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Arlington, Texas Businesses Use Cohn Legal for Trademark Services
Cohn Legal is a Trademark Law firm that was born as an auxiliary branch of a firm that has provided legal protection to some of the biggest technology companies in the world. Cohn Legal is focused on providing clients in Arlington, Texas, and around the globe with outstanding legal counsel and guidance on trademark and intellectual property rights and protections.
Top 7 Questions Arlington Businesses Have About Obtaining a Trademark
What is a trademark?
Companies want their goods or services to stand apart from the competition that offers goods and services in the same category. A registered trademark helps them do that. A registered trademark is a word, logo, slogan, or design that enables consumers to identify the company that produced the product or offers the service.
How do I register a federal trademark?
If you want a registered trademark, you need to first submit a trademark application to the United States Patent and Trademark Office, or USPTO. The trademark application will contain information about the applicant (i.e., you), the desired trademark, and the type of goods or services you’re offering.
Upon receiving the application, the USPTO examining attorney will search the USPTO database. This is done to identify any trademarks that similar to the trademark you’re attempting to register. If the examining attorney does find a similar trademark, then your application will likely be rejected.
However, if no similar mark is found and your application gets approved, the next step is for the examining attorney to have your trademark printed in the USPTO’s Official Gazette for a 30-day period. During that time any third party can submit an “opposition” to the application if they feel that your trademark infringes upon theirs. Assuming no oppositions come forward, your trademark will be approved for final registration.
Do I need to conduct a trademark search before filing my application?
Technically, you don’t need to do a trademark search, but it’s a smart idea to do so. You can easily access the USPTO database and search for existing trademarks. If you find one that’s similar to yours, then you know that you’ll have to come up with a new name or logo. It can be disappointing to have the change of name you had your heart set on. But doing a search before submitting an application can save you time and frustration in the long run.
Do I need to have a registered trademark before I start selling my goods or services?
You actually don’t need a trademark to start selling. However, it is wise to get your trademark registered as soon as possible. If a third party sees you conducting business without a registered trademark, there’s nothing stopping that person from using your brand on their similar product. They may even go one step further and register your trademark for themselves. Don’t put off the trademark registration process. Any serious business owner knows how important it is to protect their trademark against infringement.
How long does a trademark last?
A trademark lasts forever. It’ll never expire if you meet the renewal deadlines set forth by the USPTO. You’ll have to first renew the trademark around the 5-year anniversary of your original trademark registration, then again at the 10-year anniversary, and every 10 years after that. Please note that if you miss a renewal deadline, your trademark may be cancelled.
What is a “specimen” and when do I need one?
An examining attorney wants to see how your trademark will actually be used. A specimen is basically a sample of how you are actually using your trademark in commercial activity. For products, a specimen could be a product label, packaging, or a tag, etc. If you are selling a service and not a physical item, then flyers, brochures, advertisements, website screenshots, pictures of signage, etc. would all be acceptable specimens.
Can I file a trademark if I’m not yet selling any products, but intend to?
You can file a trademark before you are ready to start selling your product or service. Section 1(b) of the Lanham Act, 15.U.S.C. § 1051(b) states that “…person who has a bona fide intention, under circumstances showing the good faith of such person, to use a trademark in commerce may request registration of its trademark.”
Start by completing and sending an Intent-To-Use (ITU) trademark application to the USPTO. If the ITU application has been accepted, you’ll receive a Notice of Allowance (NOA). Once you receive the NOA, you’ll have 6 months to submit your Statement of Use. If you need more time you can file for an extension. Each extension request will give you an extra 6 months to provide the Statement of Use. You can file up to 5 extensions.
Why Trademark Registration Matters for Arlington Businesses
The University of Texas At Arlington is a major urban research university that welcomes hundreds of students on a yearly basis. That industrious spirit lives on in business owners who are popping up all over downtown Arlington in recent years. While they are quick to take a “do-it-yourself” approach to most aspects of their business, they should turn to a trademark attorney when it comes time to register their marks with the USPTO.
Imagine the following: David is passionate about energy efficiency and has decided to start his own energy audit company in Arlington. He’ll visit people’s homes and evaluate their energy consumption. Then, he’ll make recommendations on how that can improve the energy efficiency of their home.
He decides to call his new business Ace Energy Auditors. He finds a small storefront, purchases a van, sets up a website and moves forward with booking home inspections. His friend asks if he’s going to trademark the name of his business, but David doesn’t think that’s necessary right now. He conducted a search on Google and didn’t find any businesses in Arlington with the name he wanted to use. So he assumes he’s good to go.
Unfortunately for David, he’s about to get some troubling news. There’s a company in Dallas that offers similar services. They call themselves Ace Home Energy Auditors. The Dallas company trademarked their logo when they opened up their business about 5 years ago. They think that the name of David’s business is too similar to their own and could cause confusion. They are well within their rights to send David a cease-and-desist letter, asking him to close his business and not open until he rebrands.
A Google search is never sufficient for determining if your desired trademark is available for use. You should always work with a trademark attorney who can conduct a comprehensive search on your behalf.
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 Arlington and yet it can assist businesses from Texas in registering a federal Trademark because trademarks are governed under federal law.
Trademarks Services for Arlington 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.