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Dallas, Texas Businesses Use Cohn Legal for Trademark Services
Abe Cohn is the Managing Partner of Cohn Legal, serving clients in Dallas, Texas. Abe loves advising his clients on a variety of intellectual property law matters, litigating trademark disputes, and managing various corporate transactional work. Abe specializes in working with startups and entrepreneurs and relishes the opportunity to help companies build something from scratch.
Top 8 Questions Texas Businesses Have About Protecting a Trademark
I’m a one-person operation. Do I need to worry about trademark registration?
Every business, large or small, should take steps to register and protect their trademark. A strong trademark gives small businesses the confidence to invest in their brand and grow. Even one-person operation should protect their intellectual property by applying for trademark registration with the USPTO.
Is it better to register my logo or the name of my business in plain text?
The most important thing to trademark is the name of your business in plain text. However, you should also register your businesses’ logo by submitting a separate trademark application to the USPTO.
Some business owners try to save money and protect both their business name and logo by registering the logo if it contains the name in it. This is risky because if you ever change the design of your logo, you will risk losing your federal protection for the name.
If you’re unsure about how to proceed with trademark registration, then speak with a trademark attorney.
How long does a trademark last?
Trademark protection lasts for as long as you’re using the mark in commerce. That could be hundreds of years. You do need to file a maintenance document with the USPTO every few years to show that you are using the mark in commerce. You’ll have to file your first maintenance document 5 to 6 years after the mark is first registered, another 5 years after that, and then every 10 years for as long as you want to use the mark.
Can I sell products without a registered trademark?
Yes, you can sell products even without a registered trademark. However, it’s not recommended.
Any skilled trademark attorney would tell you to register your trademark ASAP. If you use an unregistered trademark, a competitor could start using the mark to sell a similar product or service. They may even register your trademark for themselves. If you are serious about creating a successful business, then you need to register your trademark sooner rather than later.
What’s the difference between the TM and ® symbols?
If you have a registered trademark, then you can use the ® symbol. The TM symbol can be used if the mark isn’t registered, but you consider yourself to have “common law” rights to a trademark. The TM symbol carries very little weight legally.
Will my trademark remain unprotected while the application is pending?
While your trademark will not be fully protected until you’ve reached registration, you do gain 2 things on the day you file your trademark application.
Your application will have priority over any trademark applications that were filed after yours.
Once the mark is registered, you’ll have retroactive trademark protection going back to the day you filed your application. That means you can take legal action against anyone who infringed upon your mark while the application was processing.
I’m not yet selling anything yet, but I intend to. Can I still submit a trademark application?
If you are not using the trademark in commerce yet, you can file the application under an intent-to-use basis. If the application is successful, you’ll have to follow up with a specimen about 6 months later to show that you are using your mark in commerce. If you are not using the mark in commerce within 6 months of receiving approval from the USPTO, then you can file an extension to get another 6 months. The USPTO allows you to file up to 5 extensions.
Can I include items I never plan to sell in my trademark application?
When you file a trademark application with the USPTO, you must make a sworn statement that you are using (or intend to use) the trademark on all of the goods and services listed in the application. Any false statements that you make can lead to the cancellation of any resulting registration. In most cases, you should limit your application to only those goods you are actively selling.
Why Trademark Registration Matters for Dallas Businesses
Dallas has a long history of entrepreneurship and independence that inspires many to open their own businesses. New business owners in Dallas know there’s a lot of work to do before they can open their doors. They must develop a business plan, create marketing materials, develop their product, and so much more. It can seem like the to-do list is never-ending for entrepreneurs. But no matter how busy you are taking care of these details, registering your trademark should never be put on the back burner.
Imagine the following: Jordan and Marcus are two friends from college who decide to start their own pool cleaning business in Dallas, Texas. They call themselves Pool Cleaning Pros and get started right away. They purchase the equipment and supplies they need, print out postcards to mail to Dallas residents, create a website, and purchase a van. They don’t, however, trademark the name of their business. They figure that their business is too small for that, but that’s an incorrect assumption on their part.
Soon after the first postcard mailing goes out, they start getting calls, and they’re cleaning pools seven days a week. Unfortunately, one of the people who received their postcard is the owner of another pool cleaning company in the area called Pool Cleaning Professionals.
The owner of Pool Cleaning Professionals owns the trademark for his business name. He asks his trademark attorney to send a cease-and-desist letter to the two friends informing them that they are infringing on his copyright and demanding that they halt operations. The two friends learn a valuable lesson from this experience. No matter how small your business is, seeking trademark protection is important.
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 Dallas and yet it can assist businesses from Texas in registering a federal trademark because trademarks are governed under federal law.
Trademarks Services for Dallas 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.