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Cleveland, Ohio Businesses Use Cohn Legal for Trademark Services
Cohn Legal is a startup and trademark legal firm providing service to clients in Cleveland, Ohio, throughout the United States, Europe, and Israel. Cohn Legal attorneys operate with the singular goal of acting as your legal consigliere, continuously striving to provide you with the best legal advice and strategies to protect your trademarks and intellectual property.
Top Questions Cleveland Businesses Have About Obtaining a Trademark
If I Only Provide My Services in Cleveland, Ohio, Can I Still Obtain a Federal Trademark?
This is an excellent question. Ultimately, to obtain a federal trademark, it must be used in “interstate-commerce” meaning that your services must be provided in at least two States. If you are presently only providing your services in Cleveland, Ohio, we can simply file an Intent to Use application; The intent-to-use application allows the applicant to reserve the right to use the trademark once it is ready to be used in inter-state-commerce.
What is a trademark?
A trademark is a distinctive sign, symbol, design, word, or phrase that helps identify and distinguish the goods or services of one business from those of others. Essentially, it is a form of intellectual property that provides exclusive rights to the owner to use the mark in connection with specific goods or services. This exclusivity allows consumers to associate the mark with a particular source of products or services, and it helps businesses build brand recognition and customer loyalty.
Trademarks serve as a valuable asset for businesses as they create a unique identity and protect the goodwill associated with their products or services. When consumers see a well-known trademark, they can expect a certain level of quality and reliability, which further promotes customer trust and loyalty.
To obtain trademark protection, the mark must be distinctive and not too generic or descriptive of the goods or services it represents. Trademarks can be registered at the national level or, in some cases, at an international level to expand protection to other countries.
Registering a trademark offers several advantages, such as providing nationwide notice of ownership, evidence of ownership in case of disputes, and the ability to use the ® symbol, signifying a federally registered mark. However, even without registration, a mark may still acquire some level of protection under common law by being used in commerce.
It’s essential for businesses to conduct a comprehensive search before adopting a trademark to ensure it’s not already in use by someone else and to avoid potential legal issues in the future. Registering a trademark is a prudent step to protect the brand and its value, but it’s equally important to enforce the rights associated with it to prevent unauthorized use and infringement.
Overall, trademarks play a vital role in the business world by safeguarding brand identity, reputation, and consumer trust. They serve as a powerful tool for companies to establish their presence in the market and set themselves apart from competitors.
Is there a difference between a trademark and service mark?
Yes, there is a difference between a trademark and a service mark, although they both fall under the broader category of “marks” used to distinguish goods and services. The main distinction lies in the types of products or services they identify.
- Trademark: A trademark is used to identify and distinguish goods or physical products offered by a business. These can include tangible items like electronics, clothing, food products, and more. For instance, the Nike “swoosh” logo is a registered trademark that identifies Nike’s line of athletic footwear and apparel.
- Service Mark: On the other hand, a service mark is specifically used to identify and distinguish services provided by a business. Unlike trademarks, service marks apply to intangible services rather than physical products. Examples of service marks include recognizable logos or names used by businesses in industries such as telecommunications, hospitality, legal services, etc. For instance, the “Golden Arches” of McDonald’s are both a trademark for its food products and a service mark for the restaurant services it provides.
While the distinction between trademarks and service marks lies in the nature of the goods or services they represent, the legal principles that govern their protection are generally the same. Both trademarks and service marks can be registered with the appropriate government authorities to gain exclusive rights to their use and prevent others from using similar marks in a way that could cause confusion among consumers.
It’s worth noting that in many jurisdictions, including the United States, the term “trademark” is often used to encompass both trademarks and service marks. This is due to historical reasons, as the concept of “service mark” emerged later than that of “trademark.” However, from a legal standpoint, they serve distinct purposes in identifying products versus services.
Overall, whether a business needs to register a trademark or a service mark depends on the nature of its offerings. Businesses dealing with physical products typically register trademarks, while those providing services register service marks. In some cases, businesses may need to register both types of marks to fully protect their brand and business identity. Consulting with a trademark attorney can help navigate the registration process and ensure comprehensive protection of intellectual property.
What’s the difference between the ® and TM symbols?
The ® symbol and the TM symbol serve different purposes and indicate distinct trademark status. Understanding their differences is essential for businesses to properly convey their trademark rights to consumers and competitors.
- TM Symbol: The TM symbol stands for “trademark.” It is used to indicate that a word, phrase, logo, or other mark is being used as a trademark, but it has not yet been registered with the appropriate trademark office. Businesses can use the TM symbol freely and without formal registration. By using the TM symbol, the owner puts the public on notice that they consider the mark to be their trademark and intend to assert rights over it. The TM symbol is commonly used during the early stages of the trademark application process or when a mark is protected under common law rights.
- ® Symbol: The ® symbol, on the other hand, stands for “registered trademark.” It indicates that the mark has gone through the formal registration process with the relevant trademark office and has been granted federal protection. The ® symbol can only be used for trademarks that are officially registered and recognized by the government. Once a mark is registered, the owner gains exclusive rights to use the mark in connection with the specific goods or services it represents. Infringing on a registered trademark can lead to legal consequences, including financial penalties and injunctions.
Using the correct symbol is crucial for maintaining the distinctiveness and protection of a trademark. Using the TM symbol while the mark is in the application process or when relying on common law rights signals the intent to protect the mark, but it does not provide the same level of protection as a registered trademark. On the other hand, using the ® symbol without proper registration is illegal and can lead to penalties.
It’s important to note that the availability of the ® symbol depends on the jurisdiction where the trademark is registered. In the United States, the ® symbol can only be used after the mark has been federally registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). In other countries, the rules regarding the use of the ® symbol may vary, and businesses must comply with the regulations of each jurisdiction where they seek trademark protection.
In summary, the TM symbol is used to indicate an unregistered trademark, while the ® symbol signifies a registered trademark. Registering a trademark provides stronger legal protection and allows the owner to use the prestigious ® symbol, which serves as a visible warning to potential infringers and reinforces the trademark’s status as a valuable asset of the business.
How can I determine if a trademark is available?
Conducting a comprehensive trademark search is essential to determine if a trademark is available for use and registration. This search helps identify existing trademarks that may conflict with the proposed mark and allows businesses to avoid potential legal issues and costly disputes in the future. Here are the steps to perform a thorough trademark search:
- Online Database Searches: Start by searching online databases of trademark offices. In the United States, you can use the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) website to search for registered trademarks and pending applications. Many other countries have similar online databases where you can search for registered marks.
- Common Search Engines: Perform a general search on popular search engines to look for any unregistered trademarks or common law marks that might not be in official databases.
- Corporate Name Databases: Check the corporate name databases at the state or national level to see if the proposed mark is already in use by another business entity.
- Domain Name Search: Look for domain names that match or resemble the proposed trademark to see if anyone else is using it for online purposes.
- Industry-Specific Directories: Search industry-specific directories or trade publications to identify any existing marks in the relevant industry.
- Trade Name Search: Investigate trade names, which are business names used to identify a company. Even if not registered as trademarks, trade names can still hold common law rights.
- International Trademark Databases: If you plan to expand internationally, conduct searches in the trademark databases of other countries where you intend to do business.
- Consult with a Trademark Attorney: Working with a trademark attorney is highly recommended. They have access to specialized search tools and can conduct a more thorough and professional search to identify potential conflicts.
During the search, pay close attention to marks that are similar or related to your proposed mark, even if they are not identical. Trademarks do not need to be identical to cause confusion; similar-sounding names, similar logos, or marks in related industries can all pose a risk of confusion.
After conducting the search, evaluate the results and assess the risk of potential conflicts. If there are no conflicting marks and the search yields positive results, you can proceed with the trademark registration process. If there are any potential conflicts, it’s essential to reassess your proposed mark or seek legal advice to determine the best course of action.
Remember that a thorough trademark search is crucial before investing time and resources in building a brand around a particular mark. Taking the time to perform a proper search can help protect your business from future legal challenges and ensure a strong foundation for your brand identity.
Should I wait until my business is up and running before registering my trademark?
In short, no. Any trademark attorney will tell you that trademark registration one of the first things you should while you’re planning on starting your business. If you wait until your business is established to register your mark, you may find that you’re infringing on an existing trademark, which means you’ll have to spend time and money rebranding your business, creating new marketing materials, updating your website. Registering your trademark early on can save you lots of time and money in the long run.
Do I need to sell a product or service to obtain a registered trademark?
No, you do not necessarily need to sell a product or service to obtain a registered trademark. Trademark law recognizes two types of trademarks: “use-based” and “intent-to-use” applications.
- Use-Based Trademark Application: A use-based trademark application is filed when the mark is already being used in commerce to identify goods or services. This means the mark is currently in use and associated with the sale or provision of products or services. In a use-based application, the applicant must provide evidence of the mark’s actual use in commerce, such as photographs of the product with the mark or documentation of service offerings.
- Intent-to-Use Trademark Application: An intent-to-use trademark application is filed when the mark is not yet in use but the applicant has a bona fide intention to use it in the future. This type of application allows the applicant to secure priority for the mark while they prepare to use it in commerce. It provides a valuable opportunity to reserve the trademark before it is actually launched, preventing others from registering a similar mark in the meantime.
When filing an intent-to-use application, the applicant must declare a bona fide intent to use the mark in commerce in the future. Subsequently, they will need to submit evidence of actual use within a specified period (generally six months) from the issuance of a Notice of Allowance. Alternatively, extensions may be requested for up to a total of 36 months from the issuance of the Notice of Allowance.
The intent-to-use application process is advantageous for businesses that are in the process of developing a new product or service and want to secure exclusive rights to a particular mark before it is launched in the market. It provides a grace period to complete product development, marketing, or business planning, while still maintaining priority over potential competitors.
It’s important to note that merely having an idea for a product or service without a genuine intention to use the mark in commerce does not qualify for an intent-to-use application. The intent must be concrete and demonstrable.
In conclusion, both use-based and intent-to-use applications are valid paths to obtain a registered trademark. Whether you have already begun selling products or services or are in the planning stages, you can seek trademark protection to safeguard your brand and prevent others from using a similar mark in the future. Consulting with a trademark attorney can help you determine the best approach for your specific situation and ensure a smooth and successful trademark registration process.
If I only provide my services locally, can I still obtain a federal trademark?
Yes, even if you only provide your services locally, you can still obtain a federal trademark in the United States under certain conditions. Trademark registration in the U.S. is based on the use of the mark in commerce, which means it must be associated with the sale or provision of goods or services across state lines.
To qualify for federal trademark registration, you must use your mark in interstate commerce, which includes activities such as:
- Advertising or promoting your services to customers in other states: This can be done through various means, including online advertisements, social media, or printed materials distributed outside your local area.
- Providing services to customers in other states: If you have clients or customers located outside your local area who use your services, this qualifies as interstate commerce.
- Offering services on a website accessible to customers in other states: If your website allows customers from different states to access and request your services, it can be considered interstate commerce.
- Participating in trade shows or exhibitions in other states: If you showcase your services at events outside your local area, it can be seen as interstate commerce.
The key is to establish a connection between your services and interstate commerce, even if your primary focus is on serving clients locally. This connection can be demonstrated through evidence such as advertising materials, customer testimonials, or records of services provided to customers outside your state.
If you are unsure whether your business activities meet the requirements for federal trademark registration, consulting with a trademark attorney is highly recommended. A qualified attorney can evaluate your situation, advise you on the best course of action, and assist you in preparing a strong application for federal trademark registration.
While federal registration offers significant benefits, including nationwide protection and the ability to bring legal action in federal court, keep in mind that you may still have some level of protection for your mark under common law rights if you are using it in commerce, even without federal registration. However, federal registration provides stronger and more comprehensive protection, making it a valuable asset for businesses looking to expand their reach beyond their local area in the future.
Does registering my trademark protect my business?
Absolutely! Registering your trademark is one of the most important ways to protect your business and your brand. Once you register your trademark, your business gains the presumption of nationwide validity, which means that your trademark is protected from infringement in all 50 states. If there’s a competitor or a third party using your trademark or something similar, you can take legal action.
What should I register first: the name of my business or my brand logo?
When deciding what to register first, the name of your business or your brand logo, it’s important to consider the distinctiveness and importance of each element to your overall brand identity. Both the business name and the brand logo are critical components of your branding strategy, and protecting both can offer valuable advantages. Here are some factors to consider:
- Distinctiveness: If your business name is unique, distinctive, and plays a significant role in identifying your products or services, it may be beneficial to register it as a trademark. A strong business name can become synonymous with your brand and help consumers recognize and remember your offerings.
- Brand Recognition: On the other hand, if your brand logo is highly recognizable and serves as the primary visual representation of your brand, trademarking the logo can be essential. A distinctive logo can create instant brand recognition and set your products or services apart from competitors.
- Complementary Protection: In an ideal scenario, it’s advisable to register both the business name and the brand logo as trademarks. By doing so, you obtain complementary protection for the textual elements of your business name and the design elements of your logo. This comprehensive protection safeguards your brand identity from various angles.
- Prioritization: If you have budget constraints and need to prioritize one over the other, consider the element that provides the most distinctive and unique representation of your brand. However, keep in mind that the protection you obtain will be limited to the registered element. For example, if you register only the business name, competitors could potentially use a similar logo to capitalize on your brand’s reputation.
- Evolution of Branding: Consider the future direction of your branding strategy. If you plan to make changes to your business name or logo in the future, it might be wiser to prioritize registering the element that will remain constant throughout your brand’s evolution.
- Comprehensive Trademark Search: Before proceeding with registration, conduct a comprehensive trademark search for both the business name and the logo. This will help identify any potential conflicts with existing trademarks and allow you to make informed decisions about registration priorities.
Ultimately, it’s best to protect both the business name and the brand logo to ensure a strong and cohesive brand identity. Consult with a trademark attorney to develop a comprehensive trademark strategy that aligns with your business goals and maximizes the protection of your valuable intellectual property. Remember that trademarks play a crucial role in building brand value, distinguishing your offerings, and fostering customer trust and loyalty.
What is a fanciful trademark?
A fanciful trademark is a type of trademark that falls into the category of “distinctive” marks. It is considered the strongest and most protectable type of trademark because it consists of a completely invented or made-up word that has no meaning or association with the goods or services it represents. Fanciful trademarks are created solely for the purpose of functioning as a brand identifier.
The uniqueness and lack of any existing meaning make fanciful trademarks inherently distinctive and easily recognizable. Since these marks are not commonly used in the English language or any other language, consumers are more likely to associate them exclusively with a specific source of goods or services. Examples of fanciful trademarks include:
- Kodak – A well-known brand name for cameras and photographic equipment.
- Xerox – A brand name for photocopiers and other office equipment.
- Google – A brand name for an internet search engine.
Fanciful trademarks enjoy a high level of legal protection because they are inherently strong and less likely to be confused with other trademarks in the marketplace. As a result, they are easier to register and enforce against potential infringers.
Contrastingly, generic and descriptive marks, which describe the goods or services they represent, are considered weak and not as protectable. Generic marks, such as “Computer” for computers or “Car Wash” for car washing services, cannot be registered as trademarks because they refer to the common name of the goods or services. Descriptive marks, while not immediately generic, describe a characteristic or quality of the goods or services, making it challenging to obtain exclusive rights without evidence of acquired distinctiveness through significant use in the marketplace.
To ensure a strong trademark, businesses often seek to create fanciful or arbitrary marks when developing new products or services. These unique and made-up words provide a strong foundation for building brand identity and a lasting impression on consumers.
Before adopting a fanciful trademark, it’s crucial to conduct a thorough trademark search to ensure that the chosen mark is not already in use or confusingly similar to existing marks. Consulting with a trademark attorney can help navigate the registration process and ensure that the proposed mark meets the requirements for federal trademark protection. Overall, a fanciful trademark can be a valuable asset for businesses, allowing them to establish a strong brand presence and protect their intellectual property effectively.
What is the USPTO?
USPTO stands for the United States Patent and Trademark Office. You submit your trademark registration application to the USPTO for review and approval. The USPTO also maintains records of existing and pending trademarks, so they can see if your desired trademark is similar to something to one that already exists. However, they do not enforce trademark rights. It is the responsibility of you as the trademark owner and your attorney to protect your trademark.
What is TEAS?
TEAS stands for the Trademark Electronic Application System, an online platform provided by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) that allows individuals and businesses to electronically file trademark applications and related documents. The TEAS system streamlines the trademark application process, making it more efficient and accessible for applicants.
There are three main types of TEAS applications:
- TEAS Plus: This is the most cost-effective option for filing a trademark application. Applicants must meet certain requirements, such as agreeing to file all communications and documents electronically, selecting goods and services from the USPTO’s pre-approved list, and providing a description of the goods or services that follows specific USPTO guidelines.
- TEAS Reduced Fee (TEAS RF): This option requires applicants to agree to use electronic communication and file certain documents online, similar to TEAS Plus. However, the list of goods and services is not restricted to the pre-approved list, giving applicants more flexibility in describing their products or services.
- TEAS Regular: This is the standard TEAS application, which allows applicants to file electronically without meeting the specific requirements of TEAS Plus or TEAS RF. Applicants have more freedom in selecting goods and services descriptions but will pay a higher filing fee compared to TEAS Plus or TEAS RF.
Using the TEAS system offers several benefits, including:
- Cost Savings: Electronic filing reduces the processing costs for the USPTO, allowing them to offer reduced filing fees for TEAS Plus and TEAS RF applications.
- Faster Processing: TEAS applications are processed faster than traditional paper filings, resulting in quicker examination times.
- Immediate Filing Date: When filing online, the USPTO records the date and time of submission as the official filing date, providing certainty for priority purposes.
- Real-Time Status Updates: Applicants can monitor the status of their applications and receive updates through the TEAS system.
- 24/7 Availability: The online system allows applicants to file applications at any time, regardless of business hours.
It’s important to note that while the TEAS system simplifies the application process, trademark registration involves several steps, including a formal examination by the USPTO to determine if the mark is eligible for registration. Consulting with a trademark attorney can help ensure that the application meets all the requirements and increases the chances of a successful registration.
Overall, TEAS is a valuable tool for individuals and businesses seeking trademark registration with the USPTO, offering convenience, cost savings, and quicker processing times compared to traditional paper filings.
Why is the Official Gazette important?
The Official Gazette (OG) is the official publication of the USPTO. It comes out weekly and includes information about trademarks that have been approved. Once a trademark is published in the OG, any third party has 30 days to come forward and oppose the trademark. If no one opposes the mark, then it is officially registered.
How long does the trademark application process take?
The trademark application process can vary in duration, and several factors can influence the overall timeline. On average, it takes around 9 to 12 months for a trademark application to reach registration if there are no significant issues or delays. However, the process can take longer under certain circumstances. Here’s a breakdown of the different stages and factors that can affect the duration of the trademark application process:
- Initial Review and Filing (1-2 months): The first step is submitting the trademark application. The USPTO will conduct an initial review to ensure the application is complete and meets the basic requirements. This process usually takes a few weeks to a couple of months.
- Formal Examination (3-4 months): During this stage, a trademark examining attorney at the USPTO will review the application in detail. They will check for any potential conflicts with existing trademarks and assess whether the mark meets the requirements for federal registration. The examination process typically takes a few months.
- Office Actions (Variable time): If the examining attorney finds any issues with the application, they will issue an office action detailing the problems that need to be addressed. The applicant then has a set time to respond and overcome the objections. The duration of this stage depends on the complexity of the issues and the responsiveness of the applicant.
- Publication (30 days): If the examining attorney approves the application, it will be published in the USPTO’s Official Gazette for a 30-day period. During this time, third parties can oppose the registration if they believe it would cause confusion with their own trademarks.
- Registration (6-8 weeks): If there are no oppositions or if the opposition is successfully resolved, the USPTO will issue a Notice of Allowance. The applicant then has six months to file a Statement of Use (SOU) if the mark is already in use in commerce. If the mark is not yet in use, the applicant can file for an extension of up to 36 months by submitting an Extension Request.
- Certificate of Registration (2-3 months): After the SOU or Extension Request is accepted, and all required fees are paid, the USPTO will issue a Certificate of Registration, finalizing the trademark registration process.
It’s important to note that the duration of the application process can vary based on various factors, such as the complexity of the application, the potential for office actions, and any oppositions from third parties. Engaging the services of a trademark attorney can help navigate the process efficiently, address any challenges that arise, and increase the likelihood of a successful and timely trademark registration.
How long does a trademark last?
Unlike some forms of intellectual property, such as patents or copyrights, trademarks can potentially last indefinitely if properly maintained and renewed. Trademark protection in the United States is based on continuous use and the timely submission of renewal filings.
Once a trademark is registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), it initially grants protection for ten years from the date of registration. After the initial ten-year period, trademark owners can continue to renew their registration indefinitely, in ten-year increments, as long as they continue to use the mark in commerce and file the necessary renewal documents.
Here is an overview of the renewal process for federal trademarks in the U.S.:
- Between the 5th and 6th Year: Within the window of one year before the fifth anniversary of the registration date and the actual registration date’s sixth anniversary, the trademark owner must file a Declaration of Continued Use or Excusable Nonuse (Section 8 declaration) with the USPTO. This declaration confirms that the mark is still in use in commerce.
- Between the 9th and 10th Year (and every 10 years thereafter): Within the window of one year before the ninth anniversary of the registration date and the actual registration date’s tenth anniversary, the trademark owner must file both a Section 8 declaration and a combined Declaration of Use and Application for Renewal (Section 9 renewal application) with the USPTO.
- Affidavits of Use and Renewal: For every subsequent ten-year period, the trademark owner must file both a Section 8 declaration and a Section 9 renewal application. This process must be repeated every ten years to maintain continuous trademark protection.
Failure to file the required renewal documents can lead to the cancellation of the trademark registration. Therefore, it is crucial for trademark owners to keep track of renewal deadlines and ensure all necessary filings are submitted on time.
It’s important to note that in addition to federal trademark registrations, many countries also offer national trademark protection with their own renewal requirements. If a business operates internationally or plans to expand into other countries, they should be aware of the specific renewal procedures in each jurisdiction where their trademarks are registered.
Overall, trademark protection can last indefinitely, providing businesses with long-term brand recognition, consumer trust, and the ability to enforce their exclusive rights against potential infringers. Staying vigilant about renewal deadlines and maintaining proper use of the mark in commerce are essential steps in preserving the value and longevity of a trademark.
Can I use a trademark without registering it?
Yes, you can use a trademark without registering it. Trademark rights in the United States can be acquired through “common law” use, which means that simply using the mark in commerce gives you some level of protection. This protection is limited to the geographic area where you are using the mark and the goods or services you are offering under the mark.
Common law trademark rights arise automatically when you use a distinctive mark in connection with goods or services in commerce. However, common law protection has some limitations and disadvantages compared to federal trademark registration. Here are some key points to consider:
- Limited Geographical Scope: Common law rights are generally limited to the specific geographic area where the mark is being used. If you expand your business or marketing efforts to other regions, you may encounter conflicts with existing trademarks in those areas.
- Limited Legal Remedies: Without federal registration, enforcing your common law trademark rights can be challenging. Federal registration provides stronger legal remedies, such as the ability to bring a lawsuit in federal court and seek statutory damages and attorney’s fees in case of infringement.
- Presumption of Ownership: Federal registration creates a legal presumption of ownership and validity, making it easier to prove your rights in a court of law. With common law rights, you may need to provide extensive evidence to establish your priority and ownership of the mark.
- Notice to Others: A federally registered trademark provides constructive notice to others about your claim to the mark, discouraging potential infringers from using a similar mark.
- Incontestability: After a certain period of time and meeting specific requirements, a federally registered trademark can become “incontestable,” providing additional protection against certain challenges to the mark’s validity.
While using a mark without registration provides some level of protection, it’s generally recommended to pursue federal trademark registration if possible. Federal registration offers enhanced legal protection, broader geographical coverage, and additional benefits that strengthen your brand’s position in the marketplace.
Before adopting a trademark, conducting a comprehensive trademark search is essential to identify potential conflicts with existing marks. Consulting with a trademark attorney can help you understand the best strategy for protecting your brand and maximizing the value of your intellectual property. Whether you choose common law rights or federal registration, safeguarding your trademark is crucial for building brand recognition and ensuring its long-term success.
When should I hire a trademark lawyer?
Hiring a trademark lawyer is a smart decision at various stages of your business or brand development. While you can attempt to handle certain aspects of trademark registration and protection on your own, a skilled trademark attorney can provide valuable expertise and guidance to ensure a smooth and successful process. Here are some key scenarios where hiring a trademark lawyer is highly recommended:
- Trademark Search and Clearance: Before adopting a new trademark, conducting a comprehensive search is crucial to identify any potential conflicts with existing marks. A trademark lawyer can conduct a professional search, analyze the results, and advise you on the availability and registrability of your proposed mark. They can help you avoid potential legal issues and choose a strong and distinctive mark.
- Trademark Application Preparation: Filing a trademark application requires careful attention to detail and adherence to specific legal requirements. A trademark attorney can assist you in preparing the application, ensuring that all necessary information is provided accurately and completely. They can help you choose the appropriate filing basis, class of goods/services, and draft the required description of goods/services.
- Responding to Office Actions: If the USPTO issues an office action citing issues with your application, a trademark attorney can review the issues, provide legal advice, and help you prepare a proper response to overcome the objections.
- Opposition Proceedings: If someone opposes your trademark application, a trademark lawyer can represent you in the opposition proceedings, presenting arguments and evidence to defend your mark’s registration.
- Trademark Monitoring and Enforcement: A trademark attorney can assist in monitoring your registered mark to identify potential infringing uses and take appropriate actions to enforce your trademark rights.
- International Trademark Protection: If you plan to expand your brand internationally, a trademark lawyer can guide you through the process of obtaining protection in foreign countries and navigating international trademark laws.
- Brand Strategy and Portfolio Management: Trademark attorneys can help develop a comprehensive brand strategy, manage your trademark portfolio, and provide ongoing legal counsel to protect your brand’s identity and value.
- Trademark Renewals: When it’s time to renew your trademark registration, a trademark lawyer can handle the necessary filings and ensure your mark’s continued protection.
Working with a trademark lawyer not only increases the likelihood of a successful trademark registration but also provides you with peace of mind, knowing that your brand is protected properly. A trademark attorney’s expertise can help you navigate the complexities of trademark law, avoid costly mistakes, and safeguard your valuable intellectual property. Consider hiring a trademark lawyer as a valuable investment in your brand’s long-term success and protection.
What is a trademark’s specimen?
In the context of trademark registration, a specimen is a sample or example of how the trademark is actually used in commerce to identify the goods or services associated with the mark. It is a critical component of the trademark application process, as it provides evidence that the mark is being used in a way that meets the requirements for federal registration.
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) requires applicants to submit a specimen as part of their trademark application. The purpose of the specimen is to demonstrate that the mark is not just an idea or concept but is actually being used in the marketplace to distinguish the applicant’s goods or services from those of others.
For goods, acceptable specimens may include:
- Labels or Tags: A specimen can be a label or tag physically attached to the product or its packaging, displaying the trademark.
- Packaging: The specimen can be the product’s actual packaging, showing the trademark in a way that consumers encounter it during the purchase process.
- Product Display: A photograph of the product displaying the trademark directly on the product itself or through its packaging.
For services, acceptable specimens may include:
- Advertising Materials: Specimens for services can include brochures, pamphlets, flyers, or other advertising materials displaying the trademark in connection with the services offered.
- Website Pages: Web pages that clearly show the trademark used in connection with the services being offered can serve as acceptable specimens.
- Signage: A photograph of a sign or display used in the performance of the services, showing the trademark associated with the services rendered.
It is essential to submit the correct type of specimen that accurately reflects how the trademark is used in commerce. If the specimen does not meet the USPTO’s requirements, the application may be rejected, or the registration process may be delayed. Therefore, it is crucial to understand the specific specimen requirements for your goods or services and ensure that your submission complies with the guidelines.
To maximize the chances of a successful trademark application, consider consulting with a trademark attorney. They can guide you through the application process, help you select appropriate specimens, and ensure that all necessary requirements are met to secure federal trademark protection for your valuable brand.
Why does the USPTO want a “specimen”?
A specimen is just a sample of how you intend to use your trademark in commerce. Product labels, signage, packaging, flyers, brochures, website screenshots, etc. are all acceptable specimens. A trademark attorney can advise you on what to submit if you are unsure.
Can I request an expedited approval of my trademark registration?
Yes, it is possible to request an expedited approval of your trademark registration under certain circumstances. The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) offers an expedited review process called the “TEAS Reduced Fee (TEAS RF) – Expedited Trademark Examination” for applicants who need faster processing of their trademark application.
To request expedited examination, you must meet specific eligibility requirements set forth by the USPTO. These requirements include the following:
- TEAS RF Application: You must file your trademark application using the TEAS Reduced Fee (TEAS RF) form. This form is available on the USPTO’s website, and by using it, you are attesting that you meet the requirements for expedited examination.
- Basis for Filing: Your application must be based on one of the following filing bases:
- “Use in commerce” under Trademark Act Section 1(a)
- “Intent to use” under Trademark Act Section 1(b)
- Ownership and Entity Type: The applicant must be the owner of the mark and the application must be filed by an individual, small business, or nonprofit organization. Large entities are not eligible for expedited examination.
- Declaration of Use: For applications based on “use in commerce,” you must submit a sworn declaration or verified statement that the mark is in use in commerce.
- TEAS RF Fee: Payment of the TEAS Reduced Fee for the application is required.
It’s important to note that the expedited examination option is not available for all types of trademark applications. For example, applications based on “intent-to-use” that have not yet submitted a Statement of Use or a Request for Extension of Time to File a Statement of Use are not eligible for expedited examination.
The benefit of requesting expedited examination is a faster review process, potentially leading to a quicker decision on your trademark application. However, it’s essential to ensure that you meet all the eligibility requirements before making the request, as submitting an incorrect or ineligible application could result in processing delays or additional fees.
If you believe that your application meets the criteria for expedited examination, consider consulting with a trademark attorney to ensure that all requirements are properly fulfilled. An attorney can guide you through the application process, help you prepare the necessary documentation, and increase the chances of a successful and timely registration for your trademark.
Can I trademark a phrase?
Yes, you can trademark a phrase under certain conditions. In the United States, trademark protection is available for a wide range of marks, including words, phrases, slogans, and even short expressions, as long as they meet the necessary requirements for trademark registration.
To be eligible for trademark protection, a phrase must possess distinctiveness, which means it should be unique enough to identify the source of goods or services and distinguish it from others in the marketplace. There are several categories of distinctiveness, and phrases can fall into different categories based on their inherent nature or acquired distinctiveness through extensive use.
Here are the categories of distinctiveness, from strongest to weakest:
- Fanciful or Coined: A phrase that has been invented purely for use as a trademark and has no meaning or association with the goods or services. These are considered the strongest and most protectable marks.
- Arbitrary: An existing word or phrase that has no connection with the goods or services it represents. For example, “Apple” used for computers and electronic devices.
- Suggestive: A phrase that suggests or implies something about the goods or services, requiring some level of imagination or mental effort to connect it to the products. For example, “Netflix and Chill” for online streaming services.
- Descriptive: A phrase that directly describes the goods or services, their features, or characteristics. Descriptive phrases are generally not immediately eligible for trademark protection but may acquire distinctiveness over time through extensive use.
- Generic: A phrase that is the common name for the goods or services and cannot be registered as a trademark. For example, “Computer” for computers or “Car Wash” for car washing services.
When applying for a trademark registration, it’s essential to demonstrate the distinctiveness of the phrase, especially if it falls into the suggestive or descriptive categories. Descriptive phrases may be eligible for registration if they have acquired “secondary meaning” through significant use and consumers have come to associate the phrase specifically with your goods or services.
Before seeking trademark protection for a phrase, it is crucial to conduct a comprehensive trademark search to ensure there are no conflicting marks already in use. Consulting with a trademark attorney can help you understand the strength of your phrase as a trademark, guide you through the application process, and increase the likelihood of a successful registration, providing you with valuable protection for your brand identity.
Can I trademark a logo?
Yes, you can trademark a logo to protect your brand identity and prevent others from using a similar design in connection with related goods or services. In fact, logo trademarks are one of the most common types of trademarks registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and other trademark offices around the world.
When seeking to trademark a logo, it’s important to understand the distinctiveness of the design, as it plays a crucial role in the registration process. Trademark law recognizes different levels of distinctiveness for logos, similar to other types of trademarks. Here are the categories of distinctiveness for logos:
- Fanciful or Coined Logos: Logos that are entirely unique, made-up, and have no direct connection to the goods or services they represent. These are considered the strongest and most protectable logos.
- Arbitrary Logos: Logos that use existing elements in a creative and unrelated manner. These logos have a high level of distinctiveness and are eligible for trademark protection.
- Suggestive Logos: Logos that suggest or hint at the goods or services without directly describing them. Suggestive logos may require some level of imagination or mental effort to understand their connection to the products.
- Descriptive Logos: Logos that directly describe the goods or services, their features, or characteristics. Descriptive logos are generally not immediately eligible for trademark protection unless they have acquired distinctiveness through significant use.
- Generic Logos: Logos that represent the common name for the goods or services and cannot be registered as trademarks.
To obtain trademark protection for a logo, it must be distinctive enough to identify the source of the goods or services and set them apart from others in the marketplace. A strong and unique logo increases the chances of successful registration and provides better protection against potential infringers.
When applying for a logo trademark, you will need to provide a high-quality representation of the logo with your application. The USPTO and other trademark offices typically require a black and white or color image of the logo, depending on how you intend to use it.
Consulting with a trademark attorney can help you navigate the trademark registration process, ensure the distinctiveness of your logo, and address any potential issues that may arise during the application process. By obtaining trademark protection for your logo, you can build brand recognition, establish consumer trust, and safeguard your valuable brand identity.
Can I trademark a color?
Yes, under specific circumstances, it is possible to trademark a color. However, obtaining trademark protection for a single color is generally more challenging than trademarking a word, phrase, or logo. To be eligible for trademark registration, the color must be used in a way that distinguishes the source of particular goods or services and is not merely used for decorative or functional purposes.
Trademarking a color is most commonly associated with “single-color” trademarks, where a particular color is used as the primary identifying feature of a product or service. Some well-known examples of single-color trademarks include:
- Tiffany Blue: Tiffany & Co. has a registered trademark for the distinctive shade of blue used on its jewelry boxes.
- UPS Brown: United Parcel Service (UPS) has a trademark for its unique shade of brown used on its delivery trucks and uniforms.
- Christian Louboutin Red Sole: Fashion designer Christian Louboutin has a trademark for the red sole on his high-heeled shoes.
To successfully register a single-color trademark, the applicant must demonstrate that the color has acquired “secondary meaning” in the minds of consumers. This means that the color has become so associated with a specific brand or source of goods that consumers recognize it as an indicator of the product’s origin. Proving secondary meaning typically requires extensive evidence of the color’s long-term and exclusive use in connection with the goods or services.
It’s important to note that not all colors are eligible for trademark protection. Certain colors, such as standard, widely-used colors in an industry, may be considered “functional” and cannot be registered as trademarks. For example, a bicycle company cannot trademark the use of the color silver for its bicycles because it is a common and functional color for that type of product.
If you believe that your use of a color meets the necessary criteria for trademark registration, it’s advisable to work with a trademark attorney to prepare a strong application and gather the required evidence to prove secondary meaning. An attorney can guide you through the process and increase the likelihood of obtaining trademark protection for your unique color branding.
Can I transfer my trademark to someone else?
Yes, trademark owners have the ability to transfer their trademark rights to another individual or entity through a process called trademark assignment. Transferring a trademark allows the new owner (assignee) to assume all the rights and responsibilities associated with the mark, including the exclusive right to use the mark in connection with the specified goods or services.
Trademark assignment can occur for various reasons, such as selling a business, merging with another company, or simply transferring the mark to another party. Here are the key points to consider when transferring a trademark:
- Written Agreement: The transfer of a trademark must be done through a written agreement, often referred to as a “Trademark Assignment Agreement.” This legal document formalizes the transfer and outlines the terms and conditions of the assignment.
- Recording with the USPTO: While trademark assignment does not necessarily require registration with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), it is advisable to record the assignment with the USPTO. Recording the assignment provides public notice of the change in ownership and creates a legal record of the transfer.
- Proper Use of the Mark: The new owner of the trademark (assignee) must use the mark in connection with the same goods or services for which it was originally registered. If the mark is used in a significantly different way, it may be considered “abandoned” and lose its protection.
- Maintaining Use and Renewals: The assignee must continue to use the mark in commerce to maintain its protection. Additionally, the assignee is responsible for renewing the trademark registration when it becomes due.
- Goodwill and Associated Rights: In some cases, trademark assignment involves the transfer of the associated goodwill of the business. Goodwill refers to the reputation and value of the business that the mark has acquired over time.
- International Considerations: If the trademark is also registered in other countries, the assignment process must comply with the respective trademark laws and regulations of those countries.
It’s essential to ensure that the trademark assignment agreement is well-drafted and legally sound to protect the interests of both parties involved. Consulting with a trademark attorney is highly recommended when dealing with trademark assignments to ensure that all legal requirements are met, and the rights of both the assignor and assignee are properly addressed.
By properly transferring a trademark, the new owner can continue to build on the brand’s reputation and protect its value in the marketplace.
Can I license my trademark to others?
Yes, trademark owners have the option to license their trademarks to other individuals or entities through a trademark licensing agreement. Licensing allows the trademark owner (licensor) to grant permission to a third party (licensee) to use the trademark in connection with specific goods or services, subject to the terms and conditions outlined in the licensing agreement.
A trademark licensing agreement typically covers various aspects, including:
- Scope of Use: The agreement will specify the scope of the licensee’s use of the trademark. It will define the authorized goods or services and the geographical area where the mark can be used.
- Quality Control: The licensor will have the right to impose quality control standards to ensure that the licensed goods or services meet the expected level of quality associated with the trademark.
- Duration of the License: The agreement will specify the duration of the licensing arrangement, whether it is for a fixed term or ongoing.
- Royalties and Payments: The licensing agreement will outline the financial terms, including any royalties or licensing fees the licensee must pay to the licensor.
- Protection of the Trademark: The agreement will address how the licensor will handle any infringement issues or potential harm to the trademark’s reputation.
- Termination: The agreement will include provisions for termination, including circumstances under which either party can terminate the licensing arrangement.
Trademark licensing can be beneficial for both parties involved. For the licensor, it allows them to generate additional revenue streams, expand their brand’s reach, and maintain some control over how their mark is used. For the licensee, it provides an opportunity to leverage the established reputation and goodwill of the licensed trademark to promote their products or services.
However, trademark owners must be cautious when entering into licensing agreements to ensure that their trademark’s integrity is maintained. They should select licensees carefully and include robust quality control provisions to protect the brand’s reputation.
Additionally, licensing agreements should be carefully drafted to comply with trademark laws and regulations to avoid potential legal issues. Consulting with a trademark attorney is highly recommended when entering into a licensing agreement to ensure that the arrangement meets all legal requirements and protects the interests of both the licensor and licensee.
Overall, trademark licensing can be a valuable strategy for brand owners to expand their market presence and create mutually beneficial partnerships with other businesses.
If my trademark is registered in the United States, is it protected in other countries as well?
No, a trademark registration in the United States does not automatically provide protection in other countries. Trademark rights are territorial, which means they are generally limited to the country or region where the mark is registered or used in commerce. If you wish to protect your trademark in other countries, you will need to apply for trademark registration in each individual country or through international mechanisms, depending on the country’s trademark laws.
To seek protection in other countries, you have several options:
- National Applications: File separate trademark applications directly with the trademark office of each country where you want protection. This can be a time-consuming and costly process, especially if you want protection in multiple countries.
- Regional Applications: Some regions, such as the European Union, offer a regional trademark system. By filing a single application with the regional trademark office, you can potentially obtain protection in multiple member countries of that region.
- International Trademark Registration (Madrid System): If your home country is a member of the Madrid Protocol, you can use the Madrid System to seek international trademark protection. Through the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), you can file a single international application designating the countries where you want protection. This simplifies the process and allows you to manage your trademark portfolio more efficiently.
It’s essential to consider the countries where you plan to use your mark and the markets you intend to enter. Conducting thorough market research and assessing the importance of your brand in specific countries will help you determine the best strategy for international trademark protection.
Keep in mind that trademark laws vary from country to country, and some jurisdictions may have unique requirements or restrictions on what can be registered as a trademark. Working with a trademark attorney who is knowledgeable about international trademark law can help you navigate the complexities of seeking global protection for your brand and ensure your rights are adequately safeguarded in the international marketplace.
Is there such a thing as an “International Trademark”?
While there is no single “international trademark” that provides global protection in all countries, there are mechanisms and treaties in place to facilitate the process of seeking trademark protection in multiple countries. These mechanisms aim to simplify and streamline the process of obtaining trademark rights in various jurisdictions.
The two main international systems for seeking trademark protection are:
- Madrid System: The Madrid System for the International Registration of Marks, administered by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), allows trademark owners from member countries to seek protection in multiple countries by filing a single international application. This system is based on the Madrid Agreement and the Madrid Protocol. Through the Madrid System, a trademark owner can designate several countries where they wish to seek protection, and the application is processed by the trademark offices of those countries.
- European Union Trademark (EU Trademark): The European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) offers a regional trademark system that provides protection in all member states of the European Union with a single application. By obtaining an EU Trademark, a brand owner can enjoy protection in all 27 EU member countries.
It’s important to note that these international systems simplify the application process and reduce administrative burdens by using a single application and fee for multiple countries. However, the trademark rights are still considered separate and independent in each country where protection is sought. This means that the mark is subject to the trademark laws and regulations of each individual country, and any oppositions or challenges must be addressed at the national level.
Additionally, not all countries are part of these international systems. Some countries may have their own trademark registration processes and requirements, and trademark protection must be sought individually in those jurisdictions.
When considering international trademark protection, it’s essential to conduct a thorough assessment of your target markets, the importance of your brand in each country, and the costs involved in seeking protection. Consulting with a trademark attorney who is familiar with international trademark law can help you develop a strategic approach to protect your brand’s identity and goodwill in the global marketplace.
What is a trademark office action?
A trademark office action is an official communication issued by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in response to a filed trademark application. The purpose of the office action is to inform the applicant of any issues or deficiencies found during the examination of the application. It may include both procedural and substantive issues that need to be addressed before the application can proceed to registration.
There are two main types of trademark office actions:
- Non-Substantive Office Action: Also known as a “procedural office action,” this type of office action typically addresses administrative or technical deficiencies in the application. For example, the USPTO may request clarification or correction of information, amendments to the identification of goods or services, or proper payment of required fees. Non-substantive office actions can usually be resolved relatively easily by providing the requested information or making the necessary amendments.
- Substantive Office Action: A substantive office action involves issues related to the registrability of the trademark itself. The examining attorney may raise concerns about the mark’s distinctiveness, potential conflicts with existing trademarks, or compliance with trademark law requirements. Resolving a substantive office action may require more substantive arguments and legal analysis to overcome the examiner’s objections.
Upon receiving an office action, the applicant typically has six months from the mailing date to respond. If the applicant fails to respond within this period, the USPTO will abandon the application. However, if the applicant timely responds to the office action and successfully addresses all the issues raised by the examining attorney, the application will continue to the next stage of the registration process.
It is essential to carefully review and understand the office action to formulate an appropriate response. Responding to a substantive office action may involve legal arguments and evidence to support the registrability of the mark. In such cases, seeking the advice of a trademark attorney can be beneficial, as they can provide guidance on how to best address the examiner’s concerns and increase the likelihood of a successful registration.
Receiving an office action is a common part of the trademark application process, and it does not necessarily mean that the application will be denied. With proper attention and legal support, many issues raised in an office action can be successfully resolved, leading to the eventual registration of the trademark.
What should I do if I receive an office action on my trademark application?
Receiving an office action on your trademark application is a standard part of the application process and should not cause undue concern. The key to successfully dealing with an office action is to carefully review its contents, understand the issues raised by the examining attorney, and take appropriate steps to address them in your response. Here are the essential steps to follow if you receive an office action:
- Read the Office Action Carefully: Take the time to thoroughly read and understand the office action. Identify the specific issues or deficiencies raised by the examining attorney. Pay close attention to whether the action is non-substantive (procedural) or substantive in nature.
- Seek Legal Guidance (If Necessary): If the office action raises substantive issues or requires legal arguments, consider seeking the advice of a trademark attorney. An experienced attorney can help you interpret the examiner’s concerns and craft a strong response that addresses the issues effectively.
- Gather Supporting Evidence (If Applicable): If the office action requests additional evidence or documentation, gather all necessary materials to support your claims. This may include evidence of use of the mark in commerce, proof of acquired distinctiveness (if the mark is descriptive), or arguments to show that the mark is not likely to cause confusion with existing trademarks.
- Prepare Your Response: Draft a well-organized and persuasive response to the office action. Be clear and concise in your explanations, and provide any requested amendments or corrections. If the office action is substantive, support your arguments with relevant case law or evidence.
- Submit Your Response: File your response with the USPTO within the specified timeframe (usually six months from the mailing date). Ensure that you follow the USPTO’s guidelines for filing responses, including proper formatting and fee payments, if applicable.
- Monitor the Application: After submitting your response, monitor the application status on the USPTO’s website. The examining attorney will review your response and either approve the mark for publication or issue a further action if necessary.
- Be Patient: The trademark application process can be time-consuming. It may take several months for the USPTO to review your response and make a final determination on your application.
- Consider Seeking Help from an Attorney (If Needed): If the USPTO issues a final refusal after your response, you may consider engaging an attorney to evaluate your options, such as appealing the decision or amending the application.
Dealing with an office action can be complex, especially if the issues are substantive in nature. Working with a trademark attorney can greatly improve your chances of overcoming any obstacles and successfully obtaining registration for your trademark. An attorney can provide valuable guidance throughout the process and help protect your brand’s identity and reputation.
How do I enforce my trademark rights?
Enforcing your trademark rights is crucial to protect your brand identity, reputation, and market position. If you discover unauthorized use of your trademark by others, taking prompt and effective action is essential to prevent confusion among consumers and potential dilution of your brand’s distinctiveness. Here are the steps you can take to enforce your trademark rights:
- Monitor for Infringement: Regularly monitor the marketplace, including online platforms, to identify any unauthorized use of your trademark. This can be done through online searches, monitoring services, or working with a trademark watch service.
- Gather Evidence: Document instances of potential trademark infringement, including screenshots, photos, and other evidence that clearly show the unauthorized use of your mark. Collect as much information as possible to support your case.
- Contact the Infringer: If you discover infringement, consider sending a cease and desist letter to the infringing party. The letter should clearly state your trademark rights, provide evidence of infringement, and demand that the infringer immediately stop using the mark.
- Negotiate or Mediate: In some cases, negotiation or mediation may be a productive way to resolve the issue without resorting to litigation. This approach can lead to a settlement that addresses the infringement while avoiding the costs and time associated with a lawsuit.
- File a Lawsuit: If informal methods fail or the infringement is severe, initiating a trademark infringement lawsuit may be necessary. An attorney experienced in trademark litigation can represent your interests in court and seek legal remedies such as injunctive relief, monetary damages, and attorney’s fees.
- Protect Against Counterfeiting: If your trademark is being used on counterfeit goods, consider working with law enforcement agencies or anti-counterfeiting organizations to take appropriate legal action against the counterfeiters.
- Domain Name Disputes: If someone is using your trademark in a domain name with the intent to cause confusion or harm, you can file a complaint under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) or take legal action through the court system.
- Customs Recordation: If your products are being counterfeited and imported into the United States, you can record your trademark with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection to help prevent the importation of counterfeit goods.
Enforcing your trademark rights requires diligence and proactive action. Regular monitoring of the marketplace and quick responses to potential infringement can help protect your brand’s value and ensure that consumers associate your mark with the genuine source of goods or services.
Working with a trademark attorney can be invaluable when enforcing your trademark rights. An attorney can assess the strength of your case, advise you on the best course of action, and represent your interests in negotiations or legal proceedings. Enforcing your trademark rights effectively can help safeguard your brand’s reputation and market presence in the long term.
Why Trademark Registration Matters for Cleveland Businesses
Cleveland has been attracting new business owners and entrepreneurs in recent years because of its diverse population and friendly atmosphere. If you plan to open your own business in the Cleveland area, then make sure you work with a trademark attorney who can help ensure that your trademarks are protected.
Imagine the following: Nestor is a graphic designer who decides to start his own t-shirt design business. He doesn’t want to quit his day job, but designing and selling t-shirts online will help him make some extra money. He calls his side business Spiral Designs, puts up a website, and starts several social media accounts. He knows about trademark registration, but he doesn’t think that this part-time gig is not worth the cost of a trademark attorney.
Soon after he advertises on social media, Nestor gets flooded with orders. He never anticipated he would get such a positive response. Jonathan is starting to wonder if he can turn this venture into a full-time job when he gets some upsetting news.
There’s a designer in Rocky River that owns a design company with a similar name as Nestor’s business. The Rocky River designer, however, owns the trademark to his business’s name. He sends Nestor a cease-and-desist letter. Now, Nestor is devastated because he must close down his business.
No matter how small your business is, you need to engage a trademark attorney as soon as possible to ensure that your mark is available before you invest time and money in using it. At Cohn Legal, we will be more than happy to assist you with conducting a proper trademark search and registering your trademark with the USPTO. 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 Cleveland and yet it can assist businesses from Ohio in registering a federal Trademark because trademarks are governed under federal law.
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