Trademarks are an important part of protecting your intellectual property, You can use a trademark to protect your business name, logo, tagline, product name and more.
Trademarks give you legal recourse if competitors decide to utilize your information. They protect your investment in your branding and goodwill. Ultimately, they give you peace of mind.
The process seems pretty simple on the face of it. You file an application and 6-9 months later your registration is finalized. But there are a lot of moving parts in the process. Our services address the process to streamline it for our clients.
The first step in any trademark filing is a trademark search. We search the trademark database. We also recommend a comprehensive search of other databases so you know about the competition before you invest. We also look at how you are using the mark so we can advise the best classes (think industry) in which to file your mark. We go over the results with you to ensure we both understand the direction the application is going, and the probability for success.
Once we agree on the viability of your application, we file it with the United States Patent and Trademark office. We complete the paperwork and ensure the filing fees are properly paid.
You are responsible for providing us your basic contact information, as well as information about your business such as your website and social media locations. You are also responsible for providing us your logo (if your logo is to be trademarked) in a jpeg format.
You are responsible for providing us examples of how you use your trademark in sales, preferably in a single pdf file. This can include screenshots of your web page or social media, as well as pictures of your signage, a booth at a tradeshow, brochures, tags on items for sale, and others. If you ask us to search and organize this information for you, there will be an additional fee for this service.
You can also file an application to protect a mark you are not yet using in sales. This process requires additional filings, and carries an additional fee because of that.
We also respond to the USPTO office actions and examiners amendments. Sometimes an application needs tweaked – such as the wording or a color description. There are also requests for additional examples of use. Finally, there can be legal arguments about the viability of your application. We respond to these requests after discussion with you about what is required to overcome any objections raised.
Once the examining attorney’s questions have all been answered, the mark will be published in the Federal Register. There is a four week period where potential competitors can file ‘opposition” to your mark.
Assuming no opposition is filed, your mark will register four weeks after the last date of publication. We monitor the publication process, confirm registration and provide the certificate to you once we receive it.
If opposition is filed, the matter becomes a contested mark and will incur additional fees. We will discuss the opposition, its viability, and the costs with you at that time.
A copyright protects art, the written word, music and software. If you sell art online, e-books, or specialized content, copyrighting your work is an important step in protecting yourself from plagiarism.
Licensing is another way to expand your business and create more revenue. In licensing, you teach someone your business model, and share your specialized product or service model, in exchange for a fee or a percentage of their income. An agreement is needed to outline responsibilities and ownership of ideas. As part of a licensing package, you will also want to trademark your intellectual property.
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