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Houston, Texas 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 Houston, Texas, 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 8 Questions Houston Businesses Have About Obtaining a Trademark
Should I conduct a trademark search before submitting my trademark application?
You should absolutely conduct a trademark search before submitting a trademark application to the USPTO. A comprehensive search will uncover any other trademarks out there that may be similar to the one you want. A trademark attorney can assist you with a truly comprehensive search.
Is it required that I sell, or intend to sell, a product or service to obtain a trademark?
Yes, the USPTO requires that you have a product or service that is in commerce or you intend to be in commerce before filing a trademark application. The USPTO won’t allow you to arbitrarily trademark a name, design, or logo without a product, service, or business to attach it to.
What is an examining attorney?
An examining attorney is an individual at the USPTO who receives and reviews trademark applications. The examining attorney will approve your mark for publication, reject it, or ask for more information from you.
One of the most important roles of the examining attorney is to search the USPTO database looking for trademarks that may be similar to your desired trademark. If a trademark that is similar enough to yours is found, then your application will be rejected. That’s why you should always conduct your own trademark search before submitting an application.
Can a trademark attorney help me enforce my trademark rights?
An attorney can advise you on the best way to monitor and enforce your trademark rights in several ways. A trademark attorney can:
- Provide counsel if you discover other parties are using and infringing on your trademark.
- Advice on how you should respond if others are claiming that you are infringing on their trademarks.
- Help ensure that all required trademark renewal documents are timely and accurately filed, so you are never at risk of losing your mark.
- Represent you in any legal proceedings.
What is the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB)?
The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (a.k.a., TTAB) exists to help resolve conflicts among trademark owners in these instances:
- You want to appeal the USPTO’s rejection of your trademark application.
- You want to challenge or oppose an existing trademark.
- A third party believes your trademark should be cancelled, or a pending trademark shouldn’t be approved.
A trademark attorney can help you navigate these complex proceedings, present your best case or defense, and help you settle the dispute in a way that is in your best interests.
Who needs to adhere to the USPTO’s “Rules of Professional Conduct”?
The USPTO’s Rules of Professional Conduct must be followed by all attorneys who practice before the USPTO. These rules require that any attorney representing you:
- Has the knowledge and expertise to represent you.
- Keeps you informed about the status of your trademark matter.
- Doesn’t make false statements to the USPTO.
Be sure to ask any attorney you plan to hire if he or she has experience prosecuting trademark applications at the USPTO and handling proceedings before the TTAB.
Must I hire a U.S.-licensed trademark attorney to represent me at the USPTO?
If you are a foreign-domiciled business owner or trademark application, then you must hire an attorney who is licensed to practice law in the United States for all matters in which you are dealing with the USPTO.
However, if you are a U.S-based business owner or trademark applicant, then it’s not necessary for you to even hire a trademark attorney. You can represent yourself at all USPTO proceedings. However, it is strongly recommended that you do hire a U.S.-licensed attorney who specializes in trademark law to represent you and help you with all trademark matters.
Can generic terms receive trademark protection?
No, the USPTO won’t allow businesses or individuals to submit generic terms for trademark protection. As an example, an individual would not be allowed to trademark the word “coffee” as a brand of coffee. If someone were allowed to do that, it would prevent all other coffee manufacturers from using the word coffee, which is unfair and unreasonable. However, the word coffee would be able to be used as part of a unique brand name, such as “Peet’s Coffee.”
Why Trademark Registration Matters for Houston Businesses
If you are starting a new business in Houston, then your “to-do list” can seem endless. Leasing commercial space, buying equipment, hiring employees, creating marketing materials, writing a business plan, and the list goes on. Not only is the list long, but it can feel like it all needs to be done right now.
Although those other priorities are calling for your attention, there is one thing you should take care of before everything else. You must register your trademark with the USPTO. It’s the only way to protect your trademark from the competition.
Imagine the following: Chrissy is a real estate agent in Houston with good business instincts. She sees an opportunity to flip houses. Chrissy reaches out to Robert, a contractor she’s known for years, and asks if he’d like to join her venture. Robert is on board and they form a business called C&R Property Group. Right away, they create a website, order business cards, design yard signs, and even stencil the logo onto their cars.
What they don’t know is that another realtor, Craig Reeves, is starting a home renovation business across town with the name C&R Properties.
Unlike Chrissy and Ronald, who moved forward without consulting a trademark attorney, Craig has a trademark attorney who advises him to register his name and logo. Because of the similarities between the two companies, James is within his right to ask C&R Property Group to stop using their name. Chrissy and Ronald have no legal recourse because they did not protect their brand with a trademark. They’ve wasted a lot of time and energy on marketing materials they cannot use.
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 Houston and yet it can assist businesses from Texas in registering a federal Trademark because trademarks are governed under federal law.
Trademarks Services for Houston 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.