Trademarks, Trade Dress and Brand Protection
Howard & Howard understands that clients rely on the power and goodwill of their brands to communicate quality and value to consumers. Brand owners can count on Howard & Howard's access to a worldwide network of resources to obtain, monitor, enforce and leverage trademarks and trade dress across the globe. We offer our clients a full spectrum of trademark services. Our experience, creativity and depth of knowledge can provide U.S. or global protection for the entire life-cycle of trademarks and trade dress. We assist clients from selection and clearance through prosecution, licensing, maintenance, disputes and litigation. Howard & Howard realizes the importance of brand identification and protection in today's global economy and can provide a full range of global trademark services, or assistance with any urgent matter.
Domestic and Global Trademark Prosecution
Howard & Howard tailors a specific trademark strategy to the specific needs of each individual client. Comprehensive strategies to increase portfolio value and strength minimize infringement risk and reduce maintenance costs are critical considerations for brand protection. We understand that proper registration, including the description of goods and services, can affect and enhance our clients' position in litigation down the road. We recognize the important considerations for brand protection across a broad spectrum of industries including automotive, gaming, entertainment, sports, restaurant, apparel, fashion, beauty products, home care and banking. Our trademark clients value our ability to handle comprehensive protection for large international portfolios and our ability to navigate difficult branding concerns. In connection with our domestic and global trademark services, we:
- Counsel clients on the strength of marks, methods of brand protection, strategic portfolio management, including strategic updates to remain current.
- Search and clear our clients' trademarks and service marks in the United States and throughout the world.
- Develop brand strategies to encourage proper trademark use by clients' employees, vendors, licensees, partners and media outlets.
- Negotiate, draft and advise on monitoring and policing trademark licenses and assignments to strengthen marks and maximize portfolio value.
- Implement rolled out registration programs to register clients' marks across the globe to match timing on manufacturing, sales and other economic factors.
- Prepare and file all registration, maintenance and renewal documents in the United States or any country worldwide.
- Police and monitor trademark registrations.
- Defend clients against claims that their trademarks or trade dress may be too close to another's trademarks or trademark registrations before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board and across the globe.
Howard & Howard's trademark litigation team enforces trademarks, service marks, and trade dress on an aggressive, international basis. Our attorneys implement enforcement of trademark rights across the United States to maintain a brand's goodwill. In addition to our own efforts, Howard & Howard has forged strong relationships with premier law firms throughout the world to implement enforcement strategies. Our attorneys and international relationships will secure the result you need on a cost effective basis. Our litigation team provides services which include:
- Protecting clients' rights in trademarks, service marks, and trade dress through investigation, instruction, and negotiation.
- Handling all phases of litigation, including applications for emergency injunctive relief (temporary restraining orders, preliminary injunctions, seizures), declaratory judgment proceedings, trials and appeals, in local and federal courts throughout the United States and in tribunals around the world.
- Conducting complex litigation involving trademark, service mark, and trade dress issues, including infringement, counterfeiting, dilution, false advertising, unfair competition, copyright infringement, rights of publicity and First Amendment issues.
- Resolving problems in difficult jurisdictions across Asia, Europe and the world with an established international network of reliable trademark counsel to implement global brand protection programs on a fast, economical and effective basis.
- Drafting advisory and cease and desist correspondence to protect and enforce trademarks, service marks, and trade dress across the globe.
- Opposing and petitioning to cancel third-party applications and registrations before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board which may cause confusion with our clients' trademarks.
Internet Brand Protection and Domain Name Management
Howard & Howard diligently advises clients about the most effective ways to develop and protect the clients' brands on the Internet. We effectively end trademark and service mark infringement issues that occur in cyberspace. Domain names that are confusingly similar to our clients' brands cause lost sales and must be shut down or transferred. Cybersquatting and typosquatting can be eliminated to divert traffic back to our clients' brands. Meta tags that are used by sophisticated infringers can be addressed by our attorneys to protect our clients' brands. Our attorneys can quickly stop infringing activity in federal court, through UDRP proceedings or ITC investigation. In addition, we can:
- Advise clients on domain name selection and Internet strategies to minimize costly enforcement.
- Provide clients with customized Internet monitoring to help track, prioritize and manage key forms of online abuse.
- Advise clients on fair use, linking, metatagging, cybersquatting, false advertising and unfair competition related to the Internet.
- Provide advice on infringing domain name registrations and websites.
- Handle WIPO arbitration proceedings or cybersquatting litigation in federal court.
- End counterfeiting grey market sales through websites.
Howard & Howard aggressively works to end the manufacture, sale and distribution of unauthorized products on a worldwide basis. Our attorneys have long-standing relationships with counsel across the globe, including Asia, who can efficiently end counterfeiting activities. Howard & Howard's attorneys can:
- Undertake and direct intensive counterfeiting investigations in the United States and in any country around the world.
- Coordinate with local law enforcement, customs services, finance/revenue departments, postal services and government officials to seek solutions where traditional IP-based solutions are either limited or not available.
- Handle anti-counterfeiting actions on the ground including use of writs/complaints and search and seizure actions, coupled with criminal proceedings when such tactics are available.
- Register trademarks with Customs and Border Patrol in the United States, Europe and Asia, ensuring an active approach to identify counterfeit products being imported and seizures of counterfeit shipments.
International IP Protections
To protect their interests, companies today often need to file patents, trademarks and copyright protection in more than one country. Strategic international IP planning must also take into account the costs associated with foreign filing, as well as differences from country to country in IP Laws and their enforcement. Howard & Howard's IP attorneys provide international IP advice to both U.S. and foreign companies. These services include:
- Counsel regarding the WTO Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights.
- Advice on specific provisions for protecting IP rights under other international, regional and bilateral agreements.
- Prosecution and defense of matters relating to unfair trade practices, including patent and trademark infringement, before the International Trade Commission.