Trademark Attorney Services
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for Kansas City MO
Kansas City, Missouri Businesses Use Cohn Legal for Trademark Services
Cohn Legal, PLLC specializes in intellectual property protection and corporate law for startups, entrepreneurs, and small business owners. Serving clients in Kansas, Missouri, our trademark attorneys absolutely love helping companies protect their brand names and logos. On the most fundamental level, our goal is to provide our clients with exceptional legal guidance and support at cost-effective rates.
Top 9 Questions Kansas City Businesses Have About Obtaining a Trademark
Do I need to conduct a trademark search before filing my application?
There’s no law, mandate, or 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.
If someone has already registered the name or trademark you wanted, it can be frustrating. However, it’s better that you have this information earlier in the process, before you’ve invested in marketing materials, packaging, signage, and anything else that would bear your logo.
Am I required to hire a U.S.-licensed attorney to represent me at the USPTO?
If you are a trademark applicant or registrant based in the United States or its territories, you don’t need to be represented by an attorney. However, we strongly recommend that you do hire a U.S.-licensed attorney who specializes in trademark law when dealing with the USPTO.
If you are a trademark applicant or registrant based outside of the Unites States, then you must be represented at the USPTO by a U.S.-licensed trademark attorney.
How can a trademark attorney help me enforce my trademark rights?
If you have a registered trademark, an attorney can help you understand how to best monitor and enforce those rights. A trademark attorney can provide counsel and represent you in court if you discover other parties are infringing on your trademark. An attorney can also help ensure that all required trademark renewal documents are filed accurately and on time so you never lose your trademark.
What are the USPTO’s “Rules of Professional Conduct”?
All attorneys who practice trademark law before the USPTO must strictly follow the Rules of Professional Conduct. These rules require that any attorney representing you:
• Has the knowledge and skill to competently represent you.
• Keeps you informed about the status of your trademark matter.
• Does not make false statements to the USPTO.
Make sure that the attorney you hire has experience prosecuting trademark applications at the USPTO and handling proceedings before the TTAB.
Why was my trademark application rejected?
There are a variety of reasons that your trademark application may be rejected. The most obvious reason is that the mark or something similar to it is already in use.
Other reasons for trademark application rejections could be that the examiner believes the trademark is too generic, too descriptive, includes a surname, or a name of geographic significance.
My competitor didn’t trademark their logo. Can I register it for myself?
You can certainly try to trademark a competitor’s logo for yourself, but it’s not guaranteed that you will get it. Keep in mind that even though your competitor’s mark may not have been federally registered yet, it may be protected under “common law” rules, which gives businesses certain rights to a mark if they’ve been using it commercially but have yet to register it with the USPTO. Speak to a trademark attorney about the advantages and disadvantages of trying to register a competitor’s mark.
Can generic terms receive trademark protection?
Generic terms can never receive trademark protection. For example, you can’t register the word “television” as the brand name of your television manufacturing company. If you were allowed to do that, it would prevent all other television manufacturers from using the word television, which is unfair and unreasonable.
Why can I not register a “merely descriptive” trademark?
The USPTO may reject your desired trademark on the basis that it is considered “merely descriptive” according to their standards. A merely descriptive trademark means that the desired trademark simply describes a function, feature, purpose, or characteristic of the product.
For example, the USPTO would not allow a potato chip manufacturer to trademark the name “Salty and Crunchy” as those are two words that describe the characteristics of any potato chip. All potato chip ice manufacturers should have access to these common words.
Is it ever too late to hire a trademark attorney?
Ideally, you want to hire a trademark attorney as soon as you think you might want to trademark a piece of intellectual property. However, you can call on a trademark attorney at any time you need assistance with obtaining or protecting your trademark.
For example, a trademark attorney can help if you’ve already submitted an application, but it was rejected. An attorney can help if your mark is already approved but you need someone to monitor the market for infringement. An attorney can be your representative in court if needed.
Why Trademark Registration Matters for Kansas City Businesses
Jazz clubs, history museums, art collections, famous fountains, and more, Kansas City truly has it all. It’s no wonder that young entrepreneurs are eager to start new businesses in this culturally diverse city. However, they need to remember to register their trademarks or risk facing legal trouble or other setbacks.
Imagine the following: Peter is a master carpenter who has decided to open up his own furniture restoration business. He truly has a passion for restoring furniture and his friends have been encouraging him to open his own shop for some time.
He names his new shop Restoration Arts. He doesn’t have much money so he decides to hold off on trademark registration.
Peter starts by finding a small shop and signing the lease. Then he creates signage, prints up marketing materials, and creates a website. He even hires an apprentice who can help him around the shop.
After just 6 months, Peter has more business than he can handle. He’s filling a real need in the community. He even starts to think about hiring more help.
However, Peter soon gets some distressing news in the mail in the form of a cease-and-desist letter. There’s another furniture restoration company in Michigan that has registered the name Restoration Arts with the USPTO. Their customers came across Peter’s website and started asking the owners of the Michigan store if they were expanding or moving.
The Michigan company owns the trademark to the name and doesn’t like the confusion that Peter’s shop is causing. They are well within their rights to ask Peter to stop using the name or face legal action.
If you are starting a new business, don’t put off trademark registration. 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 Kansas City and yet it can assist businesses from Missouri in registering a federal Trademark because trademarks are governed under federal law.
Trademarks Services for Kansas City 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.