In the world of trademarking, very little is “black and white.” Though the laws are lengthy and meant to create as much clarity as possible, there are still so many ambiguities when it comes to trademarking a brand and intellectual property. All of this can lead to a “trademark fight,” or dispute.
One of the things we pride ourselves on as a trademark law firm is our ability to use the certainties of the laws and the ambiguities to our clients’ advantage. We know trademark law inside and out, and we believe in protecting your intellectual property at every turn.
Today, we want to share the biggest trademark fight of our career, going against one of the biggest names in print media.
Hopefully, this shows you the value in trademarking — and that, even against media conglomerates and giant corporations, your brand can still be protected.
Setting the Scene
Our client came to us with an established brand in the wedding industry. They knew that trademarking their brand, design, and intellectual property was an important step forward, not only in protecting the longevity of their career but in helping to establish an immediate reputation.
Before we went through the trademarking process with our client, their brand became the target of a national magazine, which opposed the trademark on sight. They felt that our client’s brand was too similar to theirs, and given the name, it was too close for comfort for the larger company.
While this sounds scary, an opposition to a trademark happens quite often. Our legal team is always prepared to deal with any possible opposition, making the necessary arguments for our client’s case. However, before we even file for a trademark, we conduct thorough research (using more than just the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office database) into each of our clients’ brands to identify any possible opposition.
Receiving the Suit
Before our application was approved, we had received a legal complaint, filed through the magazine’s legal team. The filing claimed that our trademark was in violation of their intellectual property.
Luckily, because our client worked with the Watson & Young team, they had our support throughout this process — beyond filing the application. Our team is always prepared to represent our client in any legal proceedings.
The case with this magazine was no different. We met with their legal team and made the argument on the basis of market. Though our client’s brand name may have been similar, their audience was in a completely different market and was looking for completely different things.
This is where those “black and white” trademark laws help to protect brands both big and small — because it truly comes down to protecting your place in your market.
Ultimately, the magazine’s legal team also determined that there would be no confusion among the customers for each brand, and we came to a settlement. This allowed our client to keep their name and branding as is, and our trademark was approved.
Our client had the kindest words to say after all was said and done:
“Zara and her team were amazing to work with. From our initial conversation, I knew my case would be in good hands. As a business owner, it was important that I find someone who understood the importance of protecting the integrity of my brand; Zara took the time to ensure that I understood each step, honestly answered all my questions, was very attentive, and kept up our communication through the entire process.
I knew I could rely on her to successfully negotiate the terms and conditions of my case. Overall, Zara and her team were terrific at assisting me and went above and beyond to make sure that I was satisfied with their services.”
If you want to ensure your brand is fully protected and that you have the backing of an expert legal team throughout the trademark process, we would love to discuss working together. Please inquire about our services here.