You’ve created something special and now it is time to use Trademark Law to protect it. Registering your company name or owning a domain name gives you virtually no legal rights to stop someone else from using your name or logo. Whether you are a solopreneur or a multi-million dollar enterprise, look after what you’ve built.

Trademark Law Overview

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If you are a business owner, the chances are you haven’t given much thought to your name. You should, because failing to secure the legal naming rights to your brand with a Federal Trademark could cost you your business, or at least tens of thousands of dollars. No-one cares how long you have been in business if it isn’t marked. So don’t sit and wait for a letter to hit your mailbox that forces you into an expensive rebrand. Claim the legal rights to your trademarks today.

Once registered legally, your trading reputation and goodwill will be attached to your business. Like a symbol of trust. Trademarks are protected by intellectual property rights, and we can make the process simple. Protect your IP for an affordable flat-fee, including patents, trademarks, copyrights and startup legal services. Register your assets, keep your trade secrets, and monitor your name and brand for potential infringers. Don’t leave it until it’s too late.

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Strategically identifying and registering your intellectual property (1) ensures that your business will be protected from others obtaining a trademark with the same name, (2) allows for you to stop another business from using your brand name, (3) while identifying your products / services and distinguishing you from your competition.

Trademark Law Services

Intellectual Property

As you begin and also grow, it is almost inevitable that you will have to seek intellectual property law protections. They have fostered innovation as patents protect inventions, copyrights protect literary and musical work, and trademarks protect slogans and logos. While patents and copyrights are issued by the federal government, trademarks can be issued by state. In South Carolina, the Secretary of State’s Office registers and renews trademarks. Whether you are trying to protect your brand or defend your artwork, our firm is able and ready to assist you in protecting you fully.

Trademark Applications

This refers to “a word, phrase, symbol, and/or design that identifies and distinguishes the source of the good of one party from those of others.” Additionally, service marks are similar to trademarks, but instead of representing a good, it represents a source of services. However, both terms are traditionally referred to as the same. You can register yours with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, or you can register it within your state. While filing at the state level is less expensive, it only provides protection within your state.

In South Carolina, an application is $15.00, and you must include the following: (1) name of applicant; (2) applicant’s principal place of work address; (3) any South Carolina business addresses; (4) type of company formation; (5) description of the trademark; (6) a list of the goods or services with which it will be used; (7) mode or manner in which it will be used; (8) the class(es) in which the goods/services fall in; (9) date of first use; and (10) three specimens of the mark. Retaining an attorney to assist in your registration will help you understand the process and streamline your application.

Copyright Applications

Referring to “a form of protection grounded in the U.S. Constitution and granted by law for original works of authorship fixed in a tangible medium of expression. Copyright covers both published and unpublished works.” It is used to protect intellectual property including your literary, musical, dramatic, and artistic works. Registration is voluntary, however, if you seek to bring a lawsuit for infringement, you must register your work.

As today’s world becomes increasingly centered around technology, seeking protection is highly encouraged. The defense to an infringement is Fair Use, which is a legal doctrine that grants unlicensed use of material under certain circumstances. Section 107 of the Copyright Act identifies certain situations that permit use of protected material – such as “criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research” – as examples of activities that may qualify as fair use. However due to the ever-evolving, complex field of intellectual property law, it is advised that you seek a business attorney to assist you in registering or making a claim for infringement.

Trade Secret Protection

As another subset of intellectual property, this will “consist of information and can include a formula, pattern, compilation, program, device, method, technique or process.” Specifically, in order to be entitled to trade secret protection, the secret must be (1) used in a business and (2) give an economic advantage over other competitors involved in the same type of activity.

While this arose out of the United State’s ratification of the Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual-property Rights, an international accord between World Trade Organization members, claims typically are handled in state court. In 2016, Congress passed the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 which created a federal civil right of action for parties to remove their action to federal court. Here in SC, protections are codified in the South Carolina Code of Laws in Title 39: Trade and Commerce, Chapter 8: Trade Secrets. You might be entitled to recovery if a former employee or competitor misappropriated your information and obtained your trade secret improperly.

Testimonial – Trademark Registration

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Registering a trademark is a very important consideration as a business sets out and begins to grow.

Henderson & Henderson helped me renew my trademark for my small business and was incredibly helpful and efficient. Wesley kept me updated every step of the way and made sure I am set up for the future so my trademark is never in jeopardy. I couldn’t recommend their services more!


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Learn more about what a business attorney can do for you, about Wesley Henderson, and contact us with any question.

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