Commercial Trademarking FAQs

The use of trademarks in the commercial world can be traced back several centuries. The term trademark is used to make reference to a combination of words, symbols, and names that is used to identify a service provider or a business product. Trademarks are used for commercial branding as they help to distinguish between different players in the same industry.

The Q&A session below provides answers to three common questions about commercial trademarking for the benefit of those venturing into business for the first time.

Are There Different Types Of Trademarks?

Commercial trademarks are of two types. Common law trademarks are those whose rights are earned through consistent use of the trademark by a particular company over an extended period of time. As a result of consistent use, clients of the company in question recognize the trademark and associate it with the company's goods or services. Common law trademarks are unregistered and their recognition is often only limited to the particular jurisdiction/ geographical area.

Registered trademarks are of more importance to an upcoming entrepreneur. This is because registered trademarks give business owners the right to monopolize its use and the right to license its use by third party commercial entities.

Can Commercial Trademarks Be Co-Owned?

A commercial trademark can belong to more than one business entity. Co-ownership of commercial trademarks may be necessitated by various circumstances. For example, when a business brings along new partners or investors, joint ownership of trademarks will often feature in the partnership agreement.

For a large number of upcoming business entities, the initial costs involved in product trademarking are often prohibitive. Consequently, a large number of these entities opt for joint ownership of trademarks so as to save on upfront costs. This can be helpful for upcoming business entities that have several products that need to be trademarked.

However, joint ownership of trademarks is often associated with various complexities. As such, entrepreneurs are advised to take up joint ownership only as a last resort.

How Can A Trademark Attorney Be Of Help?

Upcoming entrepreneurs need the services of qualified trademark attorneys when looking to safeguard their product(s) with a trademark. Issues to do with commercial trademarking are rather sensitive and the slightest of mistakes could be interpreted as trademark infringement.

The trademark attorney will advise on how to come up with a trademark that is less likely to infringe on the trademark rights of another business entity. Chances of a successful trademark registration are higher when legal assistance is sought from the mentioned professionals.