Trademark Attorney Services
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Lexington, Kentucky Businesses Use Cohn Legal for Trademark Services
Serving clients in Lexington, Kentucky, Abe Cohn is the Managing Partner of Cohn Legal, PLLC. While Abe loves working with startups and entrepreneurs and relishes the opportunity to help them build their businesses from the ground up. At the end of the day, Abe strives to make his clients’ lives easier.
Top 8 Questions Lexington Businesses Have About Obtaining a Trademark
What is the USPTO?
USPTO stands for the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The USPTO is a division of the U.S. Department of Commerce responsible for reviewing trademark applications and registering trademarks for products and services. The USPTO does not, however, assist in the enforcement of trademark rights. Trademark enforcement is solely the responsibility of the trademark owner.
What is a merely descriptive trademark?
You may have been told that you are not able to register your trademark because it is considered to be “merely descriptive” by the USPTO. Merely descriptive means that your mark simply describes a function, feature, purpose, or characteristic of the product being manufactured or sold.
For example, you wouldn’t be able to brand your new frozen yogurt as “cold and sweet.” Cold and sweet are two words that describe the characteristics of any frozen yogurt. All frozen yogurt brand manufacturers should have access to these common words.
Should I wait until my business is up and running before filing an application for trademark registration?
In order to protect your business and your brand, you should file a trademark registration application well before your business is up and running. In fact, as soon as you have an idea for a name, logo, design, etc., then contact a trademark attorney who can help you start the trademark registration process.
Does my business need more than one trademark?
Most likely, your business will need more than one trademark. For example, you may want to obtain one trademark for your business name, one for your logo, and one for the name of your product. The trademark attorneys at Cohn Legal can help you determine how many trademarks are appropriate for your business.
What is the USPTO’s Trademark Trial and Appeal Board?
The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) exists to help resolve conflicts among trademark owners in these instances:
• A third party believes your existing trademark or pending application is harming or may harm their business and should be cancelled.
• You want to appeal an examining attorney’s decision to reject your trademark application.
• You want to challenge a third party’s existing trademark or pending trademark.
All of these proceedings have specific procedures and strict deadlines that must be adhered to. A trademark attorney can help you navigate these proceedings and help you settle the dispute in a way that suits your best interests.
Does retaining the services of a trademark attorney increase the chances of my trademark application being approved?
A recent study conducted by the University of North Carolina found that trademark applications submitted with the assistance of a trademark attorney were 50% more likely to be approved. With a trademark attorney by your side, you know that your application will be submitted completely and correctly, and therefore, is more likely to be approved upon the first submission.
What does “used in interstate commerce” mean?
In order to obtain a registered trademark, the specific trademark must be attached to a product or a service that has been sold across state lines or is offered in several states. Selling one t-shirt to a friend in another state likely won’t count as interstate commerce. However, selling 100 t-shirts to residents of four states other than your own would likely fulfill the interstate commerce requirement. The USPTO’s rules around what constitutes interstate commerce are vague, so it’s best to speak to a trademark attorney who can give you clear guidance.
Should I register the name of my business before I register the logo?
Ideally, you want to trademark both the name of your business in plain text and your logo using separate trademark applications. If you have to prioritize, then trademark the name of your business in plain text first. Register the logo as soon as possible after that.
Some business owners try to save money by registering just the logo if it contains the name of their business. That may seem like a logical solution, but it’s not recommended because if you want to change the design of your logo, then you risk losing trademark protection for the name of your business.
Why Trademark Registration Matters for Lexington Businesses
Entrepreneurs who are starting new ventures in the wonderful city of Lexington tend to be very budget-conscious and limit their spending to just the essentials such as leasing commercial space, buying equipment, and marketing.
One of those essentials should also be trademark registration. Unfortunately, many new business owners put trademark registration on the back burner, which could be a costly mistake.
Imagine the following: Ron is an expert fly fisherman and loves to fish for trout and bass in the many streams and rivers in Lexington. One day he has the idea to turn his passion into a business.
He opens up a small storefront in the downtown sector. He sells fly-fishing equipment and leads fly fishing expeditions for tourists and locals alike. Ron names his shop Tight Lines Fly Fishing.
He orders a sign for the front of his shop and sets up a website. He also advertises his shop in local papers and on fly fishing websites and online forums to reach potential customers all over the world. It doesn’t occur to Ron that he should also trademark the name of his shop.
Word of Ron’s shop spreads quickly and he’s soon doing brisk business. Three months after opening, however, Ron receives a cease-and-desist letter in the mail. There’s a fly-fishing shop in Pennsylvania with a very similar name. Since they’ve trademarked the name, they have every right to ask Ron to close his shop and not reopen until he renames the shop.
It is very frustrating for Ron because he was just getting his business off the ground and he certainly didn’t anticipate this hassle. He calls a trademark attorney to find out what his next move should be.
If Ron had contacted a trademark attorney to conduct a trademark search before he opened his business, then none of this would have happened.
If you are opening a new business or growing an existing one, then don’t wait to register your business name with the USPTO. Registering your trademark could be the smartest move you make as a new business owner.
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 Lexington and yet it can assist businesses from Kentucky in registering a federal Trademark because trademarks are governed under federal law.
Trademarks Services for Lexington 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.