Trademark Clearance Of course you lock your doors, so why wouldn’t you lock down your rights?
Choosing the right mark. There are two basic requirements for a mark to be protectable: a. Use In Commerce: bona fide use, or intent to use, in commerce, such as selling goods and/or services; and b. Distinctive or Unique Mark: marks that are merely descriptive or do not distinguish the goods and services from others are not eligible.
Performing a comprehensive search. The first to use a mark in commerce is considered the “senior user” and acquires common law trademark rights. Because the standard for trademark infringement is “likelihood of confusion,” a mark that is even somewhat similar to a senior user’s mark could lead to a cease and desist letter, or worse, a lawsuit.
Registering with the USPTO. Filing a registration with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) offers amplified enforcement powers and the legal presumption of ownership. USPTO registrations, and their costs, are based on classes, which can be loosely defined as the market for the goods and/or services. The USPTO evaluation of the application takes several months, and the entire process can last up to a year or longer. Once a registration is issued, the owner can now use the ® symbol.
Maintenance and Policing. There are post-registration filings that are required 5 to 6 years after the registration date and on every ten-year anniversary. Failure to submit them could cause the loss of the registration. Also, the law requires trademark owners actively control and enforce their marks, known as policing. Unlicensed use of a mark that is allowed to continue could result in the loss of all trademark rights.
Meehle & Jay and Suzanne have been our counsel for Echo Interaction Group since the inception of our company. Her guidance has gone above and beyond the typical small tech business attorney and she's become a trusted advisor to our firm. Her knowledge of small business legal needs and specifically in the technology and startup world have been crucial to the growth of our company.
Carlos Carbonell, CEO, Echo Interaction Group
I couldn't be happier with my decision to hire Meehle & Jay as our entertainment attorneys! When you deal with a lot of people, it's critical for a business to have all of their i's dotted and their t's crossed, and it's huge relief to know that Meehle & Jay is doing that for us.
Rob Henlon, Fierce Entertainment
I use Meehle & Jay to represent my Event Planning Business and they are nothing short of phenomenal. Not only do I get email reminders to make sure I am staying on top of my legal priorities, the professional advice they have offered me, in conjunction with their legal expertise, makes me feel confident that I can do business competitively while still having my assets and reputation protected. A class act all the way around.
Michelle Widmer, Founder & Director of Events, The Empress Table
Davey Jay handles all our company's copyrights. Excellent knowledge and response time, highly recommend this firm.
Rodney E. Luke, President, Luke Brothers Custom Homes
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