Trademark & Copyright Law
Working with Shaheen & Gordon, P.A.
The attorneys and staff in the Intellectual Property (IP) law group at
Shaheen & Gordon, P.A. have experience and expertise in all aspects
of Intellectual Property (IP) law, including Trademark, Copyright and
Unfair Competition practice in the courts of New Hampshire, Maine, and
Massachusetts, along with national and international litigation. We represent
clients in industries ranging from music, to publishing, to fitness, and
salons, spas, and restaurants.
The attorneys in this group know how important it is to get the best protection
available for our clients' most important asset, their intellectual
property. Therefore, we strive to stay current with new developments so
that we can offer our clients unique and individualized solutions for
their diverse needs. We work closely with our Business & Corporate
group to help start-up companies, established corporations, artists and
writers develop the best strategy for protecting their intellectual property from
We advise clients on the availability of trademarks by conducting and reviewing
trademark searches. We prepare and prosecute trademark and copyright applications
with the United States Patent and Trademark Office and the United States
Copyright Office, as well as with the New Hampshire Secretary of State
and agencies in other states. We enforce and defend our clients' copyright
and trademark rights against infringement in and outside of the courtroom.
In addition, we maintain and oversee our clients' intellectual property
portfolios and negotiate licensing agreements. We also have experience
in worldwide, anti-counterfeiting efforts and Internet related concerns.
- Anheuser-Busch, Inc.
- Elliot Health System
- Keane, Inc.
- Shorty's Mexican Roadhouse, Inc.
- Solari Salon & Spa, LLC
- First Impressions Day Spa
- Individual Fitness, LLC
- Community Substance Abuse Centers
Steps to Protecting Your Firm's Goodwill
Originally Published inNew Hampshire Business Review
Imagine you are the owner of a small business in New Hampshire that occasionally
attracts customers from Massachusetts. You attend a sporting event in
New Hampshire where a Massachusetts radio station broadcast can be heard
on the loudspeakers. Suddenly you hear an advertisement for the grand
opening of a business in Massachusetts with the same name as your business,
offering the same services that you offer. Your stomach drops as you realize
your customers will be confused by the ad. Many businesses in New Hampshire
do not realize the advantages of protecting their goodwill and reputation
by registering their intellectual property. But what are the necessary
steps that every business owner should take to protect his or her company's goodwill?
First, everyone who conducts business in New Hampshire is required to register
the business with the Secretary of State. When a business files for registration,
the state will conduct a search to ensure that the business name is not
the same as or likely to be confused with any other business name already
registered in the state, whether it be a New Hampshire or foreign business
(foreign businesses conducting business in New Hampshire must register).
If you registered your company's name, but conduct business under
a different name, you should file with the state a trade name registration form.
Once an entity or trade name is registered in New Hampshire, other companies
will be prevented from registering or conducting business under the same
or similar name in the same industry. In addition, once a business name
is registered, your entity will have a cause of action against foreign
companies who attempt to conduct business in New Hampshire. A business
using a subsequent similar name in a different industry may be able to
register it, as the Secretary of State will consider the location and
purpose of a business.
You also should file a trademark application with the Secretary of State
for any words, names or symbols associated with your business. Although
strongly recommended, state trademark registration is not required to
establish priority or to sue for infringement as common law trademark
rights begin to accrue once an entity starts doing business in the state.
The advantage of this registration is that it creates strong evidence of
a valid trademark, meaning that someone opposing your mark would have
a difficult time proving that your business name or logo is generic or
not distinctive enough to merit trademark protection. Furthermore, trademark
registration allows logos associated with your business to be protected
from infringement by a company from another state that is conducting business
in New Hampshire.
However, if you only register your trademarks in New Hampshire and a business
from another state begins using your exact mark in that other state, you
would have no remedy at law in New Hampshire unless the infringing entity
conducts business in New Hampshire. If you want to protect your business'
name and logos nationwide, you should federally register the name and
logos with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Although this can be
somewhat expensive - and is not necessarily guaranteed, since others may
have already registered similar names or logos - the investment may prevent
Federal registration is prima facie evidence of the validity of your mark.
In addition, it allows you to have superior rights over any subsequent
users of the same or similar marks anywhere in the country, making future
expansion of your business to another state easier to accomplish and will
prevent the above scenario from happening to you. For your New Hampshire,
Maine, or Greater New England trademark copyright and unfair competition
or other intellectual property (IP) law needs, contact the attorneys of
Shaheen & Gordon, P.A. today, because the best legal minds belong
in your corner.