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Fresno, California Businesses Use Cohn Legal for Trademark Services
Cohn Legal is a boutique legal firm that is focused on providing superior counsel to startups and entrepreneurs in Fresno, California, across the United States and around the world. Think of us as your legal consigliere for all things related to trademarks, copyrights, and intellectual property.
Top 9 Questions Fresno Businesses Have About Obtaining a Trademark
What is a fanciful trademark?
Fanciful trademarks are marks that are typically made up and only have meaning when applied to a specific product or service. An example of a fanciful trademark is Exxon. It has no meaning other than being a brand of gasoline. Pepsi is another example as it has no meaning beyond identifying a brand of soda.
Can I trademark a generic term?
Generic terms can’t be trademarked by anyone. For example, no one car manufacturer is allowed to trademark the term “cars.” If a car manufacturer was allowed to do that, it would mean that no other car manufacturer would be able to use the word car. It’s simply unreasonable and unfair to give one particular company the ability to trademark a generic term.
What is an examining attorney?
An examining attorney works at the USPTO. The examining attorney’s job is to thoroughly evaluate trademark applications and search the USPTO database. If no similar trademarks are found and everything else is in good order, then the examiner will likely approve the trademark application and publish it in the USPTO’s Official Gazette for a 30-day opposition period.
How long does a trademark last?
Trademarks can, quite literally, last for hundreds of years if that’s what a company wants. Once a trademark is registered, the owner of the mark will be asked to renew the mark about 5 to 6 years later. The second renewal will come due another 5 years after that. The third and all subsequent renewals will be required every 10 years thereafter. If a business owner keeps up with those deadlines, then he or she can keep their trademark for as long as they want.
Do I need to conduct a trademark search before filing my application?
There’s no law or mandate that will compel you to conduct a trademark search before submitting your trademark application. However, it is the smart thing to do. A proper trademark search will help uncover any sufficiently similar trademarks, which may block the approval of your desired trademark.
A competitor failed to trademark their logo. Should I register it for myself?
Speak to a trademark attorney about the advantages and disadvantages of trying to register a competitor’s mark. You can certainly try to trademark it for yourself, but there’s no guarantee that you’ll get it.
Even though your competitor’s trademark hasn’t been registered with the USPTO, it may be still be protected under “common law” rules. That means your competitor may still have rights to a trademark if they’ve been using it commercially.
What should I register first: the name of my business or my brand logo?
If you can, try to trademark both your business name and logo using separate trademark applications at the same time. If you have to prioritize, then trademark the name of your business first. Then, register the logo.
Some business owners try to save money by registering just the logo, especially if it contains the name of their business. However, we don’t recommend this because if you want to change the design of your logo, then you risk losing trademark protection for the name of your business
Is my U.S. registered trademark protected in countries outside of the United States?
No, your U.S. registered trademark only offers trademark protection within the United States. You should consider registering your trademarks in any foreign country where you do business. Speak to a trademark attorney about how to ensure your brand is protected around the globe.
What is the Official Gazette?
The Official Gazette (OG) is a weekly publication from the USPTO that includes information on trademarks and patents that have been approved. Once a trademark is published in the Official Gazette, any third party has 30 days to come forward and oppose the trademark. If no one opposes the mark, then it is officially registered. Once your mark is registered, you should monitor the Official Gazette on a regular basis to ensure that no competitors are infringing on your trademark rights.
Why Trademark Registration Matters for Fresno Businesses
With its long legacy of independence and self-reliance dating back to the colonial era, Fresno has always been one of the major commerce centers in the United States. If you’re starting a small business in the City of Brotherly Love, then you need to ensure that your trademarks are protected.
Imagine the following: Ashley has decided to open new women’s clothing and accessories boutique in downtown Fresno. She finds the perfect spot near Ninth Street and moves forward with signing the lease. She decides to call her new store The Fresno Fashionista. Ashley believes that her store’s name is completely unique and doesn’t bother to register her trademark.
Ashley moves forward with excitement. She designs the space, orders store signage, creates a website, orders inventory, and develops a marketing plan.
Just weeks after Ashley’s successful grand opening, she receives a cease-and-desist letter. It turns out that there’s a website that sells women’s clothing with the name Fresno Fashionista. The owner of the website trademarked the name so she is within her rights to enforce her trademark rights and ask Ashley to shut her doors and not reopen until she rebrands. This is a time-consuming and costly undertaking that will eat up the rest of the cash Ashely has on hand.
Don’t wait to register your trademark. Whether you’re just starting to write your business plan or you’ve been selling your products and services for a while, the time to register your trademark is now.
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 Fresno and yet it can assist businesses from California in registering a federal Trademark because trademarks are governed under federal law.
Trademarks Services for Fresno 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.