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If you sell goods or services, you probably use a trademark. A trademark is a word, phrase, symbol, design, or a combination of these things, that identifies your goods or services in the marketplace. Trademarks are important to your business because your trademark is how customers recognize you in the marketplace and distinguish you from your competitors.

With trademarks playing such a crucial role for most businesses, selecting the wrong trademark or failing to take steps to protect it can be costly. If you infringe someone else’s trademark, you will likely have to change your trademark, which may involve significant costs and customer confusion. You could also be liable for monetary damages. If you select a weak trademark or fail to protect it properly, others could use the same trademark or a similar trademark, diminishing your brand.

Navigating the world of trademarks can be complicated. For example, even if your business name is available at the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA), it could still be an infringement of someone else’s trademark if you use it on or in connection with the sale of your goods or services. Similarly, you could be infringing someone else’s trademark even if you don’t find an exact match after searching the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Our experienced trademark attorney is here to help you. For new businesses, or businesses thinking about rebranding, he can help you select a strong trademark, and then take steps that are appropriate for your business situation to protect your new trademark, including registering the trademark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

For existing businesses, he can advise you how to protect the trademark you have, including registration with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.