Trademark Attorney Services
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for Portland OR
Portland, Oregon Businesses Use Cohn Legal for Trademark Services
Serving Portland, Oregon 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. While excellence in legal representation is a given, we take greater pride in our ability to forge lasting bonds with our clients.
Top 8 Questions Portland Businesses Have About Obtaining a Trademark
What is an “Arbitrary” trademark?
An arbitrary mark is a term that has an otherwise common meaning but bears no obvious connection to the goods or services being sold. Consider for example the Apple computer. The word “Apple” of course has nothing to do with computers and yet it is still a common word in the dictionary.
What can I do if someone is using my trademark?
If you believe your trademark is being infringed, you should immediately contact a trademark attorney who can advise you on next steps. Typically, the first step is to send a cease-and-desist letter to the infringer. An attorney can tell you if further legal action should be considered.
How can I make sure no one starts using my trademark?
It is your obligation as a trademark owner to enforce your rights and protect your mark against infringement. There are monitoring services that will alert you when someone seeks to register your trademark or a similar trademark so you can take action. Ask about the monitoring services offered at Cohn Legal.
Can I trademark a Color?
By and large, the answer is no. It would be unreasonable to reward any given individual with the exclusive right to “own” a color. However, in narrowly tailored situations where Applicant’s have developed a true brand identity around a specific color (like Louboutin shoes and the color “red”), limited rights to specific colors are available.
What can I do if I believe someone is infringing on my trademark?
Step one – Determine that this person really is infringing on your trademark? Ask yourself, “How similar are the trademarks and how similar are the goods/services”? The trademarks must be so similar as to cause a “Likelihood of Confusion” as to the owner of the trademarks. Too similar for your liking? Speak to a trademark lawyer.
How long does a trademark last?
Trademark protection lasts for as long as you’re using the mark in commerce. About 5 or 6 years after registration, you’ll have to file a maintenance document showing that you’re using the mark in commerce in the United States. About 5 years after that and then every 10 years thereafter, you’ll have to renew your trademark. At Cohn Legal, we let clients know when these deadlines are coming up and complete all required paperwork on their behalf.
What is a USPTO “Office Action”?
An “Office Action” is issued by the USPTO when a trademark application is rejected or refused. Most Office Actions are minor. For example, you may need to add a word disclaimer to the application, provide a new specimen, or make a change to the goods/services classification.
However, some Office Actions are more substantive. The most common reasons for a substantive rejection are the likelihood of confusion with existing trademark registration, the mark is too descriptive or generic, or that the proposed trademark is “merely a surname.” The only way to have even a reasonable chance of overturning substantive Office Actions is by having an attorney research, draft, and file a legal argument (also known as a legal brief) in response to the rejection.
Should I file a trademark application as an individual or as a business entity?
How you choose to file a trademark application is your choice. There are some advantages if you file as a business entity. First of all, you won’t have to re-assign ownership of the trademark to someone else if you sell the business.
Also, note that applicants who file as individuals may have their names, mailing addresses, and countries of citizenship appear on search engines in connection with their trademark. Therefore, filing as a business entity is also advisable for individuals who want to keep their personal details more private.
Why Trademark Registration Matters for Portland Businesses
Portland is a great location for anyone starting a new business venture. Entrepreneurs from Portland have an independent spirit and prefer to handle all aspects of their business themselves. That’s an admirable quality, but the one thing business owners definitely need assistance with is trademark registration.
Imagine the following: Liza graduated from culinary school a few years ago and has been working on creating a new hot sauce. She finally comes up with a recipe that she thinks is a winner. Her plan is to have local grocery stores stock her hot sauce and sell it directly to consumers through her website.
She conducts a Google search for the name she came up with, Fire Breath Hot Sauce, and no exact matches pop up. She assumes that she’s good to go so she forges ahead with creating a website, printing labels, and pitching her product to local stores.
Six months later, Liza is pleased with her new business. Online sales are steadily increasing and she has half a dozen stores stocking her product. Unfortunately, she’s about to get some bad news.
There’s a company in Oklahoma that manufactures a hot sauce with a very similar name. They trademarked the name with the USPTO so they are well within their rights to demand that Liza stop selling her product on her website and take it down from store shelves.
This is a huge financial setback for Liza. If she had contacted a trademark attorney before she moved forward with her business idea this could have been avoided. It’s never a good idea to rely on Google when it comes to trademarks. Always contact a trademark attorney who can help you properly protect 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 Portland and yet it can assist businesses from Oregon in registering a federal Trademark because trademarks are governed under federal law.
Trademarks Services for Portland 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.