Trademark Attorney Services
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Harrisburg, Pennsylvania Businesses Use Cohn Legal for Trademark Services
Serving clients in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania Cohn Legal, PLLC is a boutique law firm that focuses on intellectual property protection for startups and entrepreneurs. Our goal is to provide our clients with exceptional legal guidance and support at cost-effective rates. While excellence in legal representation is a given, we take greater pride in our ability to forge lasting bonds with our clients.
Top 9 Questions Harrisburg Businesses Have About Obtaining a Trademark
What is a trademark?
A trademark may be a word, logo, slogan, sound, and or design that, when attached to a product or service, enables a consumer to identify the company which produces the product or service.
How do I register a federal trademark?
To obtain a federally registered trademark, you need to fill out and submit a trademark application to the United States Patent and Trademark Office, or USPTO. The trademark application will ask for information about the applicant, the desired trademark, and the nature of the products or services to be protected under the trademark.
The USPTO examining attorney will first evaluate the application. Then, he or she will search the USPTO database to see if there are any trademarks already existing that are similar to the desired trademark.
Assuming that the examining attorney approves your application, the trademark will get printed in the USPTO’s Official Gazette for a 30-day period. During that time, any third party with a legitimate claim against the filing can submit an “opposition” to the application. If no oppositions are submitted, the applicant’s trademark application will be cleared for final registration.
Do I need to conduct a trademark search before filing my application?
While there is no rule or law which says you have to conduct a trademark search before submitting a trademark application, it is important that you do so. The purpose of the trademark search is to uncover any sufficiently similar trademarks, which may prevent your trademark from getting approval.
Do I need to sell a product or service to obtain a registered trademark?
Yes, you need to be selling a product in more than one state to obtain a registered trademark. You can’t just copyright a name, slogan, or design without having a business, product, or service to attach it to.
How long does a trademark last?
As long as you continue to use it and meet renewal deadlines set by the USPTO, your registered trademark will never expire. The first renewal will be required after approximately 5 years from the date of original registration, and then the second renewal will occur approximately 10 years after the date of original registration. The third and all subsequent renewals will occur every 10 years thereafter. Please note that if you miss a renewal deadline, your trademark may be cancelled.
What is a specimen?
A specimen is a sample of how you are actually using your trademark in commerce. A specimen may be of a picture of a product label, packaging, or tag, etc., which clearly displays the trademark. If you’re selling a service and not a physical item, then you can submit specimens such as flyers, brochures, advertisements, website screenshots, etc.
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 Pepsi. It has no meaning other than being a brand of soda. These are the strongest forms of trademarks.
What should I register first: the name of my business or my brand logo?
Most trademark attorneys recommend that you register both your business name and logo using separate trademark applications at the same time. If you have to prioritize, trademark the name of your business first. Then, register the logo.
Some business owners try to save money by registering just the logo if it contains the name of their business. It’s killing two birds with one stone, right? 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. Consult with an experienced trademark attorney if you are unsure of how to go about trademarking your intellectual property.
If my trademark is registered in the United States is it protected in other countries as well?
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.
Why Trademark Registration Matters for Harrisburg Businesses
New business owners in Harrisburg are smart, resourceful, and very budget-conscious, which is wise. Starting a new business has a lot of costs, from marketing to website design, to purchasing equipment, and the list of expenses seems to keep growing.
Some business owners try to save money by not hiring a trademark attorney and instead relying on a Google search to see if their desired mark is available. This seems like a simple way to save money; however, it can actually cost new business owners in the long run.
Consider this scenario: Alice has been a marketing copywriter at a large firm for a few years. She’s decided to follow her dreams of quitting her day job and becoming a full-time freelance writer. Alice decides to call her new venture Write Way Services. Alice’s sister recommended that she see a trademark attorney and register the name with the USPTO.
Alice is reluctant to spend money on a lawyer so she does a quick Google search. She finds no other business with the name she wants so she assumes that she’s free to use it. She creates a website, prints business cards, and starts advertising.
Alice’s new business is picking up steam and she even starts to get work writing for businesses based in New York and Washington, D.C. Unfortunately, Alice is about to get some upsetting news. It turns out that there is an online resume writing service called Write Way Resumes who sent Alice a cease-and-desist order. Write Way Resumes trademarked their name several years ago so they are well within their rights to ask Alice to stop doing business until she rebrands.
Rebranding her business will cost Alice time and money. Plus, she’ll risk losing the clients she’s worked hard to get.
Even if you’re a one-person shop, it’s important to register your trademark with the USPTO. It’s the best investment you can make in yourself.
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 Harrisburg and yet it can assist businesses from Pennsylvania in registering a federal Trademark because trademarks are governed under federal law.
Trademarks Services for Harrisburg 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.