Trademark Attorney Services
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Riverside, CA Businesses Use Cohn Legal for Trademark Service
Cohn Legal, PLLC is a trademark law firm that specializes in helping business owners and entrepreneurs in Riverside, California establish and protect their trademark rights. We offer outstanding legal counsel for our clients in all trademark law matters. Whether you’re in the middle of a business deal or you’re still at step one, we’re here for you.
Top 6 Questions Riverside, CA Businesses Have About Obtaining a Trademark
What is a trademark?
A trademark is a phrase, single work, logo, design, or sound that companies use to distinguish themselves amongst their competitors. As an example, think of Tropicana Orange Juice. The Tropicana logo on the carton is the trademark of that particular brand of orange juice. It clearly identifies the maker of the product for consumers.
What is the USPTO?
The USPTO stands for the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The USPTO receives and reviews trademark applications. They also keep records of all existing and pending trademarks.
Note that the USPTO will not conduct trademark searches on your behalf prior to you completing an application. The USPTO will not monitor the marketplace to ensure that no one infringes on your trademark.
What is the process for registering a trademark?
The first step in registering a trademark is actually conducting an exhaustive trademark search to determine if someone has a trademark similar to your desired mark. If you find a mark similar to yours then you may have to go back to the drawing board.
If it seems that your trademark is truly unique, your next step is to file a trademark application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office or USPTO.
The trademark application asks for information about you, your business, the name or logo you want to be trademarked, and what type of product or service you’re selling. You will also be required to submit a specimen, which could be a product label, a tag, a website screenshot, a brochure, or anything that shows how your trademark will be used in the marketplace.
After you submit your application, an examining attorney at the USPTO will evaluate the application and do their own search to see if a mark similar to your desired mark exists. If the examining attorney finds a similar mark, then your application may be rejected. If the examiner has questions or notices some information is missing, you will receive an Office Action, detailing what additional info is required along with a deadline for responding.
Assuming you resolve all outstanding issues with your application, the examiner will approve your mark and publish it in the Official Gazette. Once it appears in the Gazette, the public has 30 days to oppose your trademark. If no oppositions from the public are filed during that “opposition period,” then your trademark will be finalized and you will be the owner.
Should I work with a trademark attorney when filing my application?
There’s no requirement for you to work with a trademark attorney, however, you may want to consider it. Trademark attorneys understand the ins and outs of the trademark application process and how the USPTO operates. Their expertise can help ensure that your application moves along as quickly as possible and no small errors cause delays.
In addition, your attorney will be on hand to answer any questions that may come from the USPTO about your application. Once your mark is approved, your trademark attorney can help monitor the marketplace for possible infringement and submit documentation required to ensure you don’t lose your trademark.
Am I required to have a registered trademark before I start selling my products?
There are no laws that say you must register your trademark. It’s completely your choice.
That said, it’s certainly in your best interests to register your trademark. Going through the trademark registration process can help you make sure that you’re not infringing on someone else’s trademark rights. Having a registered trademark can also prevent others from infringing upon your rights.
Bottom line: If you take your business seriously, then you should pursue trademark registration.
What is the inter-state commerce requirement?
When applying for a federal trademark, you need to provide evidence to the USPTO that you have made bona fide sales of your product in multiple states.
The USPTO is not clear on how they define bona fide. But you can assume that selling a few items to friends outside of your home state likely won’t help you meet the requirement. Selling hundreds of items across two or more states would probably suffice.
Ask a trademark attorney for advice if you are unsure about inter-state commerce requirements.
Why Trademark Registration Matters for Riverside Businesses
Sitting alongside the picturesque Santa Ana River, Riverside California is where the California citrus industry was born. That spirit of hard work and determination among Riverside’s earliest citrus growers exists today in the small business owners and entrepreneurs in the area. However, they need to make sure they are handling trademark registration the right way.
Imagine the following: Christopher is an expert cabinet maker who’s been working for larger manufacturers for many years. He’s ready to strike out on his own and create custom cabinetry for the residents of Riverside.
He finds a location in the Arlington neighborhood which is perfect for his workshop. He names his new business California Cabinets. Christopher searches Google for his desired business name in the Riverside area. When no matches pop up he figures that he’s good to go and gets to work.
He develops a business plan, buys new equipment, orders an expensive sign, creates a website, and orders postcards and other marketing materials.
Eight weeks later, California Cabinets is open for business. Christopher has early success with new orders for cabinets coming in every week. Unfortunately, this good fortune doesn’t last. Christopher receives a cease-and-desist letter in the mail. Apparently, there’s a cabinet maker in Santa Cruz with the name California Cabinetry. They own the trademark to their name and they think that Christopher is infringing on their trademark rights.
Now, Christopher must close his shop and not reopen until he rebrands. This is a costly process that he’s not sure he can afford right now.
It’s not enough to simply conduct a Google search to determine if your desired mark is available for use. Work with a trademark attorney who can conduct a comprehensive search to ensure you are not infringing on anyone else’s trademark.
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 California and yet it can assist businesses from Riverside CA in registering a federal Trademark because trademarks are governed under federal law.
Trademarks Services for Riverside, CA 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.