by: Sheri Blaho
Each month the Tulsa Chapter of AMA brings guest speakers from across the region. This month’s meeting included two Tulsa professionals. John Behles, Intellectual Property Attorney of Behles Van Staden, PC, and Martha Gregory, Research Wizard from Tulsa City-County Library, conducted a panel discussion.
John focused on trademarks. He shared that the primary reason for trademarking is to provide consumers the ability to differentiate between products and services. Where patents have a life of 20 years, trademarks could last forever as long as they are consistently used. Trademarks also adds value to your company. Should you sell your firm, the goodwill of a recognized brand name or company name is an asset that can be monetized.
The process for trademarking includes a federal search that determines if the name in conjunction with the product or service is already in use. The second is a common law search. It could be possible that a name that is used in a local market might supersede your request to trademark. The cost to have a lawyer do this for you is MUCH less than the cost to respond to a cease and desist order.
John’s website can give you a full understanding of the breadth of services his firm has to offer.
Martha focused on the multitude of databases that are available in the Research Wizard division of the library. First you could research the use of potential names for company or products, eliminating the obvious, then engage your lawyer to conduct the formal federal and common use.
Martha went on to share the huge number of free databases that are available for all kinds research related to market studies, customer lists, forecasting information, demographics for business and individuals. They have very current information as well as archival information. They can provide the services to plow thru the databases and compile information for you as well.
You need to check out this unique department of the library.
I would love to buy your lunch at next month’s Tulsa AMA meeting. Just shoot me an email!