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What is in a name?

Businesses invest substantial amounts of time and money in developing name recognition and goodwill in their products and services, and protecting the same.  Two Indiana businesses, Family Express Corporation and Square Donuts, Inc., have been embroiled in a dispute for nearly a decade over which entity is entitled to use the term “Square Donuts” in the selling of their respective donut products.  Subsequent to the arising of this dispute, Square Donuts, Inc., acquired a federal registration of the “Square Donuts” trademark.

Trademarks play a significant role in protecting the names, logos and designs that businesses use in the marketplace to identify goods and/or services as coming from a particular source.  The strength of a trademark is dependent on many factors including the originality of the mark in the marketplace to which the goods or services relate.  Generally, fanciful and arbitrary marks such as “PRISM” for consulting services are considered to be stronger than merely descriptive marks such as “TIRE CARE” for tire sales and servicing.

Trademark registration can provide many advantages in helping to protect your mark including, on the federal level, a legal presumption of the ownership of the mark and the ability to enforce trademark rights in federal court.

KDDK is experienced in trademark registration on both the state and federal level, and regularly assists clients with protecting all of their intellectual property rights.  Please contact Indiana intellectual property attorney Monica Edwards at medwards@kddk.com or (812) 423-3183, or contact any member of the KDDK Intellectual Property Law Practice Team for assistance with your copyright, trademark or other intellectual property needs.

About the Author

Monica Edwards

Monica E. Edwards, a Partner at Kahn, Dees, Donovan & Kahn, LLP, in Evansville, Indiana, is a member of the KDDK business, environmental, intellectual property, and real estate law practice teams. Monica’s intellectual property experience includes the registration, assignment and renewal of trademarks and copyrights. She is also frequently involved with the licensing and defense of intellectual property and the negotiation of confidentiality agreements on clients’ behalf.

Monica draws upon her scientific experience as a technical services chemist and prior environmental consultant in her practice of environmental law. Her background helps her assist clients in performing environmental due diligence, negotiating environmental settlement agreements, coordinating site clean-ups, prosecuting historical environmental insurance claims, and recovering environmental defense and indemnity costs.

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