Finding ways to achieve competitive advantages or differences in the marketplace is a common goal for businesses in Florida and across the country. At the same time, companies often seek ways to prevent others from leveraging their strengths or assets. Intellectual property protections like trademarks or service marks can assist with this.
As explained by the United States Patent and Trademark Office, a trademark or service mark is designed to identify the origin of a particular service or product. It also identifies a product or service as unique, aligns it to a brand and differentiates it from competitive offerings. When applying for a trademark, a company may or may not have already used the name or mark publicly yet.
If the mark has not been used publicly but the company can prove a legitimate intention to do so, the application should note an "intent to use" as the basis for filing. Examples of a legitimate intention to use include a product being in production but not yet launched or a business plan in place and funding secured even possibly but with operations not yet fully underway. If the mark has been used for all offerings intended in a public setting for commerce, then the application should not "use in commerce" as the basis for filing.
If you would like to learn more about trademarks, how to determine when you need them and how to approach the application process, please feel free to visit the intellectual property protections page of our Florida business website.