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Norfolk, Virginia Businesses Use Cohn Legal for Trademark Services
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
Can I trademark my logo?
Logo trademarks are extraordinarily common and powerful. Consider the BMW symbol – it is old, distinct, and readily identifiable as belonging to the BMW corporation. What’s your logo? Does it create a feeling in consumers when looked at? Build a strong brand by having a strong logo.
What is a trademark opposition?
Upon the preliminary approval of a trademark for registration by the USPTO, the mark is published to the Official Gazette for opposition. The idea here is that existing trademark holders deserve the opportunity to protest the admission of a new trademark that may not warrant registration. This Opposition is conducted through the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB).
Can I trademark the design of a product’s packaging?
Potentially. This is actually a very tricky issue and is entirely fact-dependent but in theory, yes. The “trade dress” of a given design is protectable as long as it is not functional.
Can I register my trademark in Europe?
Yes. The Madrid Protocol enables trademark applicants to file one trademark application and select a series of countries (or all of Europe) for trademark protection.
Can I register an international trademark with the USPTO?
Upon obtaining a trademark in one’s “base-country”, which will be the US for Americans, one can go through the USPTO to access the Madrid Protocol which will allow one to file an “international trademark application”.
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.
Why Trademark Registration Matters for Norfolk Businesses
If you’re planning on starting a new business venture in this Norfolk, then you probably have a million things on your to-do list. Each one of those tasks is competing for your attention. Many business owners will put trademark registration on the “back burner” thinking they’ll take care of it another time. However, that could be a costly mistake.
Imagine the following: Stan has recently perfected a recipe for potato chips. His friends and family agree they are the best they’ve ever tasted. Stan decides to turn his passion for chips into a business. He calls his new creation Natural Choice Chips because he doesn’t add any artificial flavors or preservatives.
Stan knows about trademark registration but doesn’t think that it’s something he needs to worry about because his business is so small. He purchases the equipment needed to make chips on a large scale, orders branded bags and creates a website. Stan’s plan is to sell the chips through his website and try to get them onto local grocery store shelves.
Stan’s chips become very popular in just a few months. Website sales are up and several stores are carrying his Natural Choice Chips. Now, even stores in neighboring states want to start stocking his product. Sam never imagines his product would take off so quickly!
However, Stan’s dreams are about to get crushed. A large chip manufacturer has been working on a line of chips also called Natural Choice. The product is being test-marketed right now, but they have secured the trademark rights to the name. Soon, Stan will receive a cease-and-desist letter and he’ll have no choice but to comply.
Trademark registration is a necessary step for businesses of all sizes. When you own your trademark, then you can confidently invest in your brand and your business.
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 Norfolk and yet it can assist businesses from Virginia in registering a federal Trademark because trademarks are governed under federal law.
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.