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Intellectual Property Trademark Trademark Application

Marketing Starts From Naming

Many low-end products tend to say exactly what it is. On the other hand, high-end products are very subtle. Have you ever bought a crappy good carefully wrapped inside a sophisticated package? Well, more likely than not you weren’t careful.

The thing is there is a tiny market for a fancy looking crappy product.

In other words, having a fancy name does rarely fly for a low-end product. You should name your product for what it is. However, that doesn’t prevent you from growing a great brand name.

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Intellectual Property Trademark

Trademark Basics

There are five things every business owners should know about trademark.

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Intellectual Property Trademark

Choosing a Right Name for your Brand or Product

Zara, which is a Fast Fashion brand like Forever 21, boasts that it takes only 10 to 15 days for an initial product design to reach their retail stores through international manufacture and logistics. In this fast-paced environment where a product can be copied within a few days and mass produced, a superb product design and packaging warrants only half the success.

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Intellectual Property Trademark U.S. Trademark

What is Trademark?

A trademark is a mark you use in order to identify your good or service.

For instance, IPfever is a trademark as it’s associated with services and contents offered at IPfever.com. If a law professor wants to start a blog about IP, she shouldn’t name it IPfever. Such naming would mislead people to think that the blog was associated with IPfever.

But, on the other hand, if a medical researcher encounters a feverish symptom related to Information Profession, she’s free to call it “IP fever,” to publish a paper titled “IP fever,” and so on. There’s no problem with such designation because the trademark IPfever, at the moment, has nothing to do with medical diagnosis.

So, you can freely catch an IPfever, and you may sell an IPfever brand roasted coffees. But you may not provide an IPfever service if that’s related to what is offered on ipfever.com.

That’s a brief overview of what trademark does and doesn’t. Let’s find out more.

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Intellectual Property Trademark Trademark Maintenance

Trademark Maintenance

Common questions:
trademark-maintenance

Maintaining registration calls for both administrative and executive action.

Administratively, you need to file with the USPTO a showing that you're still using the mark after 5 years of the registration, and every 10 years, you need to file a request for renewal.

On the business side, you must continue using your mark at all times, even after the registration. This requirement is often overlooked because your staff who handles trademark typically has no saying in continuing/discontinuing a product line.

You need to monitor your registration status and enforce your trademark rights yourself.

Trademark Status and Document Retrieval (TSDR) service offered by the USPTO is a good place to start. The USPTO recommends every trademark applicant to check TSDR regularly.

The USPTO does not enforce registered trademarks for the owners. It's your obligation to monitor infringing activities in the market and take actions to stop them. Often it involves writing a letter to notify the wrongdoer and ask for compliance/compensation, but you may need to bring a lawsuit if there's a dispute.

Hire an attorney to manage your portfolio. - Make It Happen

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Intellectual Property Trademark Trademark Examination

Trademark Office Action

Common questions:
office-action

Office Action calls for a legal writing.

When there is problem with your trademark application, the Office will issue an OA.  There could be multiple instances of OA per application while many trademarks get registered without any.

Sometimes, a simple change to your application can fix the problem, so the only thing you need to is agreeing with the change. But often you must rebut the rejection with legal arguments. This provides you of an opportunity to clarify and strengthen your application (and the trademark), but a wrong response could render the trademark unenforceable or nominal.

You must understand the reason for rejection clearly and respond to every issue to the full extent. You might find it helpful to review similar OAs and corresponding responses from another applicants on the TSDR (Trademark Status & Document Retrieval), which is open to the public and FREE. Although you can borrow their legal argument and logic, you must apply them to your facts.

Consult an attorney regarding an OA - Make It Happen

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Intellectual Property Trademark Trademark Application

Registration Tips

By carefully filling out all the required blanks and agreeing to go paperless in communicating with the USPTO, you can reduce your application fees from $325 to $225.
Not all questions are straightforward. When you're in doubt, always consult USPTO guidelines.
Always consult a professional before making decisions. All you learned today may be a tip of an ice burg.

 

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Intellectual Property Trademark Trademark Application

Clearing path for your Trademark

Common questions:
clearance-search

It is absolutely necessary to find out if there is anyone using your mark prior to your use. A clearance search is often performed through proprietary services, which often search not only state and federal registrations but also common law trademarks. Typically, a better service costs more; but depending on your situation a simple Google search may suffice.

Typically, a clearance search provides lists of all current state, federal, common law trademarks that are identical or similar to your mark. Unless your mark is very unusual, you will face a number of identical and similar trademarks in use. Even if there is an identical trademark registered and used, it does not necessarily mean that you can't use the mark; however, it is also true that even if there is no identical trademark, you might not be able to use the mark. At the end it all comes down to whether your use of the mark would infringe other trademark owner's rights.

Are you worried about (or disappointed with) your clearance search? Search trademark-infringement

Go back to find out more about Trademark Application.

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Intellectual Property TEAS plus Trademark Trademark Application

Pay and Submit

Common questions:
quick-review

What you see on this page is a summary of your application.

Here you can pay and submit your application, which officially "file" your application with the USPTO. If you have any question with this process, you should contact the USPTO directly.

 

You need someone to review your work? Get It Done

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Intellectual Property TEAS plus Trademark Trademark Application

(6) Signature Page

Page #6 is where you sign off your trademark application.

The USPTO accept an electronic signature in the form of any letter/number closed within forward slashes. For example,

/John Smith/

is an acceptable signature for Johnathan L. Smith.

TEAS plus P6

Signatory Position is your relationship to the trademark owner, which is often a legal entity (such as Inc. and LLC). You can put down your work title if the trademark owner is a company. Or if the owner is you as individual, simply "Owner."

Because it's technically the last page of the form, you should "validate" the form. What it does is, it confirms that you electronically signed your form.

Use teas_button_validate validate, to finish up your trademark form.

 

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