Trademark Attorney Services
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Plano, Texas Businesses Use Cohn Legal for Trademark Services
Cohn Legal, PLLC is a trademark law firm that focuses on serving startup businesses and entrepreneurs, including those in the Plano, Texas area. Our attorneys have the experience and knowledge to deliver outstanding results time and time again. While excellence in legal representation is a given, we take greater pride in our ability to forge lasting bonds with our clients.
Top 9 Questions Plano Businesses Have About Obtaining a Trademark
What is the USPTO?
USPTO stands for the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The role of the USPTO is to accept and review trademark applications for approval or rejection. The office also maintains records of all existing and pending trademarks.
However, you should note that the USPTO does not enforce trademark rights. It is the responsibility of each trademark owner to protect their own trademarks.
Does registering my trademark protect my business?
Yes, registering your trademark is one of the most fundamental actions you can take to protect your business and your brand from infringement. Once you register your trademark, it’s protected in all 50 states. If you’re in Texas and you find out that someone in Vermont, or California, or New Jersey, or any other state is infringing upon your trademark, then you can take legal action.
What does it mean if a trademark is “merely descriptive?”
A merely descriptive trademark is one that only describes characteristics of the product or service and does not indicate the source of the product. An example of a descriptive mark would be calling your new brand of lemonade Tangy. The USPTO would likely reject that name since tangy is a word that can apply to most lemonades.
What is a generic trademark?
Generic trademarks aren’t even really marks. They’re just words that we use every day that cannot be trademarked because they’re so common. For example, the USPTO won’t let you trademark the words “pants” or “shoes.”
The only exception would be if the generic term were paired with another word that identifies the makers of the product. For example, someone could register “Brick City Shoes” as a brand of shoe.
When should I submit my trademark application to the USPTO?
You should submit your trademark application as soon as possible. It can take, on average, 8 to 10 months to get your trademark application approved, so you want to get the process started.
In addition, the date you submit your application becomes your priority date. That means, the USPTO will give your mark priority over any others that were filed after that date
When should I use the ® symbol vs. the TM symbol?
The TM symbol can be used if you have a trademark, but have not registered. It shows that you have “common law” rights to your mark, but does not carry as much weight as having the mark registered with the USPTO.
The ® symbol should only be used when you’ve registered your mark at the federal level. It carries far more legal protections than the TM.
Should I register my logo or my business name first?
In a perfect world, you’d register your logo and your product or business name at the same time. If that’s not possible for some reason, then trademark the name of your business in plain text as a first step. Then, register the logo as soon as possible after that.
Do I have to use TEAS to submit my trademark application?
Anyone applying for a federal trademark must use TEAS (The Trademark Electronic Application System). This online portal is designed to be an easy way for you to submit a trademark application, payments to the USPTO, and correspondence.
As of February 2020, the USPTO no longer accepts paper applications, so you must use TEAS.
How long does a trademark last?
Your registered trademark will last for as long as you continue to use it. You’ll need to submit documentation to the USPTO at regular intervals to show that it’s still in use. The first document will be due about 5 or 6 years after you first register your trademark. Then you’ll have to submit additional documentation around year 10 and then every 10 years after that.
Please note that if you miss a renewal deadline, your trademark may be canceled. One of the benefits of hiring a trademark attorney is that they will file these documents for you on your behalf, ensuring that you never miss a deadline.
Why Trademark Registration Matters for Plano Businesses
Plano, Texas is well-known for its affordable cost of living, strong public school system, and outstanding options for food and entertainment. Small business owners are flocking to Plano to follow their dreams of entrepreneurship. Most of them are very budget-conscious, but they shouldn’t put off trademark registration in order to save money. It may cost them big in the long run.
Imagine the following: Dana has a long-term goal of opening up a high-end hair salon and spa in Plano. She’s saved up for years and she’s finally ready to take the plunge.
She finds the perfect location in the Avignon neighborhood and signs the lease. Dana names her new business The Plano Salon & Spa. She knows trademark registration is important, but she’s watching every penny. She’d rather invest her dollars in a marketing plan, spa equipment, a robust website, signage, and digital advertising.
Dana has perfected every last detail and she’s finally ready to open her new business. At first, things are going great. Tourists and locals are booking appointments and spreading the word. Dana couldn’t be happier, but she’s about to get some unsettling news.
One day a cease-and-desist letter arrives in her mailbox. It turns out that there’s another spa in Austin that has a name very similar to the name Dana chose for her business. The Austin-based spa trademarked their name so they have the right to demand that Dana close her spa and not reopen until she rebrands. Dana is quite upset because she’ll have to spend time and money rebranding. Plus, she may lose the loyal following she’s built up.
Are you starting a new business venture in Plano, Texas? If so, make sure that you work with a trademark attorney who can conduct a comprehensive trademark search early on.
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 Plano and yet it can assist businesses from Texas in registering a federal Trademark because trademarks are governed under federal law.
Trademarks Services for Plano 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.