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Raleigh, North Carolina Businesses Use Cohn Legal for Trademark Services
Cohn Legal is a startup and trademark legal firm providing service to clients in Raleigh, North Carolina, throughout the United States, Europe, and Israel. Cohn Legal attorneys operate with the singular goal of acting as your legal consigliere, continuously striving to provide you with the best legal advice and strategies to protect your trademarks and intellectual property.
Top 8 Questions Raleigh Businesses Have About Obtaining a Trademark
How do I register a federal trademark?
To obtain a federally registered trademark, you must submit a trademark application to the United States Patent and Trademark Office, or USPTO. The examining attorney at the USPTO will then evaluate the distinctiveness of your desired trademark and search the USPTO database to identify any trademarks which may be too similar to yours and would result in a conflict. If the examining attorney approves the application, it will proceed to the Official Gazette for a 30-day period of “publication.” During that time, any third party with a legitimate claim against the filing can submit an “opposition” to the application. If no oppositions are submitted, then your trademark application will be cleared for final registration.
How many sales do I need to make in order to satisfy the “in commerce” requirement?
The USPTO has not yet provided an exact number of sales needed to satisfy their in-commerce requirement. Instead, they required that a “bona-fide” number of sales must have been made. Use your judgment to determine what a bonafide number of sales is. A token sale of one t-shirt to a friend wouldn’t count, but selling 100 t-shirts to multiple parties in different states most likely would.
What is a “specimen” and when do I need one?
A specimen is an illustration of how you are actually using the trademark in commerce. A specimen may consist of a picture of a product label, a clothing tag, packaging material, or anything else that bears the product name or logo. If your trademark is used in conjunction with a service, rather than a product, specimens may include brochures, flyers, advertisements, etc.
What is the difference between a trademark and a service mark?
A trademark is a word, logo, slogan, sound, and/or design that when attached to a product, enables a consumer to identify the company which produces the good. A service mark is a term used more specifically to refer to word, logo, slogan, sound, and/or design that when attached to a service, enables a consumer to identify the company which produces the service.
Do I need to conduct a trademark search before filing my application?
There is no law or rule mandating that you must first conduct a trademark search before submitting a trademark application, it is undoubtedly the smart thing to do. The purpose of the trademark search is to uncover any sufficiently similar trademarks, which may prevent the admission of your trademark.
What is TEAS?
The USPTO provides applicants with the opportunity to submit a trademark application through the Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS). The purpose of TEAS is to allow applicants to easily submit trademark applications online and pay the required fees online.
The TEAS Plus filing option costs $225 per class of goods/services, the TEAS Reduced Fee filing option costs $275 per class of goods/services, and the TEAS Regular Filing option costs $400 per class of goods/services.
Should I file a trademark application as an individual or as a business entity?
How you choose to file a trademark application is entirely up to you. There are some advantages if you file as a business entity. For example, you won’t have to re-assign ownership of the trademark to someone else if you sell the business.
Also, note that if you file as an individual, then you may have your name, mailing address, and country of citizenship appear on search engines in connection with your trademark. Therefore, filing as a business entity is advisable if you want to keep your personal details more private.
How long does the trademark application process take?
After submitting the trademark application, you can expect to hear back from the USPTO within 3 to 8 months. Depending on whether your application was accepted or there are issues to address, it can take another few months to a year before the process is done. Working with a trademark attorney can make the entire process go more smoothly and quickly.
Why Trademark Registration Matters for Raleigh Businesses
Raleigh is the capital city of North Carolina which makes Raleigh an excellent location to start a new business. Raleigh is well known for universities, including North Carolina State University
Young entrepreneurs who come to Raleigh to fulfill their dreams of business owners like to take a “do-it-yourself” approach to build their business. That’s an admirable quality, but not advisable when it comes to trademark registration. Everyone who seeks trademark registration should work with a trademark attorney or face potentially troubling consequences.
Imagine the following: Leo recently graduated with a degree in exercise science and is a certified personal trainer. His dream is to open his own fitness center in downtown Raleigh. He has the funding and even a cool name picked out: Doctor Fitness.
Leo searched Google for Doctor Fitness and was excited to see that no exact matches popped up. He figures that he’s good to go.
He finds the ideal space and signs a lease. Next, he purchases expensive signage for the gym, creates a website, and places advertising in local papers to get the word out. Leo opens his doors and starts signing up new members. Two weeks later his gets some distressing news.
It turns out that there is a personal trainer that owns the trademark The Fitness Doctor. The trainer’s clients are asking him if he opened a gym since the names of the two businesses are so similar.
The Fitness Doctor has his attorney send a cease-and-desist letter to Leo asking him to close his doors and not reopen his business until he’s rebranded. Now Leo has to shut down operations, give a refund to all his new members, and spend countless hours and thousands of dollars on rebranding.
Don’t rely on a simple Google search to determine if a business or product name is available for use. Be sure to work with a trademark attorney.
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 Raleigh and yet it can assist businesses from North Carolina in registering a federal Trademark because trademarks are governed under federal law.
Trademarks Services for Raleigh 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.