Trademark Attorney Services
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Greensboro, North Carolina Businesses Use Cohn Legal for Trademark Services
Cohn Legal, PLLC is committed to delivering unparalleled legal counsel and expertise for their clients. Serving clients in Greensboro, North Carolina, the startup and trademark lawyers of Cohn Legal operate with the singular goal of acting as your legal consigliere, continuously striving to provide you with the best legal advice and strategies to protect your intellectual property and business interests.
Top 7 Questions Greensboro Businesses Have About Obtaining a Trademark
What is a trademark?
A trademark is a word, a phrase, design, sound, or logo that sets companies that sell the same products or services apart from each other.
For example, a customer may see a variety of sneaker brands at the shoe store. However, they’ll be able to easily identify “Nike” or “Adidas” amongst all other brands because of the trademarked brand name and logos.
What is the difference between an arbitrary and a fanciful trademark?
An arbitrary mark is a mark that may have a meaning on its own, but is applied to a particular product or service that’s unrelated to the original meaning. An example would be Apple. An apple is the generic name of a fruit, but when applied to a technology company, it has no particular meaning.
Fanciful trademarks are marks which are usually made up or invented. These marks only have meaning when applied to a specific product or service. An example of a fanciful trademark would be Exxon. It has no meaning outside of its use as a brand name of gasoline.
What is a merely descriptive trademark?
A “merely descriptive” trademark is one that describes a function, feature, purpose, or characteristic of the product being manufactured. For example a company can’t trademark “cold and sweet” as a brand of ice cream. Those are two words that describe the characteristics of any ice cream. It’s only fair that all ice cream manufacturers have access to these common words associated with ice cream.
Does the trademark application process take a long time?
The USPTO will respond to your application within 3 to 6 months. If your trademark is found to be eligible for registration, it will take another several weeks before everything is finalized. Assume that the entire process will take about 8 to 10 months if your trademark is approved.
If the trademark is not eligible for registration, the USPTO will send an Office Action listing the reasons why your application was rejected. If this is the case, it’s hard to say exactly how long the process will take since it depends on how quickly you can resolve the issues.
Should I use the ® symbol or the TM symbol with my trademark?
Use of the ® symbol can only be used with trademarks that are approved by and registered with the USPTO. The TM symbol can be used even if you haven’t filed a trademark application yet, but you consider yourself to have “common law” rights to your trademark. However, the TM symbol offers little legal protection. Always trademark your intellectual property to get full protection.
Is it ever too late to hire a trademark attorney?
No, it’s never too late to hire a trademark attorney. An attorney can step in at any time to help you sort through legal issues, litigate trademark matters, or expedite certain processes. If you’ve already submitted an application on your own, but it was rejected, a trademark attorney can help. An attorney can help you monitor the market for infringement of your existing trademarks. An attorney can draft a cease-and-desist letter to anyone infringing upon your mark. Ideally, you want to hire a trademark attorney when you are starting up your business, but never hesitate to contact a trademark attorney whenever you need one.
Can I file a trademark if I’m not yet selling any products?
You can file a trademark before you’re ready to bring your products to market. Just be sure to complete an Intent-To-Use (ITU) trademark application. That lets the USPTO know that you’re not selling products yet, but you intend to.
Assuming the ITU application has been approved by the USPTO, you’ll receive a notice of allowance (NOA). You will have 6 months after receiving the NOA to either submit your Statement of Use or file for a 6-month extension. The USPTO allows up to 5 extension requests.
Why Trademark Registration Matters for Greensboro Businesses
Greensboro is a famous, thriving tourism industry, and the Nearby, Guilford Courthouse National Military Park In a competitive environment like Greensboro, even small businesses have to ensure that their trademarks are protected.
Imagine the following: Bernadette is a fitness lover and decides to pursue her dream of opening her own fitness studio in downtown Greensboro. She names her new studio Greensboro Fitness Fanatics. She gets right to work purchasing equipment, advertising online, creating a website, and hiring instructors. She has trademark registration is on her “to-do” list but she just doesn’t have the time to take care of it.
Six months in, Bernadette’s business is doing great. People love the classes and the word is spreading about. What Bernadette doesn’t realize however is that there’s another fitness studio chain with locations in Tampa and Miami that have a name that’s similar to her studio.
The owners of the Tampa and Miami studios trademarked their name 5 years ago. Recently, those same owners came to Greensboro to scout for possible expansion opportunities. They saw Bernadette’s studio and became immediately concerned. They have the right to send a cease-and-desist letter to Bernadette and demand that she shut her doors and not reopen until she rebrands. This could be very costly for Bernadette and she risks losing her strong client base.
If Bernadette has contacted a trademark attorney early on, then she would have realized that the name she wanted for her business wasn’t available and she could have chosen something else.
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 Greensboro and yet it can assist businesses from North Carolina in registering a federal Trademark because trademarks are governed under federal law.
Trademarks Services for Greensboro 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.