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for Oakland CA
Oakland, California Businesses Use Cohn Legal for Trademark Services
* Cohn Legal, PLLC is not located in Oakland and yet it can assist businesses from California in registering a federal Trademark because trademarks are governed under federal law.
Serving Oakland, California companies, Cohn Legal, PLLC is a boutique law firm that focuses on intellectual property protection for startups and entrepreneurs. Our goal is to provide our clients with exceptional legal guidance and support at cost-effective rates. We are proud to offer outstanding service to clients around the country, and indeed, around the globe.
Top 8 Questions Oakland Businesses Have About Obtaining a Trademark
What exactly is a trademark?
A trademark is a word, phrase, symbol, sound or design that identifies and distinguishes the source of goods or services as being from a particular company. It allows consumers to tell which company manufactures the product or provides the service compared to others who provide good or services in the same category.
How do I register a federal trademark?
In order to get a business or product name trademarked, you need to first file a trademark application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, or USPTO. The trademark application should include your name and address, the piece of intellectual property you want trademarked, the goods or services you want the trademark for, and a specimen. You should also indicate if the logo or name is “in commerce” or if you are filing it with “intent to use.”
Once received by the USPTO, an examining attorney will thoroughly evaluate the application and search the USPTO database to verify that your mark is not too similar to other trademarks that already exist.
If no similar trademarks are found and the examiner approves your application, the trademark will be published in the USPTO’s Official Gazette for 30 days. During that time, anyone can come forward and “oppose” the application. If no oppositions are submitted, then your trademark will go to final registration.
Do I need to have a registered trademark before I start selling my goods or services?
You can start selling a product or service before obtaining a registered trademark. However, keep in mind that doing business without registering your trademark first, means that a third party can not only use your trademark, but become the rightful owner by registering it with the USPTO before you do. If you are serious about your business, then take the proper steps to ensure that your trademark is properly protected against infringement.
How long does a trademark last?
Trademarks actually do not expire. But you do need to renew the trademark with the USPTO. The first renewal will be required approximately 5 years from the date of registration, another 5 years after that, and every 10 years thereafter. Please note that you run the risk of having your trademark cancelled if you miss a renewal deadline. Talk to a trademark attorney who can help you stay on top of the renewal deadlines.
What is a “specimen” and when do I need one?
You will need to include a specimen as part of your trademark application. A specimen is a sample of how you are actually using your trademark in commerce. A specimen could be a product label, product packaging, or a photo of signage which clearly displays the trademark being used in commercial activity. If you’re selling a service as opposed to a product, then the USPTO will accept flyers, brochures, advertisements, etc. that display the trademark. If you are unsure about what would constitute an acceptable specimen, then speak to a trademark attorney.
Can I file a trademark if I’m not currently selling any products but intend to in the future?
If you’re not ready to bring your goods or services to market, then you can file what is known as an Intent-To-Use (ITU) trademark application. Once the ITU application has been accepted, you’ll receive a Notice of Allowance (NOA) from the USPTO. You’ll have 6 months to either submit your Statement of Use or file an extension. Each extension request will give you another 6 months to submit the Statement of Use. an additional 6 months to provide the Statement of Use.
Will my trademark protect my brand in other countries?
Your trademark will only protect your intellectual property within the United States. If you do business outside of the Unites States, then you should consider registering your trademarks in those countries as well. An experienced trademark attorney will be able to help you get trademark protections in other countries.
What is TEAS?
TEAS stands for the Trademark Electronic Application System. This online portal enables you to submit your trademark application to the United States Patent and Trademark Office and pay your application fees.
Additional Information on Trademark Registration for Oakland Businesses
If you are starting a new business in Oakland, then your “to-do list” can seem endless. Leasing commercial space, buying equipment, hiring employees, creating marketing materials, writing a business plan, and the list goes on. Not only is the list long, but it can feel like it all needs to be done right now.
Although those other priorities are calling for your attention, there is one thing you should take care of before everything else. You must register your trademark with the UPSTO. It’s the only way to protect your trademark from the competition.
Consider this scenario: Chrissy is a real estate agent in Oakland with good business instincts. She sees an opportunity to flip houses. Chrissy reaches out to Ronald, a contractor she’s known for years. Ronald is on board and they form a business called C&R Property Group. Right away, they create a website, order business cards, design yard signs, and even stencil the logo onto their cars.
What they don’t know is that another realtor, Craig Reeves, is starting a home renovation business across town with the name C&R Properties.
Unlike Chrissy and Ronald, who moved forward without consulting a trademark attorney, Craig has a trademark attorney who advises him to register his name and logo. Because of the similarities between the two companies, James is within his rights to ask C&R Property Group to stop using their name. Chrissy and Ronald have no legal recourse because they did not protect their brand with a trademark. They’ve wasted a lot of time and energy on marketing materials they cannot use.
If you are opening a new business or growing an existing one, contact the attorneys at Cohn Legal. We can assist you in conducting a comprehensive trademark search and securing federal trademark rights.
Trademarks Services for Oakland 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.