Trademark Attorney Services
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for Anchorage AK
Anchorage, Alaska Businesses Use Cohn Legal for Trademark Services
Cohn Legal started as a branch of an international Intellectual Property firm. Today, Cohn Legal is now its own firm, catering to clients in Anchorage, Alaska. Focusing on intellectual property rights and trademarks, Cohn Legal counsels national and international clients and helps ensure that their intellectual property is protected against infringement.
Top 7 Questions Anchorage Businesses Have About Obtaining a Trademark
What is a trademark?
A trademark is a word, a phrase, or logo that sets companies that sell the same products or services apart from each other. It allows consumers to identify which company manufactures the product or provides the service. For example, a customer may see an array of winter coats, but it’s the brand name “North Face” that lets consumers know who produced the coat.
How do I register a federal trademark?
In order to trademark a name, you need to become familiar with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, or USPTO. The first step is submitting a trademark application to them.
The trademark application should include your personal info, a photo of the name or logo or design you want trademarked, what type of product or service you want the trademark for, and a sample of how the logo will be used on packaging, a label, on a flyer etc. You should also indicate if the logo or name is “in commerce” which means you’re using it currently or if you are filing it with “intent to use” which means you’ll be using it in commercial activity in the near future.
An examining attorney at the USPTO will thoroughly evaluate the application and search the USPTO database. If no similar trademarks are found and everything else is in good order, then the examiner will likely approve your application and publish it in the USPTO’s Official Gazette for 30 days. If no oppositions from the public are filed during that time, then your trademark will go to final registration.
Do I need to conduct a trademark search before filing my application?
There’s no requirement to conduct a trademark search before filing an application, but it’s a good practice. You can access the USPTO’s database of registered trademarks and pending trademarks to search for a trademark that may be similar to yours.
If your search reveals that no one has a name similar to yours, then you can proceed with a degree of confidence. However, if someone has already registered the name you wanted, try not to be too disappointed. It’s better that you have this information earlier in the process, before you’ve invested in marketing materials, packaging, signage, and anything else that would bear your logo.
Do I need to have a registered trademark before I start selling my goods or services?
You can start selling a product or service anytime you want. There’s no requirement that you have a registered trademark. However, it is in your best interest to protect your intellectual property. Without trademark protection, a competitor can start using your logo or something similar, which will create confusion in the marketplace. They may even decide to register the trademark themselves. Again, there’s no law that says you have to register your trademark, but if you take your business seriously, then take the proper steps to ensure that your trademark is properly protected against infringement.
How long does a trademark last?
Trademarks have no expiration date. You just need to keep up with the renewal deadlines that are set by the USPTO. Your first renewal will come up approximately 5 years from the date you first registered the trademark. Expect to complete a second renewal 5 years after the first. Your third and all subsequent renewals will be required every 10 years. Renewal isn’t difficult, but know that if you do miss a deadline, you run the risk of having your trademark canceled.
How long does the trademark application process take?
Once you submit your trademark application, you’ll hear back from the USPTO within 3 to 6 months. If your registration is found to be eligible for registration, it may take another several weeks before the trademark is registered. Assume that the entire process will take about 8 months if the trademark is approved.
If the trademark is found to be ineligible for registration, the process will take an additional number of months. It’s hard to say exactly how long since it depends on how complex it will be to resolve the issues which cause it to be rejected and how quickly you move to resolve them.
In any event, it’s critical to file the trademark application as soon as possible so as to obtain the earliest possible filing date.
Why was my trademark application rejected?
There are a variety of reasons that your trademark application may be rejected. The most obvious reason is that the mark or something similar to it is already in use.
Other reasons for trademark application rejections could be that the examiner believes the trademark is too generic, too descriptive, includes a surname, or a name of geographic significance.
Your trademark attorney can advise you on your best response to a rejected application.
Why Trademark Registration Matters for Anchorage Businesses
If you’re in the Anchorage area and you’re ready to start a business of your own, you likely have a lot of questions: Where should I set up shop? What type of marketing plan is most effective? Do I need a registered trademark?
All of those questions are important, but the question around trademark registration may be the most important as you start your new venture. Neglecting to register your trademark with the USPTO could have devastating consequences.
Imagine the following: Suzette is an excellent baker and loves tea. She wants to open a little tea shop in downtown Anchorage where she can serve her delectable pastries, sandwiches, salads, and a wide variety of tea. She thinks her tea café would be an excellent addition to the shops and restaurants that are already there.
She calls her shop Tea for Two and spends the next few months renovating her store. She invests in an expensive custom-made sign for the front. She also orders menus, plates, tea cups, and aprons with her logo on everything. Finally, she populates her social media accounts with pictures of the café and advertises in local papers.
She has heard of trademark registration but doesn’t think that’s something small businesses like hers need to worry about. She figures she can inquire about it later on.
It’s a year after her grand opening and Tea for Two is a hit with tourists and locals alike. Suzette is thrilled with her success, but she’s about to get some devastating news. She receives a cease-and-desist letter from an online tea retailer called Tea for Two. They own the trademark to the name so they are well within their rights to ask Suzette to close her shop and rebrand her business.
Suzette can contact an attorney and fight back or spend time and money rebranding. Neither option is ideal. Suzette could have avoided all of this hassle if she registered her mark right from the start.
When it comes to trademark registration, there’s no such thing as a business that’s too big or too small. If you have a business that you believe in, then you need to pursue trademark registration.
If you have questions about trademark registration, then contact the attorneys at Cohn Legal for a no-cost trademark consultation.
* *Cohn Legal, PLLC is not located in Anchorage and yet it can assist businesses from Alaska in registering a federal Trademark because trademarks are governed under federal law.
Trademarks Services for Anchorage Businesses
Submit Your Trademark
Now in 4 Easy Steps
Complete the Trademark Registration Form.
Our IP Attorneys will run a search of your trademark in the USPTO.
We draft your TM Application and send it to you for your Review.
We File the Application with the USPTO.