boulder, Colorado
  • Practice Areas:
    Litigation - Intellectual Property Litigation - Patent Copyright Law Trademark Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • Practice Areas:
    Trademark Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Chicago, Illinois
  • Practice Areas:
    Trademark Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Los Angeles, California
  • Practice Areas:
    Trademark Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Atlanta, Georgia
  • Practice Areas:
    Litigation - Intellectual Property Trademark Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Practice Areas:
    Trademark Law Patent Law Litigation - Intellectual Property Copyright Law Litigation - Patent
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Baton Rouge, Louisiana
  • Practice Areas:
    Commercial Litigation Trademark Law Litigation - Intellectual Property
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Chattanooga, Tennessee
  • Practice Areas:
    Patent Law Trademark Law Copyright Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Baltimore, Maryland
  • Practice Areas:
    Trade Secrets Law Information Technology Law Technology Law Trademark Law Copyright Law
Lawyer
Michael D. Hobbs, Jr. was awarded  "Lawyer of the Year" in

Michael D. Hobbs, Jr.

Troutman Sanders LLP
  • Location:
    Atlanta, Georgia
  • Practice Areas:
    Litigation - Intellectual Property Trademark Law Copyright Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Troy, Michigan
  • Practice Areas:
    Litigation - Patent Litigation - Intellectual Property Patent Law Trademark Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Providence, Rhode Island
  • Practice Areas:
    Trademark Law Copyright Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Honolulu, Hawaii
  • Practice Areas:
    Trademark Law Patent Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Practice Areas:
    Trademark Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Phoenix, Arizona
  • Practice Areas:
    Litigation - Intellectual Property Copyright Law Trademark Law Commercial Litigation
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Little Rock, Arkansas
  • Practice Areas:
    Trademark Law Copyright Law Litigation - Intellectual Property
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Practice Areas:
    Copyright Law Patent Law Trademark Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Atlanta, Georgia
  • Practice Areas:
    Trademark Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Southfield, Michigan
  • Practice Areas:
    Trademark Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    New York, New York
  • Practice Areas:
    Patent Law Trademark Law Litigation - Intellectual Property Litigation - Patent
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Baltimore, Maryland
  • Practice Areas:
    Entertainment Law - Music Trademark Law Entertainment Law - Motion Pictures and Television Copyright Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Atlanta, Georgia
  • Practice Areas:
    Trademark Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Baltimore, Maryland
  • Practice Areas:
    Corporate Law Venture Capital Law Trademark Law Mergers and Acquisitions Law Copyright Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Practice Areas:
    Litigation - Intellectual Property Trademark Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Chicago, Illinois
  • Practice Areas:
    Trademark Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Phoenix, Arizona
  • Practice Areas:
    Litigation - Intellectual Property Copyright Law Trademark Law Patent Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    New York, New York
  • Practice Areas:
    Trademark Law Litigation - Intellectual Property
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Austin, Texas
  • Practice Areas:
    Patent Law Trademark Law Information Technology Law Copyright Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Austin, Texas
  • Practice Areas:
    Trademark Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Woodland Hills, California
  • Practice Areas:
    Trademark Law Litigation - Intellectual Property
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Ann Arbor, Michigan
  • Practice Areas:
    Copyright Law Trademark Law Technology Law Litigation - Patent Litigation - Intellectual Property
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Practice Areas:
    Copyright Law Litigation - Intellectual Property Trademark Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Nashville, Tennessee
  • Practice Areas:
    Trademark Law Copyright Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Austin, Texas
  • Practice Areas:
    Trademark Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    New York, New York
  • Practice Areas:
    Media Law Trademark Law Litigation - Intellectual Property Entertainment Law - Motion Pictures and Television Copyright Law Advertising Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Tampa, Florida
  • Practice Areas:
    Trademark Law Media Law Litigation - Intellectual Property
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Practice Areas:
    Trademark Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Practice Areas:
    Construction Law Trademark Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Nashville, Tennessee
  • Practice Areas:
    Patent Law Trademark Law Litigation - Intellectual Property Trade Secrets Law Litigation - Patent
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Austin, Texas
  • Practice Areas:
    Trademark Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Practice Areas:
    Trademark Law Copyright Law
Lawyer
  • Location:
    Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Practice Areas:
    Copyright Law Trademark Law Information Technology Law Corporate Law

  • Location:
  • Practice Areas:

Practice Area Definition

Trademark Law Definition

Trademark law encompasses the protection and enforcement of words, symbols, or phrases used to identify the source of a particular product or service. Some of the most famous trademarks in the world include APPLE®, GOOGLE®, MCDONALD’S®, and MICROSOFT®. Trademarks are governed by state law and the federal Lanham Act, which allow trademark owners to claim exclusive rights to use and register all protectable marks.

A mark is deemed protectable if it is distinctive, meaning that it is capable of identifying the source of a particular good. In determining whether a mark is distinctive, trademark law uses four separate classifications based on the relationship between the mark and the associated product: (1) arbitrary or fanciful (marks such as KODAK® and APPLE® that bear no inherent relationship to their associated products); (2) suggestive (marks such as COPPERTONE® that evoke a characteristic of the associated products); (3) descriptive (marks such as HOLIDAY INN® that directly describe a characteristic or feature of the associated products); or (4) generic (terms that describe the general category of the associated products, e.g., “phone,” “keyboard,” etc.). The first two categories of marks are protectable without proof that they have acquired distinctiveness in the minds of consumers, while descriptive marks require evidence that the consuming public has come to associate the term with its specific source. Generic terms are never protectable as trademarks, as they are necessary for general identification of a particular product category.

Once a trademark owner has acquired protectable rights in a mark, it may enforce its rights by preventing the use and/or registration of all subsequent infringing marks. The standard for infringement in the United States is “likelihood of confusion,” which means that consumers viewing the respective marks on their associated products are likely to be confused as to the source of those products or as to the sponsorship or approval of such products. In other words, determining infringement is not as simple as merely comparing the marks to see if they are identical; rather, courts will employ a multifactor test. While the precise factors vary slightly by jurisdiction, courts generally consider the following elements: (1) the strength of the plaintiff’s mark; (2) the relatedness of the goods; (3) the similarity of the marks; (4) evidence of actual confusion; (5) the similarity of marketing channels used; (6) the degree of care exercised by the typical purchaser; (7) the defendant’s intent; and (8) the likelihood of expansion of the product lines.

Protecting and enforcing trademarks is critical to the success of any company. Trademarks allow consumers to distinguish a company’s products and services from those of its competitors, and also serve as indicators of the quality of such products and services. Indeed, many companies’ trademark portfolios constitute the majority of the value of their businesses. Please consult with an experienced trademark lawyer to explore how to best to protect your company’s trademarks.

Fish & Richardson P.C.

Fish & Richardson P.C.  logo

Trademark law encompasses the protection and enforcement of words, symbols, or phrases used to identify the source of a particular product or service. Some of the most famous trademarks in the world include APPLE®, GOOGLE®, MCDONALD’S®, and MICROSOFT®. Trademarks are governed by state law and the federal Lanham Act, which allow trademark owners to claim exclusive rights to use and register all protectable marks.

A mark is deemed protectable if it is distinctive, meaning that it is capable of identifying the source of a particular good. In determining whether a mark is distinctive, trademark law uses four separate classifications based on the relationship between the mark and the associated product: (1) arbitrary or fanciful (marks such as KODAK® and APPLE® that bear no inherent relationship to their associated products); (2) suggestive (marks such as COPPERTONE® that evoke a characteristic of the associated products); (3) descriptive (marks such as HOLIDAY INN® that directly describe a characteristic or feature of the associated products); or (4) generic (terms that describe the general category of the associated products, e.g., “phone,” “keyboard,” etc.). The first two categories of marks are protectable without proof that they have acquired distinctiveness in the minds of consumers, while descriptive marks require evidence that the consuming public has come to associate the term with its specific source. Generic terms are never protectable as trademarks, as they are necessary for general identification of a particular product category.

Once a trademark owner has acquired protectable rights in a mark, it may enforce its rights by preventing the use and/or registration of all subsequent infringing marks. The standard for infringement in the United States is “likelihood of confusion,” which means that consumers viewing the respective marks on their associated products are likely to be confused as to the source of those products or as to the sponsorship or approval of such products. In other words, determining infringement is not as simple as merely comparing the marks to see if they are identical; rather, courts will employ a multifactor test. While the precise factors vary slightly by jurisdiction, courts generally consider the following elements: (1) the strength of the plaintiff’s mark; (2) the relatedness of the goods; (3) the similarity of the marks; (4) evidence of actual confusion; (5) the similarity of marketing channels used; (6) the degree of care exercised by the typical purchaser; (7) the defendant’s intent; and (8) the likelihood of expansion of the product lines.

Protecting and enforcing trademarks is critical to the success of any company. Trademarks allow consumers to distinguish a company’s products and services from those of its competitors, and also serve as indicators of the quality of such products and services. Indeed, many companies’ trademark portfolios constitute the majority of the value of their businesses. Please consult with an experienced trademark lawyer to explore how to best to protect your company’s trademarks.