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for Norfolk VA
Norfolk, Virginia Businesses Use Cohn Legal for Trademark Services
* Cohn Legal, PLLC is not located in Norfolk and yet it can assist businesses from Virginia in registering a federal Trademark because trademarks are governed under federal law.
Abe Cohn is the Managing Partner of Cohn Legal, PLLC. Serving Norfolk, Virginia companies, Abe loves working with startups and entrepreneurs and relishes the opportunity to help companies build businesses and brands from the ground up. At the end of the day, Abe strives to make his clients’ lives easier.
Top 10 Questions Norfolk Businesses Have About Obtaining a Trademark
What is a trademark?
A trademark indicates that a service or product is associated with a specific brand or company. With a federal trademark registration, you can protect words, colors, names, and even sounds.
Should I wait until I begin my business operations to file my trademark registration?
You should file a trademark application well before you begin business operations. You want to have your trademark registration in place before you start investing in marketing materials, store signage, website design, logo design, or anything else. Waiting to register your trademark increases the risk that someone else will register the mark which can result in you having to rebrand down the line.
How long does it take for my trademark to be registered?
The process usually takes around 8-10 months, from start to finish. In some cases, it may take longer than a year to complete a trademark registration. Working with an experienced trademark attorney could help to ensure that any issues that arise are dealt with in a timely manner and missed deadlines are avoided.
Will hiring a trademark attorney increase my chances of having my trademark approved?
Hiring a trademark attorney can indeed increase the chances that your trademark gets approved. A study by the University of North Carolina actually found that trademark applications submitted with the help of an attorney increased the chances of approval by 50%.
What is the USPTO?
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), a division of the Department of Commerce, reviews applications, then registers trademarks for products and services and grants patents for new inventions. They also maintain the records for trademarks and patents. They do not, however, enforce trademark rights or give legal advice.
I did an internet search for my desired trademark. Is that sufficient?
Simply conducting a trademark search to find if your desired trademark is available for use is not sufficient. Most internet searches will identify exact trademark matches, such as identical business names or identical product names. Most trademark issues, however, come from a trademark that may be similar to another but isn’t an exact match. The trademark attorneys at Cohn Legal can provide you with a much more comprehensive search that will increase the chances that your desired mark gets improved.
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.
Your trademark attorney can advise you on your best response to a rejected application.
My competitor didn’t trademark their logo. Can I register it for myself?
You can certainly try to trademark it for yourself, but it’s not guaranteed that you will get it. Keep in mind that even though the mark has not 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.
What is a merely descriptive trademark?
You may not be able to register your trademark because it is considered to be “merely descriptive” by the USPTO. That means your mark simply describes a function, feature, purpose, or characteristic of the product being manufactured.
For example, you wouldn’t be able to brand your pretzels as “salty and crunchy” as those are two words that describe the characteristics of any pretzel. All pretzel manufacturers should have access to these common words to describe their products.
What is a specimen?
A specimen is simply a sample of your trademark as it is used in commerce. It could be a product label, a website screenshot, a photo of your packaging, marketing materials, etc. Consult a trademark attorney if you are unsure about what you should submit to the USPTO as a specimen.
Additional Information on Trademark Registration for Norfolk Businesses
Norfolk has a long history of DIY entrepreneurship that dates back to the founding of our nation. That “can-do” spirit is alive and well today in the city’s historic neighborhoods and gorgeous nearby beaches. If you’re an entrepreneur looking to set up shop in the Norfolk area, it’s critically important to make sure you consult a trademark attorney about protecting your trademark sooner rather than later.
Trademarks Services for Norfolk 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.