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Kansas City, Kansas Businesses Use Cohn Legal for Trademark Services
Serving clients in Kansas City, Kansas, Abe Cohn is the Managing Partner of Cohn Legal, PLLC. Abe loves advising his clients on a variety of intellectual property law matters, litigating trademark disputes, and managing various corporate transactions. Abe relishes the opportunity to help startups and entrepreneurs build their businesses from the ground up.
Top 8 Questions Kansas Businesses Have About Obtaining a Trademark
What is a trademark?
A trademark is a source identifier that may be a word, logo, slogan, sound, and or design that when attached to a good or service, enables a consumer to identify the company which produces the good or service.
How do I register a federal trademark?
If you want a registered trademark, you need to first submit a trademark application to the United States Patent and Trademark Office, or USPTO. The examining attorney at the USPTO will review your application and search the USPTO database to identify any trademarks that are similar to the trademark you’re attempting to register.
If no similar marks are found, and your application is otherwise in good order, then your mark gets approved for publication in the USPTO’s Official Gazette for a 30-day period. During that 30 days, an individual can oppose your application if they feel that your trademark infringes upon theirs. Assuming no oppositions come forward, your trademark will be approved for final registration.
Will hiring an attorney improve my chances of having my trademark application approved?
A study by the University of North Carolina found that trademark applications submitted with the assistance of an attorney were 50% more likely to be approved. Hiring a trademark attorney can increase your chances of getting your trademark application approved because your attorney will conduct a comprehensive trademark search and provide valuable legal advice throughout the registration process. In addition, your attorney will ensure that your application will be submitted completely and correctly. Should your initial application get rejected, your attorney will know how to respond to the USPTO and will fight hard for your rights as a business owner to trademark your intellectual property.
Will my trademark protect my brand in countries outside of the United State?
Your trademark will only protect your intellectual property within the United States. If you do business outside the United States, you should consider registering your trademarks in those countries as well.
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. For new trademarks, the first renewal will take place after approximately 5 years from the date of registration, and then 10 years from the date of registration. Renewals will occur every 10 years thereafter. Please note that if you miss a renewal deadline, your trademark may be cancelled. Consult with a trademark attorney who will be able to help make sure that you never miss a deadline for renewal.
What is a specimen?
Submitted as part of the trademark application, a specimen is a sample of how you are using or intend to use your desired trademark in commerce.
If you are selling a product, then a specimen could be a product label, packaging, or a picture of your product with the mark on it. If you are selling a service, then you can submit flyers, brochures, sell-sheets, website screen shots, or any other type of marketing material. Speak to a trademark attorney for more information about what an acceptable specimen might be.
I’m not yet selling anything yet, but I intend to. Can I still submit a trademark application?
If you want to register your trademark before your product is actually being used in market, then you should complete the USPTO’s Intent-To-Use (ITU) trademark application.
If the ITU application is accepted, then you’ll receive a Notice of Allowance (NOA) and have 6 months to submit your Statement of Use, which is basically proof that you’re selling your goods using the registered trademark. If at the end of 6 months you’re still not ready to start selling, you can file for a 6-month extension. The USPTO allows you to file up to 5 extensions.
How long does it take to register a trademark?
Trademark registration usually takes from 8 to 10 months to complete, though in some cases, it can take a year or more to gain approval from the USPTO.
Why Trademark Registration Matters for Kansas City Businesses
Kansas City, the city of barbecue, Jazz, and baseball. There are literally three main reasons why this city is so popular, good food, great entertainment, and awesome company, with countless businesses serving millions of people literally at any time of day or night.
With so many customers readily available, many of these businesses may have no intention of spreading their business beyond the borders of Kansas City. Does trademark registration really matter in those instances? It does and here’s why.
Imagine the following: Jasmine opens up a small dance studio near the Theater District. She names her studio Jazz Hands. She knows she’s not going to expand her school outside of Kansas City so she decides not to bother with trademark registration.
There are two possible outcomes here. If a dance studio in another state has the name Jazz Hands, or even something similar, they can go after Jasmine for copyright infringement.
The other outcome could be that a studio named Jazz Hands opens up in another state after Jasmine’s studio was already in operation. The newer studio, however, has registered its trademark with the USPTO. In this instance, Jasmine can continue operating her business, but only within Kansas City. She couldn’t expand her business to another state or even another borough if she wanted to.
No matter what you think your intentions might be with your business today, it’s always better to register your mark with the USPTO. Having ownership of the trademark will make it absolutely clear that you are the rightful owner of the mark, help prevent others from stealing your intellectual property, and enable you to expand your business more easily if you choose to do so.
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 and yet it can assist businesses from Kansas 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.