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Salem, Oregon Businesses Use Cohn Legal for Trademark Services
The trademark lawyers of Cohn Legal, PLLC continuously strive to provide business owners and startups in Salem, Oregon with the best legal advice and strategies to protect their intellectual property. We help our clients with trademark prosecutions, transactional work, and complex contract negotiations. We’re ready to jump into existing deals or help you build your brand from day 1.
Top 6 Questions Salem Businesses Have About Obtaining a Trademark
What is a trademark?
A trademark is a word, group of words, a symbol, a logo, or even a sound that identifies for consumers the source of products or services from competitors selling the same category of product or service.
For example, Frigidaire is a brand of refrigerator. When you see that trademark, you know the company that manufactured the refrigerator. There may be other refrigerators on display, but the Frigidaire trademark distinguishes it from the competition.
What is the role of an examining attorney?
An examining attorney (a.k.a., examiner) works for the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The examining attorney’s job is to review trademark applications and approve or deny them.
After receiving the application, the examiner will ensure that it is complete and accurate. If the examiner has questions or needs more information, you’ll receive an Office Action, which will outline what additional questions the examiner has. The examiner will also search the USPTO database for any existing or pending trademarks that are too similar to your mark. If your mark is too similar to an existing or pending mark, then it’ll be denied.
Assuming that your application is in good order and the mark is unique, then the examining attorney will have it printed in the Trademark Official Gazette for a 30-day “opposition” period. During that time, any third party can oppose the approval of your mark if they can prove that your trademark will harm them or their business.
If no oppositions are filed, then the examining attorney will forward your trademark application for final approvals.
Should I register my trademark before I start my business?
It’s highly recommended that you register your trademark before you start your business. Although, there’s no regulation or law that says you must register your trademark.
Registering your trademark protects it against third parties who may try to use your mark or something similar to defraud the public. If your mark is registered, then you can take legal action against anyone who infringes upon your trademark.
Am I required to hire an attorney to represent me at the USPTO?
If you are a business owner who is domiciled in the United States or its territories, then there is no requirement that you be represented by an attorney. However, the USPTO strongly recommends you do hire a trademark attorney to help you navigate through trademark registration and other dealings with the USPTO.
If you are a business owner who is domiciled outside of the United States, then the USPTO requires that you hire a U.S.-licensed attorney to represent you.
What are the USPTO’s Rules of Professional Conduct?
All attorneys who appear in front of the USPTO are obligated to follow the USPTO’s Rules of Professional Conduct. These rules ensure that an attorney:
- Has the knowledge and skills to represent you.
- Continued to keep you informed about the status of your trademark matter.
- Do not may false statements (i.e., does not lie) to you or the USPTO.
Make sure that any trademark attorney you hire is aware of the USPTO’s Rules of Professional Conduct.
I’m just a one-person operation. Do I need to register my trademark?
Every business owner, whether they have 5000 employees, 50 employees, or their sole proprietors should register their trademarks with the USPTO. Having a strong trademark protects it against infringement for as long as you continue to use it.
Why Trademark Registration Matters for Salem Businesses
Salem, Oregon is a diverse city that’s known for its friendly population. At any given time, the residents of Salem can be found exploring old-growth forests, wandering through museums, or enjoying the downtown arts and culinary scene.
Anyone who wants to start a small business in Salem has a good chance at success, but they must be sure to register their trademarks as soon as possible. If they don’t, they may face devastating consequences down the line.
Imagine the following: Peter is a long-time resident of Salem, Oregon. He’s come up with a new, all-natural bug and mosquito repellent. His formula uses no harsh chemicals or toxic substances, which he knows are important to the residents of Salem.
He decides to go into business for himself treating the lawns and gardens of Salem with his new product. Peter names his new business Green Earth Pest Control. Peter knows that he can’t use that name if someone else is already using it. A quick search on Google reveals that no one in the Salem, Oregon area is using the name so Peter decides he can use it.
Peter spends the next few months hard at work. He creates a business plan, prints marketing materials, creates a website, and advertises his services in papers. He even buys a new van and gets his new logo airbrush on the side.
Peter starts to get calls from Salem residents after his ads hit local papers. His customers are thrilled with the results and they start to tell their friends. Soon enough, Peter has more work than he can handle. He’s starting to think he may need to hire some help.
However, before Peter can place the help wanted ads, he gets some upsetting news in the form of a cease-and-desist letter. It just so happens that another pest control company in Seattle has a very similar name to Peter’s business, Greener Earth Pest Control. However, the Seattle company trademarked their name years ago. That means they have every right to ask Peter to shut down his business and rebrand before he starts operating again. Peter knows that this will be a time-consuming and expensive process.
It’s never a good idea to rely on a Google search to determine if your desired trademark is available for use. A Google search may only pull up exact matches, but not names that are similar to your mark. Your best bet is to consult with a trademark attorney during the initial stages of starting your new venture.
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 Salem and yet it can assist businesses from Oregon in registering a federal Trademark because trademarks are governed under federal law.
Trademarks Services for Salem 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.