Trademarks, Trade Dress,
and Unfair Competition

Our Trademark Practice includes preparation, submission, and prosecution of applications for State and Federal trademark protection, as well as the conduct of appeals, and cancellation and opposition proceedings in Federal Courts and the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board. We also handle all aspects of trademark infringements disputes, including enforcement, litigation, settlement, and licensing.

Trademarks in the United States can be registered by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, or State agencies. State trademarks are subject to the particular state trademark laws. Federal trademarks can be enforced in Federal district courts.

Federal law recognizes that the packaging or trade dress of an article can be distinctive enough to qualify for protection under the trademark laws. Design Patent protection may in some circumstances overlap with trademark protection.

Trademark protection in court usually is filed as, or in conjunction with, an Unfair Competition lawsuit. Unfair Competition covers a spectrum of legal rights and remedies. The term encompasses deceptive business practices and false advertising, as well as numerous unfair trade practices.

We prepare, submit, and prosecute applications for trademark registration. Through our cancellation and opposition practice we assist our clients in assuring that similar marks are not registered. We recently helped a nationally known winery protect their label against another winery attempting to use a similar label name. As shown in our litigation section, we have significant experience in trademark and unfair competition cases. We also handle all aspects of trademark infringement disputes.




Case Study #1

A business owner retained us to examine a competitor’s use of the business owner’s name in a nearby city. Investigators snapped pictures showing the offending use. The competitor refused to back down and suit was filed for trademark infringement. We succeeded in receiving an injunction for our client against the competitor’s use of the name, requiring the competitor to change the name.

Case Study #2

A business person who created a unique line of furniture asked us to look into available protection. We determined the possibility of protection under trade dress laws, and under copyright law. We quickly filed copyright applications on each furniture piece, and had the applications in place for the client when the client met with a large regional retailer. The client received favorable results after the retailer’s representative confided that if the copyright applications had not been filed, the retailer had intended to just run the line itself, without making a deal.