Trademarks FAQ

What is intellectual property?
Intellectual property rights control products of creative thought and include patents, trademarks, copyrights and trade secrets. Intellectual property law relating to e-commerce and the Internet is developing rapidly.
Why is intellectual property important?
Protecting innovation and maintaining competitive advantages is a must in today's economy. Equally important, and easily overlooked, is the necessity of respecting intellectual property of others.
How can a business manage intellectual property?
Someone in the business should be trained to recognize intellectual property issues and authorized to take action when issues arise. Prompt action can be essential to a successful result. The business should establish a relationship with an intellectual property lawyer.
What is a trademark?
A trademark is any word, name, symbol, or device used to identify and distinguish the owner's goods or services in the marketplace from goods or services of others. Colors or sounds can be trademarks.
How are trademarks developed and protected?
Trademark rights are developed by use or by filing an application for federal registration. Federal registration provides the best protection and can secure exclusive nationwide rights. An application can be based on actual use in interstate commerce or a bona-fide intent to use the trademark. A trademark search can be conducted to evaluate registerability and infringement issues.
Can others be stopped from using your trademark in Internet domain names?
Domain name disputes can be resolved under the Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy ("UDRP") administered by ICANN, a non-profit corporation that manages Internet domain names, or by suing the domain name holder in federal court under the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act ("ACPA"). Other relief may be available against a cybersquatter.