Discover the importance of registering your trademark rights.

Industrial Property Issues

What could Dr. John Pemberton have imagined, back in 1886, that his medicinal invention, “Coca-Cola”, would become for more than a century one of the most lucrative businesses on the planet. Indeed, the time of the drink's pioneering “soda fountain” sales has given way to a vast and unsurpassed worldwide marketing and sales network, shaped in the shadow of a strong brand name. Such has been the success of this emblematic product of the modern era that, while the total assets of the Coca-Cola organization are estimated at US$115 billion, the brand alone is valued at US$102 billion, 88.69% of the total value of the company .

with this example we intend to illustrate the importance for the company, whatever its size, the registration of its Industrial Property rights, that is, of trademarks, invention patents and fictitious names.

When you decide to set up a business, find out if the trademarks, commercial slogans and designs that you want to use are already registered.. Prepare your advertising campaign once you are certain about the trademark registrations.

A brand is a word, a symbol or a phrase used to identify a product or a company and differentiate it from other products or companies that compete in the market and make it easier for the consumer to quickly identify the product or service.

Fictitious names, on the other hand, are used especially to distinguish companies by their branch of activity, which do not wish to use their own name of incorporation.

To enjoy trademark rights, it is necessary to abide by legal formalities at both the Federal and State levels., depending on the scope of coverage sought. Registering a trademark at the State level is, of course, cheaper than the Federal registry (US$87,50 vs. US$245).

If you wish to register your trademark in Florida, you may contact the Secretary of State, “Section of Trademarks”, POBox6327, Tallahassee, Fl 32314; telephone 850 4889000; or visit www.ccfcorp.dos.state.fl.us.

If, on the other hand, you prefer to have national protection for your trademark, you can contact the US Patent and Trademark Office –Patent and Trademark Registration Office- through its website www.uspto.gov.
To summarize, a new entrepreneur must register at the State level (1) the name of the company under which he will operate; (2) the fictitious name or names with which he will distinguish one or more of his companies; and (3) trademarks or service marks. Likewise, he will be able to register the trademarks of manufacture and service in the federal scope, as long as he shows evidence of their intra-state use.

Lastly, it is of vital importance to register the domain or domains that allow our companies to project themselves on the Internet network. A domain is a commercial name supported by an Internet protocol that allows its prompt location in the virtual network. At www.register.com you will find a friendly website for registering your domains at a supportive price of US$35 per year / domain. If you want to know who owns existing domains visit www.whois.net.

My final advice to conclude this topic is that the registration and protection of your industrial property rights – trademarks and patents – must be in the hands of a company specialized in the matter. It is a mistake to hire “all-in” professionals or those with other specializations because they have neither the infrastructure, nor the knowledge, nor the experience to manage a permanent system of control and surveillance of the cases entrusted to them.

It often happens that some professionals accept this type of management without possessing the required specialization qualities and then subcontract to trademark and patent offices. This, of course, establishes a barrier between the client and the true specialist while overheating the prices that the user pays for fees. Consequently, Before putting your rights in the pillory, check if the office you will hire has prestige and experience in matters of trademarks and patents.

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