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for Detroit MI
Detroit, Michigan Businesses Use Cohn Legal for Trademark Services
* 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.
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 inter-state 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 inter-state commerce. However, selling 100 bottles of solution to customers in three states other than your own would likely fulfill the inter-state 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.
Additional Information on Trademark Registration for Detroit Businesses
Detroit is an ideal city to start a new business venture. Young entrepreneurs who are pursuing their dreams of business ownership should seek the advice of a trademark attorney right away.
A trademark attorney has the expertise to research and register your trademark before you do anything else. That way, you’ll know that you can invest in your brand with confidence.
Consider this scenario. Sinead recently fulfilled her dream of opening up a coffee shop in Detroit where she grew up. She was excited to bring her love of coffee and keen business sense together in her new shop. She named her little café “Detroit Drip” and got to work designing the space, creating signage, and ordering mugs and plates with the logo printed right on it.
She didn’t, however, seek the advice of a trademark attorney to help protect the name of her new store. What Sinead didn’t realize was that there was a local coffee bean roaster a few miles away that sold a signature roast called The Detroit Drip. The roaster owner registered the trademark with the USPTO.
Sinead had already purchased thousands of dollars in marketing materials, store signage, a new website, and dozens of mugs and plates featuring a logo she could no longer use.
The owner of coffee bean roaster was well within his rights to send a cease-and-desist letter to Sinead and file a lawsuit in order to protect their trademark rights. Sinead will be required to change the name of her café, destroy her mugs and plates, and start all over.
This would be devastating to any new business. If Sinead had consulted with a trademark attorney right from the start, she would have known the risks of using the name Detroit Drip. Her attorney could have devised a strategy to help her get the trademark she wanted or choose something else.
With a registered trademark, any company, big or small, can ensure that the money spent on promoting the brand is not wasted. Cohn Legal works with businesses of all sizes to help protect their intellectual property. Contact Cohn Legal today to learn more about trademark registration.
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.