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for Detroit MI
Detroit, Michigan Businesses Use Cohn Legal for Trademark Services
Cohn Legal is a legal firm focused on providing clients in Detroit, Michigan, and around the globe with outstanding legal counsel and guidance on trademark and intellectual property rights and protections. Our trademark attorneys absolutely love helping companies protect their brand names and logos.
Top 8 Questions Detroit Businesses Have About Obtaining a Trademark
Can generic terms receive trademark protection?
You are not able to gain trademark protection for a generic term. For example, you can’t register the word “shirts” because it would prevent all other shirt manufacturers from using the word shirt, which would be unreasonable. But you can use the word shirts as part of a trademark such as “Gino’s Shirts” or “Legacy Shirt Company.”
What is a merely descriptive trademark?
A “merely descriptive” trademark is one that describes a function, feature, characteristic of the product being sold. For example, the USPTO would not allow someone to brand their new frozen yogurt as “cold and creamy.” Those are two words that describe the characteristics of any frozen yogurt and should be available to all frozen yogurt brands.
Do I need to conduct a trademark search before filing my application?
There’s no requirement to conduct a trademark search before filing an application, but it’s a good practice. You can access the USPTO’s database of registered trademarks and pending trademarks to search for a trademark that may be similar to yours.
You want to know that you have a unique trademark before you invest time and money into promoting your new business.
What does “used in interstate commerce” mean?
If you’ve only sold your product in one state, then you’ll have a hard time getting it trademarked. The USPTO wants to see that your desired trademark is attached to a product that’s been sold across state lines.
How much you must sell isn’t clearly defined by the USPTO. Selling one bottle of your new cleaning solution to a relative in another state doesn’t count as interstate commerce. However, selling 100 bottles of the solution to customers in three states other than your own would likely fulfill the interstate commerce requirement.
The rules are ambiguous, so it’s best to speak to a trademark attorney who can give you clear guidance.
What is a Trademark Office Action?
If your trademark application was rejected, then you’ll receive a trademark Office Action from the USPTO. It will describe the reasons why it was rejected and what you must do to in response.
If you receive an office action, then contact a trademark attorney who can help you determine what you should do next.
What’s the difference between the ® and TM symbols?
Use of the ® symbol is reserved for pieces of intellectual property that are registered with the USPTO.
The TM symbol, on the other hand, can be used any time, even if you haven’t filed a trademark application yet. It carries very little legal weight compared to the ® symbol. It just means that you consider yourself to be the rightful owner of your trademark.
Is it ever too late to hire a trademark attorney?
You should hire a trademark attorney as soon as you know that you want to trademark a piece of intellectual property. A trademark attorney can help you do a thorough search of existing marks and submit your application to the USPTO.
However, a trademark attorney can be called in at any time. For example, if you’ve already submitted an application on your own, but it was rejected, a trademark attorney can help. An attorney can monitor the market for infringement of an existing trademark. An attorney can be your representative in court. And, of course, a trademark attorney can be contacted for general questions and advice about trademark registration.
Can I file a trademark if I’m not yet selling any products?
If you want to file a trademark before you’re ready to bring your products to market, then you can do so with an Intent-To-Use (ITU) trademark application.
Once the ITU application has been accepted, you’ll receive a notice of allowance (NOA). You will have six months to either submit your Statement of Use or file a petition to extend your submission of a Statement of Use by another six months. You are allowed up to 5 extension requests.
Why Trademark Registration Matters for Detroit Businesses
Detroit is a wonderful city full of friendly people who love their home town. It’s an ideal location to start a new business. If you’re an entrepreneur looking to set up a shop in the Detroit area, then it’s vitally important to make sure that you consult a trademark attorney sooner rather than later. Delaying this important step could be costly in the long run.
Imagine the Following: Dora and Marco are friends who recently graduated from the University of Detroit Mercy. They both have plans to open a tutoring business together, offering their services to the students at their alma mater and local high school students. They choose the name Top Score Tutoring.
The friends are aware of trademark registration, but they don’t want to invest money in that just yet. They decide to wait until they are more firmly established. Then, they get busy creating a marketing plan, developing a website, and advertising in local papers.
Had Dora and Marco contacted a trademark attorney before going into business, they would have realized a virtual tutoring company with already owned the trademark Top Score Tutoring.
The owners of the online company are well within their rights to demand that Dora and Marco stop using the name and not resume business until they rename their business. The two friends are devastated as they barely had a chance to get their new venture off the ground. They then contact a trademark attorney to discuss what their next steps should be.
Don’t let trademark registration fall through the cracks when you’re starting a new business. 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 Detroit and yet it can assist businesses from Michigan in registering a federal Trademark because trademarks are governed under federal law.
Trademarks Services for Detroit 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.