Copyright / Trademark Attorney Cautions Businesses to Protect Names and Products
Robin R. Mueller
"I’m part of a company’s protection and insurance. Federal trademark registration is a very valuable asset, because it’s given a lot of weight in court. In an infringement situation, it’s much more difficult and expensive to try to go back and protect the trademark later."
Heller is a trademark lawyer and has registered trademarks and copyrights for over 1,800 businesses. National clients include HearthSong and Klutz, California toy companies, The Popcorn Factory, a Chicago popcorn company, as well as computer, construction and consulting companies, and more. St. Louis clients include Mary Engelbreit, Kemolls, Behlmann’s Automotive, Kodner Gallery, Work Transitions, Scottrade and hundreds of other new and established companies.
Depending on the complexity of the trademark search and filing fees, most companies can register a trademark for under $2,000.
Ironically, Heller usually doesn’t meet her clients face-to-face, working mostly via phone, fax, e-mail and courier. One night at a party, she and her husband introduced themselves to a couple, whom she discovered were two of her clients!
"Usually, advertising people like a very descriptive name," says Heller. "Trademark attorneys like arbitrary trademarks like ‘Apple’ or coined trademarks like ‘Exxon’ or ‘Kodak’.
"Remember, ‘Apple’ took on a new meaning, and no other computer company named itself after a fruit or vegetable," she laughs. "Coined marks have no meaning on their own, but they come to have an image through their use."