Trademark Attorney Services
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Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Businesses Use Cohn Legal for Trademark Services
Serving clients in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Abe Cohn is the Managing Partner of Cohn Legal, PLLC. Abe loves working with startups and entrepreneurs and relishes the opportunity to help companies build something from the ground up. In addition, he assists his clients with a variety of intellectual property law matters in addition to managing various corporate transactional work.
Top 9 Questions Pittsburgh Businesses Have About Obtaining a Trademark
Are all trademarks equally powerful?
No.Trademarks exist along “spectrum of distinctiveness” – the more distinct the trademark, the stronger it is. The less distinct the trademark, the less powerful the mark and if it is so weak that it is considered “generic” given what is sold under the banner of the mark (Soda for pop), the mark is not eligible for trademark protection at all.
Is it difficult to run a trademark clearance search? How does it work?
Trademark searches serve the fundamental purpose determining if your prospective trademark has already been applied for, or even registered, for the same or similar goods/services that you intend to sell. Thus, when conducting a trademark search, the goal is compare and contrast not only the similar of the marks but also the goods/services. This can be challenging because it takes a practiced eye to understand what qualifies as too similar.
Can I Protect a Color with a Trademark?
By and large, the answer is no. It simply would not be fair for the USPTO to take a color out of the market and give its sole right to a single individual. However, in unique situations, if a brand manages to tether their product to a specific color in a very narrow and limited way, they may be eligible for trademark protection.
How long does it take to register a trademark?
Trademark applications take different amounts of time to Register, depending on whether or not the mark was filed as a Use in Commerce Application (versus an Intent to Use application) and according to whether or not the Applicant is forced to respond to any office actions from the USPTO. As a general matter, trademarks can take up to a year to fully mature.
What is a Statement of Use?
A Statement of Use (SOU) is required to convert an Intent to Use application into a 1(a) application – An SOU simply instructs the USPTO that you are now in fact using your trademark in commerce and deserve Registration.
Is there such a thing as an International Trademark?
Kind-of. While there is no one trademark application that covers the whole world, the Madrid Protocol is an international treaty which allows a trademark applicant to file one application and have it disseminate to various countries’ trademark offices for review. Thus, it is an international trademark application in a very narrow sense and does certainly expedite the process of registering the same trademark in many countries at one time.
When can I use the ® mark on my trademark?
This is a very serious matter and the Federal code only allows a trademark applicant to apply ® symbol once the trademark has officially received its trademark registration.
Is it ever too late to hire a trademark attorney?
It’s never too late to hire a trademark attorney. Ideally, you should hire a trademark attorney as soon as you know that you want to trademark a piece of intellectual property, but a trademark attorney can step in at any time.
If you’ve already submitted an application on your own, but it was rejected, a trademark attorney can help. An attorney can help you monitor the market for infringement of your existing trademarks. An attorney can draft a cease-and-desist letter to anyone infringing upon your mark.
Should I file a trademark application as an individual or as a business entity?
Whatever way you choose is acceptable, but there are some advantages if you file as a business entity. First of all, filing as a business entity is helpful because you won’t have to re-assign ownership of the trademark to someone else if you sell the business.
Filing as a business entity is also a good idea for those individuals who do not wish for their personal details to be made public. Applicants who file as individuals may have their names, mailing addresses, and countries of citizenship listed prominently on Google and other search engines in connection with their trademark.
Why Trademark Registration Matters for Pittsburgh Businesses
The to-do list for anyone looking to start a new business in Pittsburgh can seem like it goes on forever. There’s product development, marketing, finding commercial space, and so much more. One thing that often gets put on the back burner is trademark registration. However, that’s something that should be taken care of right away.
Imagine the following: Julie and Maya are longtime friends who decide to open up an independent toy store in downtown Pittsburgh. They both have experience working for larger toy manufacturers and are ready to strike out on their own.
They choose the name Toys in the Attic for their store. They know that trademark registration is important, but they don’t want to spend the money on a trademark attorney just yet. They’re watching every penny.
They proceed with their plan and work together to find the perfect location, come up with a marketing plan, and hire employees.
They are open for about 9 months when they find a cease-and-desist letter in their mailbox. It turns out that there’s a toy store in Austin called Toys in the Attic. A few customers of the Austin store started asking them about their Pittsburgh location.
The owners of the Austin store didn’t like that customers were confusing Julie and Maya’s store with their own. Since they had trademarked the name, they had the right to ask Julie and Maya to close their doors and remain closed until they rebranded.
Julie and Maya were devastated. They now had to spend time and money rebranding their business and potentially lose the customer base they had built up. If they had put trademark registration at the top of their list of priorities from the beginning, this would never have happened.
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 Pittsburgh and yet it can assist businesses from Pennsylvania in registering a federal Trademark because trademarks are governed under federal law.
Trademarks Services for Pittsburgh 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.