and Service Marks are signs, symbols, words or designs which identify
the source of products bearing these marks or the originator of services
offered in association with the names or symbols. Common examples of
trademarks are such words as Coca-Cola for soft drinks or
If you desire to protect the name of a product,
you should place a TM next to the mark on labels and in promotional
material. Once you obtain a federal trademark registration on such a mark,
the TM symbol
should be replaced with the symbol ®.
There are two types of trademark registrations
available to protect such marks: federal and state. A federal registration
prevents anyone else (with certain limited exceptions) throughout the entire
United States from using your mark or any marks which are confusingly similar
thereto in competition with you. A state registration only serves as a form of
protection in the state in which it is issued, and is therefore of much more
limited scope than a federal registration.
The disadvantage of a federal registration
is that it is more expensive and takes longer to obtain than a state registration.
The cost of filing a federal trademark application is approximately $1,535 to $2,395
per class of goods or services, provided no drawing is necessary, and the prosecution
of the federal trademark application takes one to two years. The cost of prosecution
of a federal trademark application often costs $300.00 - $900.00 over that
period of time. The cost of filing a Louisiana state trademark application, however,
is usually about only $250.00, and a state registration can be obtained within
one to two weeks from the time of filing. No prosecution costs are involved.