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for Montgomery AL
Montgomery, Alabama Businesses Use Cohn Legal for Trademark Services
Cohn Legal, PLLC is a boutique law firm focused on providing clients in Montgomery, Alabama with top-notch legal counsel when it comes to their intellectual property rights. Our trademark attorneys love helping small businesses, startups, and entrepreneurs create and protect their brand names and logos. Whether you need us to handle trademark prosecutions, transactional work, or contract negotiations, we’re ready to assist you.
Top 5 Questions Montgomery Businesses Have About Obtaining a Trademark
Do I need to conduct a trademark search before filing an application?
There’s no legal requirement or law that says you must conduct a trademark search prior to submitting your trademark application to the USPTO. However, it’s definitely in your best interest to conduct a search.
A thorough trademark search will reveal existing trademarks that may be sufficiently similar to yours and would cause the USPTO to reject your application. Finding out that there’s a mark already out there that’s similar to the one you want can be frustrating. However, it’s better to find this out before you submit your trademark application and pay the associated fees.
Do I need to sell a product or service in order to register a trademark?
The USPTO won’t let you just obtain a trademark without having a product, service, or business to attach it to. In fact, one of the requirements for getting a trademark is having “bona fide” sales of your product or service in at least two states.
Do I need to register my trademark before selling my products or services?
There’s no law or mandate that says you must register your trademark before you start selling your products. However, it’s recommended that you do pursue trademark registration before bringing your products or services to market.
Conducting business without registering your trademarks first will leave you unprotected. A competitor may decide to use your trademark or even register it with the USPTO for themselves. If you’re serious about the success of your business, then you should make trademark registration a priority.
How long will my trademark last?
Once registered, your trademark will last as long as you want. The USPTO only requires that you continue to use your trademark in commerce, and submit the proper maintenance documents within the specified deadlines. For example, the USPTO will require that you submit an initial maintenance document about 5 years after your mark is first registered. Another document will be required around your mark’s 10-year anniversary. Thereafter, you’ll just need to submit documents every 10 years.
Missing these deadlines could result in your trademark getting cancelled. Many business owners hire trademark attorneys, such as Cohn Legal Group, who can stay on top of these deadlines and submit the appropriate documentation on their behalf.
Why am I being asked to provide a specimen?
You will be asked to submit a specimen as part of your trademark application. A specimen is an example of how you will be using your trademark. A specimen may be a picture of a product label, your product packaging, or a tag which clearly displays the trademark. If you are selling a service, acceptable specimens include flyers, print advertisements, or website screenshots.
If you are unsure of what to submit as a specimen, then speak to a trademark attorney.
Why Trademark Registration Matters for Montgomery Businesses
Nicknamed “The City of Dreams,” Montgomery, Alabama preserves and celebrates its rich history, while also looking forward to a bright future. With its impressive museums, hip bars, and revitalized neighborhoods, Montgomery is catching the attention of entrepreneurs who are searching for locations to start making their dreams come true.
While there is much to do when starting a new business (e.g., product development, business plans, marketing strategy, etc.) Montgomery business owners should not overlook the crucial trademark registration process. It’s the best way to protect their brands and their businesses as they achieve more and more success.
Imagine the following: Sandra recently graduated from culinary school. She has plans to open up her own catering company in her hometown of Montgomery. In fact, she has already decided on the name of her new catering company, Dream City Catering.
Sandra finds a small storefront with a commercial kitchen in the Cloverdale neighborhood of town that is perfect for her new venture. She signs the lease without any hesitation. Then, she gets to work developing a marketing plan, hiring staff, printing menus, creating a website, and getting on all of the popular social media platforms. She even spends a good deal of money advertising in local papers.
One of Sandra’s friends loves the name of her company and asks her if she’s considered registering her trademark. Sandra definitely has trademark registration on her “to-do” list, but she decides it can wait. There’s just too much other work to be done.
After months of activity, Sandra starts booking catering jobs. It doesn’t take long for word to spread among the citizens of Montgomery about her outstanding menu and top-notch service. Sandra is excited about the future of her business and thinks that she may need to hire additional staff to handle all of the jobs coming in.
However, Sandra soon gets some news that turns her dreams into a nightmare. She receives a cease-and-desist letter from a food distribution company in the northeast called Dream City Distributors. Since they are in a similar industry as Sandra, and they already trademarked their name, the distribution company has the right to ask Sandra to shut down her business and not reopen until she rebrands. They even threaten legal action if she doesn’t comply.
Sandra is very concerned and is confused about what she should do next. Rebranding at this point will be a timely and expensive process. She decides that it’s time to call a trademark attorney for advice.
As a new business owner, it may be tempting to put trademark registration on the backburner because you have so many other tasks to take care of. In reality, trademark registration is the one thing you want to prioritize. Registering your trademark early on is the best way to ensure your business is protected and you can confidently invest in growth and expansion.
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 Montgomery and yet it can assist businesses from Alabama in registering a federal Trademark because trademarks are governed under federal law.
Trademarks Services for Montgomery 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.