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Denver, Colorado Businesses Use Cohn Legal for Trademark Services
Serving clients in Denver, Colorado, Cohn Legal, PLLC is a boutique law firm that specializes in intellectual property protection and trademark law for startups and entrepreneurs. While excellence in legal representation is a given, we take greater pride in our ability to forge lasting bonds with our clients. Consider us to be your legal consigliere, providing you with the best legal advice and strategies to protect your interests.
Top 9 Questions Denver Businesses Have About Obtaining a Trademark
What is a trademark?
A trademark is a word, phrase, logo, design, or sound that sets companies that sell products or services in the same category apart from each other. For example, a customer may see a large selection of winter coats, but the trademarked logos for “North Face,” “Nautica” and “Land’s End” let consumers know who manufactured the coat.
Can generic terms receive trademark protection?
Generic terms can never receive trademark protection. For example, you can’t register the word “shoes” as the brand name of your shoe company. If you were allowed to do that, it would prevent all other shoe manufacturers from using the word shoes, which is unfair and unreasonable.
What is a merely descriptive trademark?
You may not be able to register your trademark because it is considered to be “merely descriptive” by the USPTO. That means your mark simply describes a function, feature, purpose, or characteristic of the product being manufactured.
For example, you wouldn’t be able to brand your new ice cream as “cold and sweet” as those are two words that describe the characteristics of any ice cream. All ice cream manufacturers should have access to these common words to describe ice cream.
When should I register my trademark?
As soon as you have an idea for a name, logo, design, etc., then start the trademark registration process to determine if any entity has already registered something similar to what your desired trademark is. If that’s the case, it may be frustrating, but it’s better to find out before you invest in marketing materials, signage, product labels, etc. Once you settle on a logo that is unique, then you can invest in your brand with confidence.
Does my business need more than one trademark?
Most businesses will need to submit more than one trademark application. For example, you may want to obtain one trademark for your business name, one for your logo, and one for the name of your product. The trademark attorneys at Cohn Legal can help you determine how many trademark applications you’ll need to submit.
What does “used in interstate commerce” mean?
In order to obtain a registered trademark, the specific trademark must be attached to a product or a service that has been sold across state lines or is offered in several states. If you’ve only sold your product in one state, then you’ll have a hard time getting it trademarked.
How much you must sell isn’t clearly defined by the USPTO. Selling one t-shirt to a friend in another state likely won’t count as interstate commerce. However, selling 100 t-shirts to residents of two states other than your own would likely fulfill the interstate commerce requirement. Again, the rules are ambiguous, so it’s best to speak to a trademark attorney who can give you clear guidance.
What is TEAS?
TEAS stands for the Trademark Electronic Application System. TEAS is available 24/7 for you to submit your trademark application and pay the associate fees online.
What is a Trademark Office Action?
An Office Action is a letter from the USPTO that lists the reasons why your trademark application was rejected. If you receive an office action, then contact a trademark attorney as soon as possible. Your attorney can help you determine what the next steps are.
What is the Official Gazette?
The USPTO publishes the Official Gazette (OG) every Tuesday. It includes information about trademarks and patents that have been approved. Once a trademark is published in the OG, a third-party has 30 days to come forward and oppose the trademark. If no one opposes the mark, then it is officially registered. If you have a registered trademark, then regularly monitoring the OG is one way to make sure that no competitors are infringing on your trademark rights.
Why Trademark Registration Matters for Denver Businesses
Denver is the capital of Colorado and one of the most historic cities in the state. Tourists come to Denver to enjoy unique dining experiences, participate in outdoor activities, and wander through its many museums.
In fact, there’s probably no better time to start a new business venture in Denver than right now. Many new business owners focus on finding a location, hiring employees, developing a marketing plan, and more. Unfortunately, they often overlook trademark registration, which is a big mistake.
Imagine the following: Debra recently graduated from culinary school and has the dream of opening her own farm-to-table restaurant in downtown Denver. She finds the perfect little restaurant for sale in the downtown area and signs the lease. Debra names her new venture Seed to Spoon and orders signage, prints menus, interviews potential staff, and creates a social media marketing campaign.
Debra opens her restaurant and after just a few weeks she receives a cease-and-desist letter in the mail. It turns out that there’s another restaurant in Orange County with a very similar name to Debra’s restaurant. Their customers are asking if Debra’s restaurant is a second location for the Orange County restaurant. They don’t like the confusion and since they own the trademark, the owners of the Orange Country restaurant are well within their rights to ask Debra to shut down and not reopen until she rebrands. That could sideline Debra for several more months and cost her thousands of dollars.
Don’t wait to register your trademark. Make sure it’s at the top of your to-do list when starting a new business venture.
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 Denver and yet it can assist businesses from Colorado in registering a federal Trademark because trademarks are governed under federal law.
Trademarks Services for Denver 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.