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Louisville, Kentucky Businesses Use Cohn Legal for Trademark Services
Serving Louisville, Kentucky companies, Cohn Legal, PLLC is committed to delivering unparalleled legal counsel and expertise for their clients. The startup and trademark lawyers of Cohn Legal operate with the singular goal of acting as your legal consigliere, continuously striving to provide you with the best legal advice and strategies to protect your intellectual property and business interests.
Top 8 Questions Louisville Businesses Have About Obtaining a Trademark
What is the USPTO?
USPTO stands for the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The USPTO is responsible for reviewing trademark applications and registering trademarks for products and services. Contrary to popular belief, however, the USPTO does not enforce of trademark rights. Trademark enforcement is solely the responsibility of the owner of the trademark and the owner’s attorney.
What is the difference between a fanciful trademark and an arbitrary trademark?
Fanciful trademarks are marks that are made up or invented. These marks only have meaning when applied to a specific product or service. An example of a fanciful trademark would be Exxon or Netflix.
An arbitrary mark, on the other hand, is a word that has meaning in and of itself. But when the word is applied to a product, the real meaning of the word becomes arbitrary. An example would be the trademark Apple. An apple is the generic name of a fruit, but when applied to a technology company, the word becomes distinctive. Another example is Peter Pan. Peter Pan is the name of a character in a book, but when applied to peanut butter it is considered to be distinctive.
Do I need to conduct a trademark search before filing my application?
There’s no 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 your search reveals that no one has a name similar to yours, then you can proceed with a degree of confidence. However, if someone has already registered the name you wanted, try not to be too disappointed. It’s better 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.
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. How much you must sell or in how many states aren’t clearly defined by the USPTO. Selling one bottle of your new floor cleanser to a friend in another state probably won’t meet the USPTO’s definition of interstate commerce. However, selling 300 bottles of your floor cleanser to retail stores and customers across 5 states would likely meet the definition of interstate commerce. Again, the USPTO’s rules are ambiguous, so it’s best to speak to a trademark attorney who can give you clear guidance on how to proceeds.
What is a specimen?
A specimen is simply a sample of your trademark as it would appear in use. The USPTO requires that you submit a specimen as part of your application. A specimen could be a product label, a website screenshot, a photo of your packaging, a flyer or brochure, etc. Consult a trademark attorney if you are unsure about what you should submit to the USPTO as a specimen.
What’s the difference between the TM and the ® symbols?
The TM symbol can be used any time, even if you haven’t filed a trademark application yet. However, the TM symbol has very little legal significance. It just means that you consider yourself to have “common law” rights to your trademark. Use of the ® symbol is reserved for those pieces of intellectual property that are trademarked at the federal level.
Do I really need a trademark?
Maybe yes, maybe no. 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. If you try to submit the trademark application by yourself, your chances of triggering an Office Action go up.
What is the Trademark Electronic Application System?
The Trademark Electronic Application System (also known as TEAS) is an online portal where you can submit your trademark application to the USPTO and pay any associated fees.
Why Trademark Registration Matters for Louisville Businesses
There are plenty of spots in Louisville that are perfect for opening a new business. Entrepreneurs in Louisville should make sure they register their trademarks with the USPTO as soon as possible.
Imagine the following: Dominick is a resident of Louisville and loves water sports. He decides to open a small business renting out paddleboards to tourists and giving standing paddleboard lessons on the bay.
Dominick decides to call his new venture Sunset Paddleboards. He creates a website, signs the lease on a small storefront near the bay, and advertises in local papers. He also purchased 30 boards with his store’s logo printed on them that he can rent out. Dominick is aware of trademark registration but doesn’t think his business is big enough to warrant it.
Dominick opens his business and things are going quite well at first. He’s making more money than he had forecasted and he’s seeing repeat customers. After about a month, however, he gets a cease-and-desist letter from the Sunset Hotel also in Louisville. Many of their guests think that Dominick’s business is somehow connected to the hotel, which it isn’t. The hotel has registered their trademark so they have the right to ask Dominick to close shop and not reopen until he has a new name.
Dominick doesn’t have the resources to fight back so he has no choice but to close down his business and rebrand. Every business, no matter how big or small, needs to conduct a thorough trademark search and register its mark with the USPTO.
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 Louisville and yet it can assist businesses from Kentucky in registering a federal Trademark because trademarks are governed under federal law.
Trademarks Services for Louisville 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.